The Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Trim Wheel is the latest in a string of new flight peripheral releases, Saitek have managed to get the company behind Cessna (Textron) to officially endorse the upcoming Cessna line of Saitek flight controllers.
If I remember correctly, this trim wheel is one of three officially endorsed products so far to have been released by Saitek. The other 2 controllers are the
It is interesting to note that Saitek have actually released a lot of flight controllers and peripherals based around the Cessna design. Such as the TPM and even the radio stack. However the newest 3 items now have a shiny Cessna endorsed logo on them
For those people that are new to flight simulation, you might be wondering what a trim wheels is for? Actually, most capable flight controllers will probably already have a free axis or two dedicated to trim. Without going into too much technical detail, a trim wheel allows you to maintain a straight and level flight without having to touch the yoke on the plane. It’s kind of like a hands free setting. When you fly a plane, you normally have to keep a constant pressure on the yoke to keep your plane heading and flying at a certain altitude. By adjusting your plane’s power and trim you can fly straight and level with modest adjustments to the flight yoke to keep its heading constant. A trim wheel allows you to set the pitch of your air plane without having to use the yoke.
In layman’s terms this means you can adjust the angle the nose of your airplane points using the trim wheel. Another use off the trim wheel is to assist in take off. For example when I am climbing alike to rotate that trim wheel down so that I can ease off on the backpressure I have to apply on the flight yoke. I guess in some ways, that trim will artificially affect where the neutral setting is on your flight controller. In fact older trim mechanical trim wheels on some flight controllers did exactly this.
On most flight yokes, such as the CH eclipse yoke the trim dials are actually located on the flight controller itself. However, on a real Cessna this trim wheel is located to the right-hand side near the throttle controls.
A trim wheel is actually quite an important piece of hardware, it makes the process of flying a plane less tiring.
The cool thing that Saitek have done is to release the first standalone trim wheel peripheral for the flight Simmer at what really is a bargain price.
So let’s have a closer look at the Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Trim Wheel.
Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Trim Wheel Features
- 4″ Trim wheel
- Nine turns of revolution (Just like in a real cessna)
- Screw clamp mounting system
- Plastic construction
- Plug n Play USB connection that doesn’t require any drivers
- See the rest of the features list
Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Trim Wheel Review
This is an interesting piece of flight peripheral hardware. I imagine for the majority of you, you are quite happy with the trim wheels or trim pots on your joystick or flight yoke.
The Saitek Cessna trim wheel looks like it uses an analogue pot. In some ways nine turns of revolution gives you minute levels of trim management, on the other hand I never really had trouble with assigning buttons or digital rotary encoders for my trim neither. The best thing about having a separate trim wheel peripheral is the added sense of realism really.
However, I do have some minor reservations about how useful this trim wheel would be in a flight simulator. Already, based on some feedback and comments on user forums it seems that some people are experiencing some funny little quirks when using this trim wheel in Microsoft flight simulator 10. There seems to be a little bit of a sync issue when using this trim wheel with autopilot. The problem apparently seems to be that when you turn off autopilot the trim that you expect to be setting on the peripheral does not match what the flight simulator has set. Of course when I think about it, if you are using this trim wheel to fly a Cessna than autopilot is not something you going to worry about as it is not available. If you are going to use this trim wheel on a 747 than buyer beware! You may experience some compatibility issues.
Installation of the Cessna trim wheel seems to be fairly straightforward. Users report that installation of the Cessna trim wheel happens without having to install any burdensome drivers. Standard connection of this peripheral is to your USB port. If you have been into flight simulation for any length of time, then a USB port becomes a precious resource. There seems to be no problems with using this trim wheel peripheral on a USB hub, powered or not.
In terms of how this peripheral attaches to your table, rather than reinvented the wheel, Saitek have gone with their standard screw down clamp design. I also own a Saitek pro flight quadrant and although this clamp design is serviceable if you have a shallow distance between your table and a keyboard tray then you will have trouble mounting this peripheral straight on to your desk. Your only other option is to screw this peripheral down on to your table. Personally, I think CH have got the right design for their peripheral clamps, it is lower in profile and you can sneak it into almost any tight space.
Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Trim Wheel Conclusions
At the end of the day, I think it’s cool that Saitek are continuing to release new flight controllers at an affordable price. The Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Trim Wheel will be a little bit of a hit and miss depending on how much you value authentic realism. If you are flying planes other than a Cessna then you probably already have a serviceable way to control your trim without having to use another precious USB port.
However if you are building a true to life Cessna cockpit and don’t want to spend twice the amount of money to get something similar than Saitek will be your best if not your only option.
- Easy installation, no messing around with drivers
- 9 revolutions. Allows quite minute trim adjustments
- Looks good when stacked with other Saitek Pro flight gear
- Analogue trim wheels will always suffer from sync issues compared to digital variants. Unless the flight sim program is clever enough to match inputs. If you are taking off, than making sure the plane agrees with your hardware peripheral settings should be part of your pre-flight checklist anyhow.
- Clamp design requires clearance under the desk
- No buttons or additional switches, just a trim wheel. Authentic – Yes, but I always like having more buttons to assign.
Check out what other users had to say…
If you fly without using the AP, this trim wheel is great. It places the large wheel right where is needs to be.
It appears to be around a 4″ wheel and has a great feel. The drag or resistance is perfect. I find that using the palm of your hand works best for me.
The price is right but I sure hope the bugs get worked out or somebody can find a solution to the Autopilot issue.
It makes things a little interesting when turning off the AP before landing. […] Read the rest of the review >
If you are in the habit to use the little trim wheel on the yoke from CHProducts or the one on the control panel from Saitek then you will love this item. I find it definitely adds more realism to my flight sim, all 20 years of it !!![…] Read the rest of the review >