The trio is complete. Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Yoke System is the final component of the Cessna endorsed flight range to be released by Saitek. For your reference the full Cessna package includes:
The Cessna flight yoke will set you back just as much as the Cessna flight pedals. However just like the last flight yoke release I am happy to report that Saitek have still decided to throw in the Saitek pro flight throttle quadrant for free as part of the overall package. If you were to buy the throttle unit separately it would set you back an extra $70.
First initial impressions are that it seems all Saitek have really done is to remove the LCD clock from the old yoke design and plaster a Cessna sticker where the clock use to be. Im not entirely convinced that losing a clock for a pretty sticker is the way to go, but I guess real Cessna planes do not have clocks on the yokes neither
The only other biggest changes (apart from cosmetics) is that the yoke now has a 90 degree left and right deflection compared to the CH Products Eclipse Yoke which only has a a modest 45 degree deflection. In practice you can fly with both however having 90 degrees brings that realism up a notch since you now get a 1:1 mapping as real Cessna planes do have 90 degree deflection.
Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Yoke System Features
- 1:1 scaled yoke handle
- Realistic 90 degree deflection to the left and right for total of 180 degrees
- Separate throttle quadrant with 3 axis with 6 buttons and 3 lever detent buttons
- 3 position mode switch
- POV hat witch
- 16 buttons
- Stainless steel shaft
- Buy now at Amazon
Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Yoke System Review
The unit is installed using a simple USB plug. It is plug n play and also has been reported to work on Mac operating systems without driver installs as well. Behind the unit there are three additional USB ports plus a special port for the throttle quadrant and a small plug for a powerpack to provide power to the USB ports. I’m glad that Saitek have added three additional USB ports. If you plan to add another throttle quadrant soon or any other Saitek pro flight peripheral than this makes the job of hooking everything up a lot more simpler. I often have to take down and re-set up my flight controllers and not having to hunt behind my computer case for a free USB port makes the whole process so much easier.
In terms of overall feel, that pro flight Cessna yoke does have centre detents for both pitch and roll. The detents are pretty strong which makes finding the neutral setting a lot easier compared to free-floating shaft designs. If you prefer a free-floating shaft than at the moment only the CH products eclipse yoke gives you the option. As for whether a free-floating shaft or detent is better I honestly believe it is up to personal preference.
The biggest change with using this new Cessna yoke is that you have a full 90 degree deflection both left and right. Although the travel of the Cessna yoke is not quite up to what you expect in a real Cessna I agree with other users of this yoke when they say an extra one or 2 inches to the shaft would have improved the overall feel of the yoke. Still, the flight yoke has a good smooth action to it and it’s good to see hobby level flight peripherals getting better and more realistic with each new product release.
Based on user feedback on forums, some people seem to find the eight way hat switch on the left of the yoke a little bit too small to manipulate during flight.
Attachment of the flight yoke is via a simple screw down clamp design, people with little clearance between their desk and a keyboard drawer should be wary.
Together with the pro flight Cessna yoke you also get a throttle quadrant. I like the separate throttle quadrant as it means Saitek can move unnecessary buttons and switches away from the yoke and unto a separate device. For example, although the CH products eclipse yoke has three levers on the yoke body itself, during flight I find these levers hard to use as you have to reach over the flight yoke. A separate throttle quadrant means that I can set up my levers more naturally on the right-hand side which gives better clearance and better usability.
On the software front, it looks like Saitek have ironed out all their problems with phantom keystrokes et cetera. Although you are never recommended to install any software programs, sometimes you need to do so that you can get extra functionality and programability. It is unfortunately a necessary evil and I am pleased to report that based on overall feedback online most people do not seem to have any problems with Saitek software.
For what its worth, the latest yoke by Saitek is nothing ground breaking but it is moving the whole beginner range flight level peripherals into the right direction. The 90 degree rotation is a welcome addition and pushes the realism mark even further. Other than that, it is more of the same and those with a Saitek Flight yoke already may not see much of a benefit to upgrading. If you are hell bent on creating the most realistic Cessna cockpit than you will be more than happy of course. The only way things could be better is if peripheral makers start increasing the overall push n pull distance of the yoke to be more realistic.
- 90° left and right deflection
- On-board powered USB hub
- Good smooth action with strong detents.Only time will tell if the metal shaft will develop sticktion issues
- You lose the LCD clock of the old Saitek pro flight yoke
- Screw clamp design still takes up too much space
- Some buttons on the yoke may be too small and fiddly for those with bigger hands
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