It's all about having the right flight sim hardware…

Rudder Pedals for Flight Simulator

Although some of the better HOTAS joysticks allow you to control the rudder by twisting the grip, there isn’t a substitute for having a proper pair of pedals. If nothing else it will test your hand to feet co-ordination! The default flight sim installation just has ‘auto rudder’ where you don’t even need to think about co-ordinating your turns, but if you disable this then you’ll have to start using your pedals to make properly balanced and co-ordinated turns.

For anyone that doesn’t know that means keeping the ball in the centre of your ‘turn and slip’ indicator. If the ball’s moving to the outside of the turn then you’re ‘skidding’, in car language you’re almost understeering. On the flip side if the ball’s falling into the turn then you’re ‘slipping’. In both of these situations they tell you to ‘step on the ball’ – what this means is that if the ball is out to the left you need to put pressure on your left rudder pedal. This will make your turn co-ordinated and bring the ball back into the centre.

There are a number of popular rudder pedals available for flight sim, such as the Saitek rudder pedals or the ones with the CH Products set. Pictures of both are shown below. Both of these are good choices and provide great value for money. If you’re planning to fly control column type aircraft on your flight simulator then a good starter setup would be the CH Products control yoke and rudder pedals. Taking it one step further and you could look at getting a radio panel, throttle quadrant or instrument stack.

One of the only problems with these flight simulator rudder pedals is that they don’t give you the proper force feedback that real rudder pedals give. When you push the rudder pedals in a light aircraft you typically feel some resistance, however some of the cheaper flight sim versions don’t have any kind of sprung force feedback, and they just slide easily back and forth. If you’re looking for added realism then a more expensive set might be the way to go, such as the PFC rudder pedals or the Saitek Pro Flight ones shown below:

Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals

The Saitek Pro Flight rudder pedals are a great addition to your flight sim hobby, and offer excellent value for money.


February 26, 2013 This post was written by Categories: Flight Simulator HardwareRudder Pedals No comments yet

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