Flight sims are an acquired taste. Problem is, once you've acquired the taste, the innocent hobby can turn into a quest to turn your computer into an authentic pilot cabin. Not long after getting hooked, it's not uncommon to regular find yourself piling on the peripherals, like these three new Pro Flight accessories from Saitek.
Ready to find a home in your collection of controllers, information panels and switches, the set brings a level of realism that is squarely targeted at the deep end of flight sim fans. Casual dabblers who are fine with flying planes using arrow keys probably won't care for them, but those who care about simulating the actual pilot experience are the target demographic here.
The three new Windows-friendly Saitek Pro Flight components consist of:
Combat Rudder Pedal ($200, pictured above). Modeled after modern fighter aircrafts , specifically the F16 and the F35, it boasts programmable combat pedals that feature independent left and right brake axis, a self-centering rudder axis and a configurable dampening adjuster.
Throttle, Pitch and Mixture System ($150). Compatible with most major flight simulation games, it replicates the control surface found in a variety of light aircrafts, such as the Cessna, Piper and Money Bravo. It features three rods (for throttle, pitch and fuel mixture) and nine programmable switches.
Backlit Information Panel ($150). Designed only for MS Flight Sim X and Flight Sim 2004, this box provides 24 light-up tiles that you can customize with up to 70 individual, interchangeable flight commands and information.
All three devices connect via USB, which kind of sucks, since wireless would have made it a lot easier to turn your favorite computer chair into an airplane cockpit. Of course, if you're a hardcore flight sim enthusiast, you've probably got an entire corner rigged specifically for the purpose anyway, so it hardly matters. The new Saitek accessories are individually available directly from their website.