So it has been a little while (about two months) since I have been able to post to the site! In that time I’ve been busy aquiring some new kit and looking after two bundles of joy that seem to want less and less sleep!
So, Thrustmaster rudder pedals. Why did I buy them?
I’ve had CH Pro Pedals since about 2004/5, they’ve been great. They made a huge difference from a twist grip stick. As someone who flew for real, at the time, in gliders and motor gliders I really appreciated the level of control that rudder pedals afforded me. The CH Pro Pedals were then accompanied by a full CH HOTAS, with both the Combat Stick and the Fighter Stick. All of this kit survives to this day and is now in my attic as a backup in case any of my current kit fails.
The reason I bought these pedals was more about the fact that CH kit was wearing out as much as anything. I’d cut through one of the cables when using the rudder one time, leaving me without a left brake pedal. This was repaired, but the pedals were never the same again once they had been opened.
The Thrustmaster T-Flight Pedals had good reviews, they would work in the T.A.R.G.E.T software with the Warthog setup and they were not too expensive.
How have I found using them?
I have now been using them for about two months and I have to say that I am really pleased with them, they are incredible smooth and very comfortable to rest your feet on. The heel rest is handy when taxying, but annoying when flying helicopters; however, this can be removed with the supplied Allen Key. I have seen people say that they would not buy these pedals as they are too close together, but I do not find this. If anything they are further apart than the pedals in the gliders that I used to fly. I would say that they feel even more plasticy than the CH Pedals, to the point that some of the plastic feels quite cheap, but at the same time they feel solid.
The brakes can be a bit of an issue when you’re taxying however, I have found that if I have a significant amount of rudder on and I am applying the brake that the pedal sticks. It’s not normally a problem, unless you need to increase or decrease the amount of rudder input. The rest of the time the brake pedals have good resistance and feel responsive.
In flight they are very light. There is a slight notch, is tthe best word I can think of, that lets you know where the centre is, but this is very easily overcome with the lightest pressure. This is great if you like sensitive pedals but can be a bit too easy sometimes and becomes noticable when flying helicopters in DCS, for example, and you inadvertently find yourself crabbing along.
I’d recommend these pedals, I have used better ones – though I believe these are better than any Saiteks that I have used. The fancy hand made ones from Eastern Europe are in a different league though. However, they cost three times the price of the Thrustmaster pedals. I am not sure that these will have the longevity of the CH Pro Pedals (12-13 years!) but at the same time they should be with me for a good few years and plenty of hours of simming. The other benefit is the ability to combine the pedals with the Warthog in the Thrustmaster T.A.R.G.E.T software to create a profile with a single, virtual, controller.
Overall I prefer them to the CH Pro Pedals, they are smoother, they are more comfortable and have a better feel to them. I just hope I am wrong about their longevity – which I am sure will still be more than good enough.