261 of 264 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2004
See my full review with photos on my website (look it up by my name).
OPERATION: I used the CH Products Flight Sim Yoke with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 A Century of Flight. Flight Simulator immediately recognized the yoke at startup and already had all the buttons mapped. I changed them to my preferences using the setup panel in FS. On my first flight I noticed that the elevator was really jumping around. It wouldn't stay where I put it! I really thought the yoke was broken. Then a very distant memory began to emerge from my checkered past. I recalled that I still had my old Gameport joystick plugged in...problem solved. These USB devices do not work with Gameport devices.
The yoke felt very much like the Cessna's that I fly (C172R), albeit a bit lighter weight. The resistance was a little surprising, very stiff, which is good for cross country flying. It took a little getting used to the button locations, especially the hat switch, but after a few hours it falls right into my grasp. Having an 8-position hat switch sure makes the landing pattern easier to fly, and with all the buttons on the yoke I don't need to touch the keyboard. The trim wheel was very stiff, so I wouldn't use it to trim the airplane, just to adjust the joystick centering during calibration.
SELF CENTERING OR NOT???
I was concerned about the lack of center detent when I initially read the literature. But this doesn't mean the joystick doesn't self-center. It snaps back to center with about 1/4 inches of center play, just like in a real airplane.
146 of 147 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2003
This yoke is the only choice in this price range except for the similar and slightly cheaper LE version that comes with one throttle lever instead of three. I agree that it is a little bit overpriced and plasticky but you'd end up paying ten times more for a more realistic product.
I just bought it anticipating the release of MS Flight Simulator 2004 and I can't wait to fly some civilian aircraft with it in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I've successfully flown tons of He-111 bomber missions in IL-2 Sturmovik Forgotten Battles and the yoke has worked great there and added tons of realism. It's a bit mushy though and it's too bad it does not have a dead-on center. I had to correct my straight flight path almost constantly.
I was glad I didn't have to touch the software CD that came with. I just plugged it in, Windows XP recognized it immediately, and I assigned functions to the buttons and axis inside the game with no problems.
CH Products last forever (I've used their Flightstick Pro for 10 years now), they have good customer support, and they're all made in the USA.
81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2004
Let me start by saying that this setup is not for the typical gamer or the flight simmer that likes to yank n bank. This setup is more for fans of Flight Sim, and other more "serious" simulators out there that focus more on reality than action. That being said...
For the price this setup cannot be beat. I treated myself to the CH Yoke Pro USB and USB Rudder Pedals about 8 months ago, and I am still greatly enjoying them today. I probably paid about twentyfive more for each (Fifty total) at that time, but even at that price it was a great deal considering the quality and entertainment I've received from them. I've always been a big fan of flight sims and I must say that this rig in conjuntion with MS Flight Sim 2004 is the best commercial flight sim there has ever been. The level of realism increases immensely with the use of the yoke and rudder pedals.
Also, with the number of buttons and levers on the yoke, you almost don't need to use the keyboad at all. Just about everything you need is right at your fingertips; Throttle, Mixture, Prop Pitch, Gear Up/Down, Flaps Up/Down, 8-Way View Hat, Rudder Trim, Elevator Trim, plus 4 other misc buttons to do more stuff with. Note that all of the buttons and levers can be customized to anything you like. MS Flight Sim immediately recognizes this yoke and sets it up with a default set of controls that does just about everything you need.
Another really nice feature is the rudder pedals have independant variable braking (something I didn't know that real planes even have) which means you can break the left and right wheels independantly. This is done by each foot pedal being pushed in the typical way a gas or break pedal would work on a steering wheel setup. This is not only used for braking, but also as an aid in steering. Of course the pedals also slide forward and back for rudder control, all exactly the way a real plane works. This adds an even higher level of realism that no joystick can reproduce.
A review would seem biased if I didn't mention something I didn't like about the product, but I can honestly say that I am perfectly happy with it, and have nothing bad to say. The yoke and pedals are built solid and meant to last, and the performance is flawless. So all I can say is if you enjoy flight sims, or if you're toying with the idea of getting your pilots license, then this setup is a must. I have no regrets on my purchase, and it's even cheaper now. I hope that doesn't mean they are going away, but if it does make sure to get one before they do.
59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2003
I really wanted a yoke for FS2004 - I use that program to practice IFR flight. When I discovered that USB yokes are $very expensive - I was very disapointed - then I found these CH products. Sure it is plastic - but it is well worth it I believe. I almost did not buy it because of reviews here, but I am sure glad I did. XP recognized the yoke right away - and there was no need for a software installation. (I guess the CD that ships with the yoke is for lesser Windows Versions). I then launched FS2004 and sure enough - it recognized the CH Yoke and had already set up all of the assignments for all buttons and levers. Took off from ORH and loved the product from that moment . . .I am sure the "real" yokes are better, but who the hell wnats to spend that much money. . . .next I plan on purchasing their rudder pedals.
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2006
This review will talk about both the CH Rudder Pedals and the CH Flight Yoke USB.
I finally got around to purchasing these rudder pedals from Amazon after accepting that I was NEVER going to find this item in stores. (...)
Getting to the point...these pedals are a must have for serious flightsimmers...especially if you own Microsoft Flight Simulator and like to fly general aviation or the large commercial heavies. I also purchased the USB CH Flight Yoke for $99.74; the difference these 2 items make to the simming experience can't be stressed enough. If you ever got the guilty feeling after mastering the greased landing with the Boeing 747 or other heavy aircraft (the feeling that it's unrealistically easy), then this is the next level. It takes a lot more concentration and coordination to master flight using yoke and rudder as opposed to just a joystick or keyboard...just keep your hands off the yoke while going down the runway or taxiing, and you should be able to keep things in order! You may also consider purchasing the CH Throttle; that's going to be next on my list, because using the throttle controls as they are postitioned on the yoke are a little inconvenient for some aircraft that require constant changes in throttle position.
Overall, I'm satisfied with the construction of the pedals; they weigh in at around 6 pounds and feel fairly solid and sturdy. The motion is fairly smooth with the application of both rudder and toe brakes. They work well. Not much more you can say about that. The same can be said about the construction of the yoke...fairly solid considering. I would like to have seen a little less tension on the yoke personally. Unless you are trimmed close to overtrimmed status, you have to give it a good pull to get airborne. I haven't studied it long enough to see how that REALLY compares between heavy versus light aircraft. But again, I think that only speaks to the construction of the unit and the strength of the clamp setup; pulling back on that unit with a fair amount of force and the unit doesn't budge from the desk. The yoke may take some getting used to based on where it will sit on your desk...in my case, there is about a half an inch beneath the fastened clamps to allow for my slide out keyboard tray, which was enough space in my case. I could see a potential problem in that area for others.
I've read about complaints with the clamp system on the yoke, but I'd like to meet the guy that can think of a better solution to keep the unit stationary on your desktop...no problems with my particular desk and the clamps. What I've read is that people with lips or other unperfect edges may have problems since the surface area of the clamps is small. Again, not a problem with my particular desk. Another con that I read about and can somewhat concur with is the trim quality. I find myself having to adjust the elevator trim more frequently with changes in speed than with my joystick...on approach this can be viewed as a nuisance or part of the greater challenge. I'll have to give it some time to decide on that one. It may be that it's just easier overall with a joystick. I was looking for more realism and a greater challenge when I purchased the yoke and rudder.
Installation was a breeze in Windows XP; just plug them in and they are ready to go. They come with a cd with any drivers that may not be installed already, and also games (so, I've heard...MSFS is my favorite past time, probably wouldn't fly anything else that I don't already own anyway). Another good thing about this unit and MSFS is that it is recognized as a separate controller. I have used the pedals in combination with the flight yoke as well as my Saitek X52 Flight Control system when I needed a joystick and not a yoke for flying fighters or even general aviation aircraft that have sticks and not yokes.
Finally, both the yoke and rudder are a very good investment for the hobby. You'll find yourself enjoying the hobby more and actually steering clear of the autopilot controls. Hope this gives you some things to think about.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2004
I really like this product. As a licensed pilot, this item gives a more realistic civilian PC flying experience then any joystick can. And for the price, it can't be beat. Sure, there are other yokes costing A LOT more, but unless you want to build a PC simulator you can log real time in, why bother?
My reason for 4 instead of 5 stars? The clamps are awful. They are designed only to fit really thick, flat desks. If your computer desk has a curved front, it's really difficult to get this to stay put.
The feel of the yoke is a little too plasticky. I would like to see slightly smaller yoke with a closer material feel to a real yoke.
This item is a MUST have for anyone who takes their civilian flight simulators ( Micrsoft flight sim, X-plane,Fly!) seriously. It's so much more enjoyable and realistic then using a joystick. Unless you have Airbus simulator add-ons!
59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2003
This yoke works great with Microsoft Flight Simulator and other flight simulators. Installation is painless�just plug in the USB connector and install the driver. The buttons and switches on the yoke are automatically mapped to various functions in MS flight simulator (no configuration necessary), such as changing the view. Without pressing a key, you can change the view from inside the aircraft cabin to a 3D chase view, or looking up at you aircraft from the tower, which a flick of your thumb.
This yoke even has a small plastic wheel that even acts like a trim wheel.
However, it feels like what it is-- a... plastic yoke. The thickness of my desk wasn�t thick enough, so I had to use a book or two to get the clamps to firmly grip my desk and even then it wasn�t totally stable. Also, unlike a real airplane yoke, you can pull back (or push forward) and it won�t totally return to neutral. This may be a problem with the software, but I was disappointed. I had high expectations because of the high price that simply weren�t met.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2005
As I've said in the title, this yoke is great for flightsim enthusiasts. As such, the review will frame it in this context.
There are two caveats and one suggestion, however:
(1) Numerous reviews here slight the yoke for its inability to clamp down on thin desktops. I used to have a solid, 2"-thick desktop when I used this (see my MS Flight Simulator 2004 reviews), and it worked beautifully. I could suggest using either a phone book or block of wood as a caul if your desk is thinner than about 1". I don't see why a bit of scrap wood and neoprene or a couple of large rubber bands wouldn't hold the yoke quite well. Remember - my experience with this is in flight SIMULATION - not combat - so I'm not violently jerking the yoke all over the place.
(2) The CH equipment (flight yoke and pedals) ate up 100% CPU on Windows XP PRO, SP1. This was fixed by installing the software drivers that came with the hardware. Simple fix, I know, but it was initially alarming to see the CPU get pegged by "a joystick device".
And the recommendation: Buy this with the pedals to get the full effect. With features like toe brakes, you can conduct more true-to-life turns and taxiway movement, to say nothing of applying correct rudder to slew around a turn. I would also recommend buying a powered USB hub with these two devices, as many people have more than just these two devices they'd like to plug into the computer at one time.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2005
After buying the CH Products Rudder Pedals from Amazon which I was intsantly happy with, I felt that I had to get this yoke for my Flight Simulator 2004. I did and overall, I am satisfied.
I would love to have given this product 5 stars but the plastic makes the product look pretty cheap and you don't get the feel that thing is actually worth it price but as stated before, the next good flight sim yoke is at least 200 dollars more in cost. Another issue is the clamps that do not fit your standard desk but inserting a small book between the desk and yoke helps to keep it steady. Also, The trim wheel is a little work to turn but it really is no big deal for me and I still love to use it rather than map trim to another button.
Let me be clear about one thing...this yoke feels good and is very responsive when controlling the planes in FS2004. Overall, I am happy with this yoke and it has taken my FS2004 experience to new heights. Although it is made of cheap looking plastic, I get the feeling that it is built to last.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2004
I am learning to fly on a Cessna 172 and am using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 as an adjunct. I have found the simulator actually more difficult to fly than the real Cessna. The CH USB Flight Sim Yoke goes a long way towards solving this problem and making the simulator more closely mimic reality. I have not encountered problems others have mentioned such as the controls failing to neutral and the yoke being difficult to clamp to my desk. I find the trim wheel is too stiff but perhaps that is a problem unique to the particular yoke I bought. In any event, this yoke is well worth the purchase price.