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57 Reviews
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stick for the money
I just bought this a few days ago and I am very pleased. Works great with Blazing Angels: Squadr WWII PC once you get the joystick mapped to the keyboard. The mapping software is fairly simple. You can switch between differnt setups with the A/B switch with is a very nice feature.

Has twist for yaw built into the handle and 8 position pov. Duel throttle is...
Published on December 31, 2006 by Rene S. Hoepelman Jr.

versus
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a nice joystick with some disappointments
I used to own Saitek Cyborg, which was very comfortable to use although had some precision problems. When I saw this one in a store, I immediately liked it, especially those vintage style switches and the missile button cover. :) I just got myself the Il-2 game, so I gave this joystick a try.

I should say that everything has worked so far great in terms of...
Published on May 3, 2007 by athensoh


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stick for the money, December 31, 2006
This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
I just bought this a few days ago and I am very pleased. Works great with Blazing Angels: Squadr WWII PC once you get the joystick mapped to the keyboard. The mapping software is fairly simple. You can switch between differnt setups with the A/B switch with is a very nice feature.

Has twist for yaw built into the handle and 8 position pov. Duel throttle is nice but I dont believe they can work independant. I have to play around with it some more. Plenty of extra buttons and toggles to program.

I always liked Saitek because they make joysticks that can be configured for us Lefty's. This joystick works for both left and right handers out of the box. The joystick has all the features of some of the more expensive joysticks, but 1/2 the cost.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Flight Simulator 2004 !!, October 21, 2006
This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
After having a bad experience with the Logitech Extreme Pro 3D joystick (see my review) I purchased this one and WOW what a difference. Worked perfectly right out of the box and some of the switches are already set up for flaps etc. without loading the software ! In fact I never intend to load the software because Microsoft recommends against it. Why mess up a good thing ? Saitek Rocks !!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better joysticks out there that you can find, January 19, 2007
This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
I recently got back into flight simming when I borrowed my brother's Jane's F/A-18 game. I've always been a fan of the Jane's games, but never had the appropriate equipment. Eager to play, I tried a gamepad as well as an old Logitech Force Feedback Wingman. The latter had way too much dead space and a poorly designed rubbery boot to protect the base of the stick. I also have never been a fan of the force feedback either. So that left me with either the mucho expensivo HOTAS sticks from CH or Thrustmaster or a middle of the road joystick from Saitek.

The Saitek Aviator is a moderately priced, combat themed joystick that has a plethora of buttons and a dual throttle to boot. The missile launch button illuminates red so you'll never forget which button to release hell. It also has a safety cover. The best part of the joystick was the little to none deadspace. The stick is kept taught by a coiled steel spring and has a dust cover to protect dust from entering the pivot ball.

The only cons I have noticed is that the Aviator is a bit on the light side and maybe could use another POV hat, but can't really expect much for the low price.

All in all, a decent stick for a great price, you won't be disappointed.

Update after using it for 3 months:
The joystick is still responsive although it is not as tight as when I first got it. Highly recommended for the casual simmer.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a nice joystick with some disappointments, May 3, 2007
By 
athensoh (Washington DC) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
I used to own Saitek Cyborg, which was very comfortable to use although had some precision problems. When I saw this one in a store, I immediately liked it, especially those vintage style switches and the missile button cover. :) I just got myself the Il-2 game, so I gave this joystick a try.

I should say that everything has worked so far great in terms of basic operations, setting up with the game, etc, but this joystick has shown a few little drawbacks, which are a bit annoying.

1. The base is too light, so during gaming I have to hold it with my left hand to prevent the joystick from unnecessary moves around the desk. I remember my Saitek Cyborg 3d model was much heavier making it more stable than Aviator. This is very unfortunate.

2. The panel which should be attached at the bottom of the stick and should support your hand was quite hard to attach around the stick. The screws were hard to put, as a result the panel is loose now and I don't have the ability to tighten the screws.

3. In my previous joystick it was possible to move that supporting panel lower or higher to the stick, so people with smaller hands (kids) could use it comfortably. This one doesn't allow to do this, so my 8-year old sone is quite uncomfortable using it as his hand lacks support from beneath.

In all other points I like it but would probably try something else soon.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great with x-plane on a mac, December 6, 2007
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This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
I bought this for my son, who has a new macbook with x-plane installed. We couldn't get other joysticks to work, but this worked perfectly. All the buttons and switches were easily programmed in the x-=plane program. A great joystick for the money.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Joystick!, November 9, 2006
This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
I have owned several Joysticks and this one has a great feeling! The toggle type of the switches are great to work with. I should clerify the toggles do not really toggle up and down, they simply allow you to lift up or or pull down to invoke some command. They end up in the middle. Still nicer than a simple button.

The HAT works very well and is easy to use even in 8-Way mode.

The only complaint I have concerns the throttle. The double throttle allows you to bind the two together or operate separately. The other day the button which connects the two throttles just popped out and hasn't been very sturdy since. It operates like an ink pen button.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stick for IL-2!, March 27, 2007
This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
For less than $40, its hard to go wrong with this choice. I've had the stick for almost a year now (updated Feb. 08), with no problems what-so-ever. I was concerned about the weight, but the base is heavy enough to keep the stick from sliding while flying IL-2. I fly with full realism settings, so it so doesn't pay to jerk the stick around quickly anyway. If you want to fly arcade style, then the settings are easily changed.
Its easy to program. Addition to having the trigger & 3 buttons on the stick to program, there are four "toggles" to program 2 functions each if wanted. All of the controls can be assigned new functions by switching the mode selector to another mode (OFF, A or B). The toggles alone give 24 functions! The 2 "throttles" are handy. Right now, I have one throttle set for "throttle" and one for the flaps on a I-16, Type 18 fighter. With the correct "in-game" settings it works great. If your not sure that you want to spend $150+ on a new HOSTAS, the high number of programming options make the AV8R a great alternative.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good joystick, but not the best..., March 11, 2008
This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
I purchased this joystick in March 2008 and when I first got it I was overjoyed. I couldn't believe how much functionality I got for the money. You can programme each button 3 different ways with that red rotary knob at the base and the hat switch can also be programmed to function as 8 different buttons!! Even the throttles can be assigned as switches or multiple switches...the list of possibilities is almost endless. Just a word of note: Those FS users looking for a controller to use on your 4-engined aircraft, this is not for you. FS will not assign 2 engines to one throttle so the default single throttle function must be utilised. Sorry.

I live in Jamaica but bought the 'stick in Florida while on vacation so I was without much support once I took it home. The first thing I noticed is that the twist function is somewhat stiff, and the self return is marginal. Small corrections to the direction of an aircraft (I am a flight simmer) are difficult at best. This could be an issue with just my 'stick, but it doesn't speak well of the build quality either. The next minor issue is that the software that came with the 'stick is not very user friendly or intuitive. I suggest those who are new to computers or are not very inclined to go to the website and download the user manual and programming software (SD6) they have there. It's a shade better written. The next issue I had, after programming it for use with FS2004 was the right throttle lever would not function. I went through days of frustration trying to calibrate/programme it, and sent emails to customer support, and even went to the manufacturer's messageboard for help. I was at the end of the rope when help came from a manager at Saitek on the messageboard. Apparently the issue was with FS2004. What seems to happen is that FS accepts the assignment of the second throttle, but there is a bug in the programme where FS sets the sensitivity of the right throttle lever to ZERO!! So I had to go into the sensitivity area of FS and reset the slider to 100%. Easy fix that new users should be aware of! Ironically however, the demo version of FSX that came with the joystick did not suffer the same glitch, so perhaps Microsoft was aware of the problem and corrected it.

That said, it's still early days and I am still evaluating it. At this point, I am not as excited about it as I was before I got it though. It's inexpensive and it works fairly well, but I would say it is probably not for the serious gamer.

UPDATE: October 7, 2011: I still have this 'stick and it continues to serve me well. Since then I have noted one major problem and (at least at this point) a minor, occasional glitch.

The major problem I have is with the right throttle control. I first noticed it when on one flight I suddenly veered off the side of the runway during a takeoff roll. Then I noticed a difference in turbine N1 readings when both throttles were side-by-side. It has somehow become out of synch with the left and cannot be calibrated. I disassembled it and had a look at the resistance in the throttles and the values start to get out of synch around mid-travel. The potentiometer seems to be toast. I was very annoyed at first, but I got over it. I hardly ever require the throttles to be different settings so I just set FS to use the left throttle for all engines. I have an add-on called "FS2004 Selection Correction" (can be found at avsim as RCBse-10.zip) that allows me to reliably select the engine I want and then reliably bring back both (or all) when I'm ready. Regular users of FS2004 will know that selecting engines using the E key is a BIG hassle. Not anymore with this add on!

The minor glitch is that I have noticed that if I apply brakes (trigger) too many times the brake continues to activate indefinitely and only unplugging the 'stick can correct it. I've only recently started to get this problem but thankfully in a regular taxi-takeoff-land-taxi sequence it hardly happens.

She's still a great 'stick with all the other axis still tracking true. I'd buy another and recommend her widely.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saitek Aviator (AV8R-01), January 18, 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
This joystick works great with MS Flight Simulator 2004 and Windows XP. I haven't been able to figure out how to program the mode switch, but everything else is easily programmable through the MS Flt Sim program. (And the mode switch really isn't necessary). Saitek provides a CD for those who want to program it better, and someone a little more techie than me could program it any way he wanted. The stick works smoothly, the plane stays flying in the direction it should, and the buttons/switches are all very handy. I haven't had the joystick long enough to tell how well it holds up, but after a month or so I can truthfully say I'm very impressed--and delighted.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect, December 14, 2007
By 
Daniel Manzato (Sao Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 ) (Personal Computers)
This is a great joystick to use with any flight simulator. I personally use it with MSFSX, so the fire buttons do not make much sense for me, but it is ok. It is awesome, mainly because of the double throttles which can be configured for two engines or engine/mixture or whatever you want. However, there is a BIG issue which would make me think twice before buying it: it does not have any vacuum rubber or velcro to stick it on the table. As a consequence, frequently you have to use the other hand to hold its base. What I did was to buy those velcro strips with stickers, which helped me to keep it steady on the table. But my question is: did not Saitek Designers tested their own product? Should not those velcros come with this product, as they did with their rudder pedals? In spite of that, I am satisfied and would definitely recommend it.
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Saitek Aviator Dual Throttle Joystick ( PS33 )
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