25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2009
The item is well built and easily configures FlightSim X to utilize it via an included utility. Another utility that does full functional test of LED, displays and switch position is useful for testing panel separately from FlightSim X. This eliminates the complication of trusting flight simulator to be communicating properly with the panel.
Pros - adds nice realism to flight simulator x and easy to setup
Cons - a little pricey, and cannot utilize the built-in powered USB hub in the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke. Causes hub exceeded power message. Finally had to connect the multipanel directly to computer USB port. This is also true for the Saitek Radio panel. Only the Saitek switch panel can be connected directly to the yoke without exceeding hub power. Seems Saitek should have engineered a better solution, providing more hub power or bundling a powered hub of sufficient capacity.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2009
For the price, you can't beat this auto pilot panel.
The display is large and easy to read and the controls are easy to use.
The buttons are backlit so when you activate any of the functions, you know it because they light up.
The trim wheel is very precise so it makes flying when not using the altitude hold easier.
It looks great on the desk and is so much more intuitive and much easier to use than trying to scan the cockpit and click all around the screen to set the auto pilot.
The only complaints are that the knob to switch between CRS, HDG, IAS, VS and ALT requires a lot of effort. But it is a sturdy metal knob. The other thing I would have liked is a button to switch between IAS and Mach for the airliners. Other than that, it works great and is a wonderful addition to your flight simming experience.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2010
I knew I'd like this. It's all I expected. I don't much fly airliners and only a business jet here and there, so the only thing I don't use on this is the auto throttle. Everything else is very handy to have. I fly the virtual cockpit, so it's very difficult to sort the OBS knobs, buttons and switches while bumping around in turbulence. No more problems!
The unit came VERY well packed in foam. It is very light. All three units are very light. Well built, just light. If they are all attached to each other in a stack, they will not stand up by themselves. I didn't want to mount them on my Saitek yoke, so I built a small box to mount all three Saitek units in. This way, they don't slip around on my wooden desk, and I didn't want to use velcro.
My only complaint is that the most important functions a panel would have are split up between the Saitek units, and to get them all, ya gotta buy all three. Radios, flaps, trim, gear, and switches. Radios are their own unit, trim and flaps on this unit, and gear on the switch panel.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2011
There really aren't many 'universal' autopilot gauges, which is essentially what this is.
It says multi-panel , etc. Yes, it does have some other important functions, but truthfully this is your Autopilot panel.
Note: I used this with FSX.
I found that if you want to get a little more in depth with planes, especially passenger jets -- that have FMC's, and so on. The add-on planes, this is very hard to work with.
It typically is only going to work the 'heading' adjustment for these add-on jets and nothing else. Though you can go and download what are known as SPAD drivers, look it up, and with ALOT of toil and trouble you can have a working version for most things. Not for the non tech savvy, or light of heart.
For default, FSX planes (and if it works for XPLANE) -- It is great.
Essentially you have a dial on the left hand side that has "ALT, VS, IAS, HDG, and CRS". You turn this dial to select any one of these settings. This corresponds with the one adjustment knob on the panel.
People complain about how tight/stiff this knob to move from ALT to CRS is, but frankly, while it is stiff, it is something you get used to and isn't a big deal. Further it does loosen up a bit with use.
Essentially, these are ALT = Altitude, VS = Vertical Speed, IAS = Indicated Air Speed, HDG = Heading, and CRS = Course.
The knob adjusts them all fine, I did find the only adjustment that I wish was a bit faster was the IAS, or speed adjustment. I'd find myself taxing in a 747, turning the dial like mad trying to get my IAS to 250 or so for the TOGO or Autopilot for takeoff.
Then you have the display. Which is just Red on black. Fine , not fancy, but look what you are buying.
It isn't dynamic or realtime, it shows you what you've adjusted each setting to -- but isn't a 'flight panel' nor would I want it to be.
It has 8 buttons on it.
The large white one to left = AP = Autopilot. This is the Autopilot master switch.
The other buttons, same size, and orange = HDG = Heading Mode, NAV = Navigation Mode, IAS = Speed hold, ALT = Altitude, go to assigned altitude, VS = Verticle speed, ascend or descend (if you are ascending or descending) at this rate. APR = Approach (This is for landing primarily -- If you know how to dial in an ILS approach this will be a good button for you.) -- and REV = Your Reverse Approach/ILS -- to track the 180 degree of your current ILS. You don't need to know what either of those mean when you buy this.
It has an AutoThrottle Toggle lever/switch. This is stiff as well, but a generic off and on. Which is what it is in the jets/planes.
It has a tap button/lever that you tap on top for down and tap from the button to go up. This is your Flaps. So for say 10degree's of flaps in some jets, two taps, and so on. After you've taken off you can tap it 3-4 times up and it will raise flaps to zero. Lastly, it has a Pitch Trim DIAL or Wheel. I frankly didn't use this much. But, it is exactly for that, and is the largest dial on the entire panel. On the right hand side. Obviously adjusts the trim to keep the plane level.
Solid panel, good construction for the money -- is NOT customizable for extra planes by default and so on.
So just be aware of that fact.
I find I out grew the panels of this type quickly, when I got into flying Airbus A320's and newer jets that were a bit more accurate, or the exact replica simulator add-on jets that literally have 2 inch manuals with them. But if you enjoy getting on Vatsim, or a server on multiplayer (or even alone) and flying any of the default planes.. you will be fine with this.
I have the Pro Flight Yoke, Light Panel (with gear), multi-panel, and 1 comm stack (with a throttle to the right.
I don't need a keyboard at all, obviously.
You DO need room for this stuff.
After I got these three panels and yoke. I figured out that I really needed to build a small enclosure for them, so I could have something that didn't look so 'odd' on the desk and I could pick up and move etc.
Every device , including this one, has a USB attachment, as would be expected.
The software for this panel, is the SAME software for any of the Saitek panels. Works fine.
Hope that helps,
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2011
First of all, I want to say that I love this panel. It is so much easier to use autopilot on some of my aircraft with this panel. I still have not learned all the functionality of it yet, but will as I use it more and more. The pitch trim is so much more realistic and easier to use, as well as, the flaps, than using a switch on my Proflight Yoke in the past for these functions. I have been using my Microsoft Flight Simulator X as a pilot training tool and this multipanel has made it more realistic. I also liked getting this panel at a great price from Amazon. It came to me on time and in great condition. Amazon is a great place for great products at great prices.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2014
1 year later and this unit fell apart. The multi function switch has seized and it does not hold up well to any type of modifications, i.e. removing from case to place into a custom cockpit panel. I had to resolder the led panel twice. Also the drivers are inefficient. You have to look to open source to get unit to run smoothly.
Bottom line: Saitek Pro Flight Multi Panel is just a toy.
If you are looking for a cheaply built, poorly designed unit, then by all means buy this, but if you are looking for a quality product look elsewhere. Quality this is not!
I would not recommend this product.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2011
I have a 64 bit Vista computer. Third party airplane models don't work correctly with FSX, so I was concerned that this might not work, or that I would have problems setting it up.
I plugged it in, loaded the drivers from the included CD, and fired up the test software. It worked fine. I got one of the last $109.99 units.
Then, I started up FSX and tested the controls. The Flap Switch, trim wheel, and autopilot worked correctly without having to go into FSX's control panel. Spinning the trim wheel feels a lot more realistic than pressing a switch up or down to get trim. Also, I like the feel of the flap lever a lot better than that of a switch.
I've heard people complaining about the Autopilot switch being stiff. Its maybe a little stiff, but I'd rather have it a little stiff instead of sloppy. Maybe Saitek has improved the feel of the switch. None of the planes I fly have auto-throttle so I have nothing to say about it. The Autopilot has a couple more functions than my C-172 has, but that's not a problem.
They sent a couple of strips of Velcro, which would probably have been sufficient to secure it to the top of my desk, but I wanted to put it underneath, which is closer to where it would be on a real plane. I tried the included Velcro, but it just barely held it in place. My wife got me 4 feet of 2 inch wide Velcro, which I used to secure the unit under my desk. It holds there very securely. If I get a radio panel, its going under my monitor, so the included Velcro will be sufficient.
The trim wheel and flap switch freed up a couple of switches on my yoke, so I plan on using them to affect my view.
I'm glad I got this instead of the VRInsight M-Panel for almost twice the price!