Flight Simulator Hardware

Both sticks, keyboard, computer and monitorFlight simulator hardware is broken down into two categories – computer and flight controls. Everyone has a different idea/preference as to the flight controls but here is a start.


There is no way around it, flight simulators need fast computing power with a good graphics card and screen. A “game computer” is exactly this, fast computer with enhanced graphics. If you are thinking about buying a new computer, now is the time if you want a great flight simulator program experience. If you try to make some “old dog” computer work for flight simulation do not waste your time. Any new “gaming” computer should work great. Sticks (CH stick on left, and Logitech stick on the right) keyboard, laptop computer and 22 inch monitor.

Flight Controls

1-CH-Products-stick-and-rudder-pedalsHere is where you start to customize the system for your application. You need at least a stick or a yoke and rudder pedals at a minimum.

You can get into an inexpensive game stick (Logitech as an example) $40 stick (right and left hand usable) which worked OK but one of the buttons was sticky and irritating to use. A recommended higher end CH Products stick running about $80 discounted. It is best to use something that is for right and left hand use. This is a good value and a step above the game sticks. The throttle and trim are on the stick base and are adequate for flight simulation. If you want to use a yoke the CH products yoke is a good choice. Rudder pedals (the CH Products brand also) are really be useful for the realistic flying of an airplane (about $120 discounted). Throttles on the stick are adequate, but a seperate throttle is nice if you you want the complete system using the CH products Stick and rubber pedals. Note that the CH products yoke has a pretty good throttle, prop, mixture handles if you are going to use the “heavier airplane” style yoke. Most of the LSA use the sporty stick

A throttle quadrant made by Saitek Pro Flight TPM System $150 provides a throttle and mixture (if needed) similar to most LSA throttles. This is the perfect addition to the stick control. An additional 12 switches are great to program or practice using same as switches for aircraft. The knowledge/skill movement of the throttle is so important for learning how to fly.

This completes the control system with functional controls just like a real aircraft. With the controls now it is time to verify they work before you start the flight simulation program.

Make sure and check your flight controls before starting X-Plane and FSX by going to my computer, control panel and game controllers as shown in this video: