Every Flight Simmer needs one or two of these things. Get yourself a yoke and some pedals, or at least a joystick. You WILL feel the difference. They’re a little expensive, but it’s definitely worth it.
CH Products Flight Sim Yoke USB / CH Products Eclipse Yoke USB
Have you ever seen a pilot fly a plane with keyboard arrow buttons? Neither have I. To get the best experience out of FSX I strongly recommend buying either a yoke or a joystick, and some pedals if you can afford it. This is the yoke I started out with, and I’m still using it today. I’ve had it for probably around 6 or 7 years now, and it’s still in good shape despite having been through some rough treatment by myself during those crazy zero visibility FSX landings we all treasure so much! It has plenty of programmable buttons for things like landing gear, flaps, spoilers, camera views and more. It also has a 8 way point camera view switch, throttle controls with throttle, mixture and propeller levers. It has a sturdy and simple design and works right out of the box by plugging in the USB. Can be further configured with the CH Control Manager tool. This is a great product and I highly recommend it. The Eclipse yoke is even better, with more buttons and features, but it costs a little more.
CH Products USB Combatstick 568
This is a great alternative to a yoke, especially if you like flying Airbus aircraft or military jets. It is a 3 axis joystick with 18 programmable buttons which include 6 push buttons, one 8 way point camera view switch, a 4 way hat switch and two small aileron and stabilizer control wheels. The big red trigger button below the hat switches is great for firing missiles and dropping bombs. Like the yoke it has a sturdy and simple design, and is ready to go when plugged in. I’ve had one of these for years, and I always use it when I fly fighter jets. The “Combatstick” is in the middle in terms of price. There are two other CH product sticks; the Flightstick Pro which is the cheapest one with less buttons, and the Fighterstick USB which is the most expensive one with more buttons and LED lights. All in all, good quality joysticks.
Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick
This is one of the most popular joysticks for flight simulation, FSX more specifically. It really is a very good joystick at a reasonable price. It sits stable on the desk, has a comfortable handgrip and all axis of movement feel smooth in-game. It comes with 12 action buttons, an eight-way hat switch, and a rapid-fire trigger. If you want a solid and reliable joystick for a low price, then I strongly recommend this joystick. Nice product.
CH Products Pro Pedals USB
I would highly recommend buying one of these if you can afford it. Having full control of the rudder during landing and windy flights will feel like a blessing when you suddenly need to yank the plane sideways to maintain stability. Yaw movement is a critical aspect of flying in the real world, and it is pretty important in FSX as well. You as a pilot will feel much more comfortable when you have more control over your aircraft. The Pro Pedals also come in very handy during taxiing at the airport. You simply slide the pedals back and fourth with your feet like you would in the air, only this time the wheels on the aircraft will turn instead. If you press the pedals you activate the brakes. Overall, very helpful little product. Recommended.
TrackIr 5 Premium Head Tracking
This is a pretty cool product. The TrackIr 5 links your actual movement in three-dimensional space to your in-game view. You place the tracker above the computer screen, put on the tracker clip and the device will track your head movement and translate it into FSX. Want to have a look outside the cockpit window? Turn your head. Need to get a closer look at the instrument panel? Move your head forward. If you’re a VC (virtual cockpit) guy, it’s probably a good idea to buy this one. Works with the popular EZdok Camera. Get both, or just one of them. Either way, the TrackIr is a recommended product.
VRInsight CDU II ( Flight Management Computer )
The CDU II is a realistically shaped and fully functional Control Display Unit for your Flight Management Computer in-game. It is is compatible with most commercial add-on aircraft available, such as PMDG, Level-D Simulations, Wilco, etc. It’s pretty expensive, so it’s definitely not for everyone. But if you’re the kind of person who enjoy extreme realism, then this device is highly recommended. It really doesn’t get any cooler than this. You essentially get a real FMC in your home – every flight enthusiasts dream right? All buttons and LCD screen are close to reality, fully functional display and full metal case, plate and stand. Sick product, highly recommended – if you got the stomach for it.
CH Products Pro Throttle USB
This one works great with a joystick. The Pro Throttle is basically a large thrust lever often seen in fighter jets and it’s great for those kind of aircraft. However it works great with big airliners as well. Pretty self explanatory really – if you want more realism in your living room based cockpit, a large throttle will definitely help with the immersion.
These guys have a lot of interesting products, all from yokes and joysticks to radio and instrument panels. Their yoke, the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke is very popular and widely used in the flight sim community. It features a POV Hat, 14 button controls, and 3-position mode switch, stainless steel yoke shaft and 2-position clamp, and it comes with a separate three axis lever throttle quadrant. It feels heavy and authentic when operated. Good, solid yoke and throttle controls. Saitek also has some nice pedals and other popular instruments that are great for small cockpits at home. Here’s a list of their best products:
Precision Flight Controls, Inc
For extreme flight simmers. Very expensive equipment. If you can afford it, then go for it ! Their products are basically replicas of the real world counterparts. Amazing product lineup.