Joysticks For Flight Simulation: Using A Lever To Fly A Plane!

Saitek Cyborg 3D Gold

The Cyborg 3D looks really wicked. The engineers at Saitek came up with something that is the exact opposite of the Microsoft product. Everything on this joystick is adjustable, using the Allen key supplied with the device to adjust the Allen screws that hold it together. It is as easy for lefties to use as it is for right-handed folks, and it will fit you whether your hands are large or small. You can position the throttle stick on the left or right of the base of the shaft. The top of the shaft is dipped by pressing with the fingers.

You can even change the direction of the hand-rest, which can be made to slope upwards or downwards. On the other hand, care is required - the device is slightly fragile, so it should be handled gently without forcing it, or one of its parts might break. Cyborg 3D's handgrip is good; the buttons and the directional hat are easily accessible. It has eight buttons, four of which can be made to support two functions, depending on whether or not the Shift key is pressed on the keyboard. The Cyborg incorporates a very effective rudder, operated by rotating the shaft. When used with a flight simulator program, this joystick is extremely accurate, though it is a touch less effective than the Microsoft product. The throttle works perfectly and is particularly effective.

The Cyborg 3D connects to the PC via the USB port and requires ad hoc software. Its installation is in no way problematic, at least when running under Windows 9xx. Windows 2000 and XP are another story, however. The joystick is not recognized at all and the drivers supplied (the latest available versions) don't work. Finally, the Cyborg is not calibrated automatically, so it needs to be calibrated the old-fashioned way, not always the most reliable way to do it.