Saitek PS41 Aviator


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Here's my modification to the Saitek PS41 Aviator flight stick for the Xbox 360. I bought this flight stick to play Ace Combat 6, and found the stick to be a joy to use. Flight maneuvers are far easier with the variable yaw that is on the stick's twist axis. Unfortunately, the button layout is rather poor. All of the necessary secondary functions are on buttons that are on the front of the flight stick, while the throttle is on the back. That means to control your wingman, select missiles, or perform a high-G turn, you have to take your hand off the throttle and fumble with the buttons on the front. In my line of work, we like to use the concept of Hands On Throttle And Stick (HOTAS) for the pilot interface. Functions can be accessed while not removing your hands from the aircraft controls. So, I spent $5 at the local electronics shop and did a little mod.

 

The momentary push-button on the left controls the missile select (it maps to the controller's Back button). The (On)-Off-(On) toggle in the middle controls the wingman (it maps to the controller's D-pad's Up and Down). The momentary push-button on the right allows for high-G turns (which maps to the controller's Left Bumber). The high-G turn button is interesting, since on a standard Xbox 360 controller one performs a high-G turn by pulling throttle and brake to the maximum while turning sharply. However, on the flight stick the throttle and air-brakes are both on the throttle (full forward for full throttle, full back for full air-brake).


Saitek certainly knows how to make a rat's nest of wires...