All of my flight sim career, if you can call it that. I have overlooked Hardware and haven’t really prioritised it thinking that it wasn’t at all that important. But when I got sent the GoFlight Pro Yoke System I was blown away and couldn’t quite understand why I didn’t see the importance of good quality hardware.
I was sent the product for 8 weeks and in that time I managed to use it on every flight I did. The Yoke is manufactured by GoFlight and is worth around £500. Obviously because the price is quite high, my expectations of the device were also quite high
The Yoke is made out of cast aluminium which certainly separates it from other Yokes which are made of plastic. When I got it out the box I was surprised how heavy it was, but then I realised that it’s made out of a lot of metal. And that tends to make it heavy. The material used for the construction of the the base is steel sheet metal. This makes it unbelievably strong, something that I found to be very important.
On the handle of the Yoke there is a multitude of buttons that are used to control the systems inside the airplane. They are placed in a manner that makes them easy to use and means that you don’t have to stretch to reach them. It has: 2 two-way switches, 8 way hat switch, PTT Button, 2 Triggers and a mini Joy Stick. All of these buttons had individual roles most of which were already programmed in when I plugged the unit into the PC.
On the front of the Unit there is a plate containing the checklist for the aircraft, I found this to be very useful because not only did it provide a quick access checklist it also enabled me to attach my approach and ground movement charts.
The process of mounting this to my desk was interesting. All of the reports i’ve read have said that it doesn’t move around very much once it’s attached. It does, but only if you don’t mount it properly. You have to tighten the clamps extremely tight to stop it sliding off your desk when you pull the yoke back. Alongside this the back of the Unit begins to rise if you pull back all the way, this can be easily fixed by using the included vecro strips. Overall a very interesting experience, but flawless if you do it correctly.
The cable used to connect the Yoke to the computer was a standard USB B cable. It was certainly long enough and I have no complaints about the positioning of the port. The good thing about this Yoke is that it’s a simple plug and play and does’t require any really complicated setup.
The size of the unit is 1:1, it’s certainly something that is quite big and if you have a small room like I do then it does take up a lot of the room both on and in front of the desk, The top of the unit however does have another use. I used it to put my laptop on the top so that it was easy to see.
I was surprised to find that there is more resistance when pulling it back that I previously expected, in some cases it took quite a lot of force to pull it back. If you purchase the yoke from GoFlight, when you receive it, it will already be oiled up. But because I had a review sample the oil wasn’t spread out very much. The included allen keys allowed me to take the top off and put some oil on the shaft. After doing that it was very smooth, this means that if you use the device a lot you might need to reapply the oil to keep it smooth.
If you’ve never used a Yoke before then when you first try it, it will be a strange experience. One thing I had to master was the landings, After 8 weeks I think I’ve been able to do that! Coming from a Saitek Yoke you will probably be shocked at the price as well as the fact that it adds that extra immersion in the game that you can’t get anywhere else.
I wanted to get the expert opinion of the product before I came to a conclusion about this product. I Spoke to Tony from GoFlight.
What would you say separates your yoke apart from others? “When we went into the preliminary development of the item, we looked at what was currently being offered in the market place. On one hand there were the entry level yokes that offered all the electronics needed to successfully fly on a computer. But they did not have the correct feel of the real thing, also the lacked high durable quality of the high end offerings. When you looked at the high end yokes, they had all the quality you’d like to see in their manufacturing, but they did not have the functions needed to fly with ease in flight simulator. We simple wanted to marry those two strengths at a price point that was in the middle of those two.”
That was Tony Varela from GoFlight, speaking to me about the GoFlight Yoke System.
The GoFlight Yoke System is a super solid Yoke and I think that it is the best hardware controller I’ve ever used for Flight Simulation. However with a price of $749.95 it certainly isn’t cheap. Therefore meaning that you have to be pretty serious about Flight Sim before making such a big investment. This Yoke is perfect for those seeking something more immersive than the Saitek Yoke and over the 8 weeks I came to really enjoy flying with the Yoke! I do recommend buying it, but only if you are serious about Flight Sim and want to take it to the next level!
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