Saitek F.L.Y. 5: Really wanted to like it !

Apr 11, 2011

I was looking for a compact flight stick to replace my old Saitek Cyborg 3D Force and the F.L.Y.5 (also called Cyborg X) caught my eyes...

My force feedback joystick started to give strange results since Windows 7, vibrating when not expected, and remaining still when it should have been triggered. The spring force was also not applied all the time.
As my flight sim sessions became more occasional, I found more appropriate to base my research on the following criteria:

- no force feedback and power adapter needed
- compact and plug-and-play
- twist handle for rudder control
- throttle
- enough buttons
- price limit: 80€

So no, X52 (although I've been really tempted) or Hotas Warthog for me.

The F.L.Y.5 is a nice object, with all the above conditions met, plus a double throttle for twin engine aircrafts, a small wheel for the elevator trim, and adjustable handle parts. I didn't play with this and left the allen key in place. I still have in mind the previous joysticks and racing wheel I had from Saitek and how fragile they all were (with the only exception of Cyborg 3D so far).

Simple to operate, keys conveniently placed, firm enough, especially the twin throttles. It could be a bit more precise but worked well enough with FSX, HAWX and IL2 (1946!, can't speak for COD yet...)

During the first weeks of use, I really thought that I'd ever need another joystick !
...I was wrong!

"What you buy cheap, you pay twice"

...and the proverb is unfortunately true, and in the middle of a dogfight,  one of the buttons around the hat switch popped out! A plastic part keeping the whole thing in place suddenly cracked, ejecting the spring-loaded button, which crashed on my desk...(as did my Spitfire shortly after).

My first though was, "ok, Saitek's legendary fragility is still true...I should have known better"

Almost ready to pay it twice...
No replacement available at the shop, only a credit note so I'm now back, in the interim, with my old Cyborg 3D. I'm very tempted to buy another "Cyborg X", trying to convince myself that it was just one bad Monday-built unit, but I know I'm  fooling myself, it is the usual Saitek quality problem!

In conclusion, this is probably one of the nicest and best-thought compact joystick out there's unfortunately made by Saitek! Come on Thrustmaster, for once, make a clone!

Type "Saitek defect" on youtube or see this video review from another (IL2) gamer for a stronger warning.

Update: I finally changed for the less pretty but sturdy and precise Thrustmaster T.16000M.

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