RUDDO Rudder Pedals from VirtualFly
REVIEWED BY: FRed Baron | DATED: Oct. 1 2018
WHAT WE TESTED
RUDDO Pedals, with Hall effect sensors.
HOW WE TESTED
In our Lab sim
VirtualFly has been around since 2004, known for the OVO-04 full motion simulator, SOLO, Duo flight panels and the very popular “Yoko” yoke.
They were kind enough to send these pedals in agreement that were “loaners, to be returned”. These review and observations are my own, with no compensation from VirtualFly. That said, I have one word to describe these pedals: Bulletproof. These are a solid piece of craftsmanship. Weighing in at over 23 lbs (close to 11 kg.), while taking them out of the box I knew I was in for a treat. Well packaged for the long trip to North Carolina from Spain, the pedals arrived in perfect condition.
I was also informed that I was sent the innovative “hall sensor” version that replaced the potentiometer on the rudder axis. with magnetic sensors. Along with the load cells transmitting the braking action we are definitely living the simulator dream.
Setup options include: mounting directly to the floor through machined holes, (perfect for the wood platform under the carpet in my sim) using screws, the included Velcro adhesive-backed strips for the underside of the plate, in conjunction with a provided subjection strap to wrap around the base of a chair assures minimal if any movement while applying the brakes.
A stand out feature was the hardness configuration options for both the brakes and the rudder.
The brakes can adjusted from hard to soft by removing one of the two springs easily accessed at the rear of the brake. Like more tension? Just leave both springs installed. The rudders have four combinations of spring layouts from soft to hard. Two of each spring hardness are included to add or remove from the axis guides as desired.
Setting the pedals up for X-plane is a breeze, bring up the “set up USB controllers” tab, a quick calibration of the three axis and done.
Fire up X-Plane, another quick joystick calibration routine, I setup for flight in the ASDG SuperCub for X-Plane 11. I have some solo hours in the Aeronca Champ and figured the tail-wheel aspect would be a great test for the Ruddo. As usual, lots of right rudder to counter left turning tendencies on throttle up, took me right back to my experiences in the “Champ”. A superb feel and weight make ground taxi and coordinated turns feel more realistic (I went with #3 spring combo). After 20 mins in the air, some s-turns, and lazy eights the Ruddo did really start reminding me of flying the Champ, with the characteristic right leg workout I used to get. Using my favorite slip move on final and a respectable landing- again with the right rudder, to avoid ground loop, what a blast!
For P3DvXX users an added bonus of configurable parameters using the FSUIPC interface included with the packaged thumb drive. The user has the option of by-passing the P3D joystick menu and using the recommended “Virtual-Fly Devices” driver to interface the pedals with the sim. Worth noting that the P3D/FSX joystick menu will work as expected if the user chooses not to use the VFD driver with no issues. Just setup as usual in the dialogue. Using the VFD driver, just have to uncheck “enable controller” in the menu to avoid conflict. The configurable parameters include all aspects of the pedals sensitivity range. The “Brake Actuation Curve” determines the how the sensitivity intensity is applied in each stage of the braking process. Lineal (increase proportionally), Left (strongest at the beginning), and Right (strongest at the end) The rudder configuration consists of two adjustable values, the physical pressure applied to the pedals vs the position transmitted to the simulator.
I have said before, in the sim, pedals are pedals, and depending on the setup, usually play a background role in the action. While the price is in the Pro category, the smoothness of the RUDDO rudder and braking action combined with the top response of the hall sensors and load cells are what really makes me re-think pedals in my simulator. The fact that they are not force feedback like some of the other offerings, never crossed my mind while flying, and was nothing a few well-placed bass shakers won’t enhance. One gets what they pay for here, quality construction materials guarantee a lifetime of use and abuse. If given the chance, do try them out at the next expo, these pedals will not disappoint.