Saitek Pro Flight Yoke: Replace Roll Spring

Welcome to the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke: Replace Roll Spring instruction video. This modification will replace the roll return spring with rubber bands. Most people don’t have an issue with the roll action of the Saitek yoke, but if you do, this mod is for you. Before we start, I’m assuming you’ve already removed the roll return spring as shown in this disassembly video.

NOTE: modifying the Saitek yoke will void the warranty. However, if you purchased the yoke over two years ago, the warranty has already expired.

Also be sure to use a new rubber band. This bag of rubber bands cost less than $1.00 USD. You’ll only need one, but it’s worth it to know your modification will last a long time.

 

 

Saitek Pro Flight Yoke: Replace Roll Spring

Let’s start by looking at a very interesting structure inside the Saitek yoke housing. Locate the roll return horns as shown in the video and the picture below. Notice as I roll the yoke from left to right, these two horns extend to the left or to the right. It should be pretty easy to loop a rubber band around these horns and let the rubber band provide tension. Select one rubber band. Loop it over three times. Now loop one mini zip-tie through, but do not tighten it all the way. Repeat with another mini zip-tie.

Now simply loop one zip tie over one of the horns. Make sure the zip-tie gets underneath this catch. Tighten down the zip-tie all the way. And repeat with the other zip-tie on the other side. Clip the excess from both zip-ties. The rubber band is now providing tension for the roll axis of the yoke. The rubber band should be secure in its place and should not fall off when we turn the unit over.

Replace the lid and carefully turn it over. Hold the control housing down with one hand. Try it out to see how you like the feel of the yoke now. The rubber band provides a slightly smoother feel. If you’re happy with the results, reattach the control housing. There are 14 screws.

And give it a test flight!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Saitek Pro Flight Yoke Modification Videos

Attach a rubber band to the control horns - Saitek Pro Flight Yoke: Replace Roll Spring
Attach a rubber band to the control horns

Saitek Pro Flight Yoke Modification: Rubber Bands and Zip Ties

This modification to the Saitek Yoke Pro Flight Yoke uses rubber bands and zip ties. In some respects, it’s similar to the method I used for modifying the yoke from CH Products. This is the modification I personally use with my Saitek yokes. Notice that both yokes have this horn-shaped structure on the center shaft. That’s what we will be modifying. We will also be using these four screw posts. The Saitek Pro Flight Yoke Modification: Rubber Bands and Zip Ties only takes a few minutes to complete.

 


NOTE: modifying the Saitek yoke will void the warranty. However, if you purchased the yoke over two years ago, the warranty has already expired.

Before we start, we’re assuming you’ve already removed the pitch spring and swing arms as shown in the disassembly video. You can leave the roll return spring in place for this mod, or if you want less resistance, you can remove it.

Rubber Bands? Yes.

Should you really use rubber bands to modify the yoke? Some people won’t use them because they fear the rubber bands will break someday. Yes, there is that possibility, especially if you use old rubber bands. So buy new ones. This bag of rubber bands cost less than one US dollar and they should last a long time. They will definitely last longer than reusing the old rubber bands you have sitting around your home or office.

Let’s start by rotating the yoke so the back of the control housing is facing you. It’s best to prop up the yoke on some boards or something. Locate these horns on the center shaft. And specifically locate this small gap in the plastic structure. Use a drill and an 1/8” drill bit to make a hole right through that small gap. Repeat on the other side. A 1/8” hole should be large enough for these mini Zip Ties.

Next, select four rubber bands and four Zip Ties. Double over the rubber band like this and then loop through and attach a Zip Tie. Repeat for the remaining pairs of rubber bands and Zip Ties. I’ve sped up the video now, but feel free to take your time with this step. The only purpose for these four Zip Ties are to help you handle the rubber bands. They will be cut off later.

Install the Rubber Bands

Here, we have attached the rubber bands and zip ties to one side of the center shaft. Here’s how we did it. Select an additional Zip Tie and thread it through the hole you drilled. Take one of the looped rubber bands and put it over one end of the Zip Tie. Select another looped rubber band and put it over the other end of the Zip Tie, and then attach the Zip Tie to itself, but do not tighten it all the way down yet. Now loop one rubber band over the rear screw post. Loop the other rubber band over the front screw post.

We’re almost finished with the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke Modification: Rubber Bands and Zip Ties. Tighten the middle Zip Tie all the way. Carefully clip off the four extra Zip Ties and also trim the extra length from the middle Zip Ties.

Replace the lid and try it out.

There is no abrupt detent in the middle of the pitch travel. You can make subtle pitch changed easily. If you’re happy with the results, reattach the control housing. There are 14 screws.

And give it a test flight! I hope the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke Modification: Rubber Bands and Zip Ties worked well for you. Happy landings! 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Saitek Pro Flight Yoke Modification Videos

 

Saitek Pro Flight Yoke Modification: Rubber Bands and Zip Ties
Rubber bands installed in a Saitek yoke
Flight Simulator Eagle Scout Project

Flight Simulator Eagle Scout Project

A young man named Ryan built this flight simulator for an Eagle Scout Service project. You might be wondering how a Flight Simulator Eagle Scout Project comes into being. If you are unfamiliar with service projects, the Scout must demonstrate that he has a plan for funding and building the project and he must also show that it’s a benefit to the community.
(Let’s be real: ALL flight simulators benefit the community, but I digress). 

Ryan reached out to me and requested a donation of the T440 Triple Screen Flight Sim project video/manual and I granted his request. He raised enough money or donations to build the DIY flight sim as you see in the picture. He also modified the design to match his resources and needs. After completing the project, Ryan donated it to his Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) classroom. This is the official JROTC for the United States Air Force and the cadets use this flight simulator to learn about flying and careers in the USAF.

Quote from Ryan:

“Thank you so much for your flight sim plan donation for my Eagle Scout Project. As you can see I had to make some changes due to the equipment and available space in the JROTC class room… Thank you for making this project possible through your donation and helping me make the Air Force JROTC program at my high school more fun for the cadets learning about flight.”

Charitable Donations

I get requests regularly from people asking for free stuff, but I rarely fulfill those requests, even from people claiming to represent charitable groups.

There are several reasons I rarely give away free stuff

  • My videos and instruction manuals are the least expensive part of your project. If you really want to save money, try getting discounts on your displays, computer, or controls.
  • I do not receive follow-up from the people I donate to 99% of the time. All I ask for is a picture of the completed project and a description of how it’s being used. I have received a follow-up message only two times in nine years and both times they were Eagle Scouts that completed their service projects.
  • It’s more work for me. I have to manually generate download emails when I fulfill a donation. On the other hand, regular purchases are automatic and instant.
  • I regularly offer huge sales on all my products. If you sign up for my monthly newsletter, you will be the first to know about upcoming sales.
  • Roger Dodger Aviation does not make enough money. As long as I have to work at a day job, I probably won’t have the time to seriously consider the donations requests I receive.

Am I wrong?