The 2014 Saitek Customer Survey

Survey“We’ll need to get to a higher vantage point.”

At Saitek we’re committed to listening to our community and see what their concerns, hopes, and passions are for flight sim and beyond. The 2014 Saitek Customer Survey is now live; please take a moment and fill it out. As we get to know you a little bit better, you’ll also have the chance to tell us what’s on your mind:  What could we improve? What do you want to see in the future? Now’s your chance to sound off!

Click here to take the 2014 Saitek Customer Survey.

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Sun ‘n Fun 2014 Recap – Saitek Dazzles With Rhino, Cockpit

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An amazing time was had by all at the Saitek booth at Sun ‘n Fun. An estimated 200,00+ attendees came out to Lakeland for the show and many of them came through Hangar Bravo and got hands-on with the forthcoming X-55 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. and the Cessna Cockpit.

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Saturday was our busiest day by far as popular YouTube flight simmer Frooglesim stopped by to show off his pilot skills in DCS and Prepar3d. A bunch of his fans showed up to hang out with him and walk the whole Sun ‘n Fun show.

10174831_530638740382398_2668081537467609333_nThe Orlando-based Vision of Flight showed up en masse as well. Saitek is sponsoring the non-profit organization as they spread the good word of aviation and flight sim to kids everywhere through campus visits and STEM events. We’ll have more on them in a later post!

1658359_557399017709632_2626871159306023353_oAnd Scott and the gang from A2A Simulations stopped by as well! If you haven’t seen some of the planes they make for flight sim, they are truly immersive, in-depth, and beautiful! The Cessna 172 is phenomenal.

 

John Crouse and George straight

And what would a show be without contest winners? Congratulations to John Crouse and George Straight on winning the raffle for Saitek jackets!!

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And check out this beautiful shot of the Blue Angels that won our #saitekfun Instagram contest! Congratulations to rmur25! Your Saitek jacket is on its way! (Did you know the Saitek X-55 Rhino stick was based off of the F/A-18? Well, now you do!)

We’ll leave you with a gallery of some of the sights in our booth and around the grounds of Sun ‘n Fun. Till next year…

 

Not an old photo! These guys actually recreate a WWII-era camp!

Not an old photo! These guys actually recreate a WWII-era camp!

 

 

Below are the live updates as they came in from Sun ‘n Fun.

Sun ‘n Fun Update #4 – Planes, Planes, And More Planes

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The airshows have been pretty cool so far at Sun ‘N Fun. That’s Aeroshell doing their thing.

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Michael Goulian’s Extra.

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The P-38F Lightning known as “Glacier Girl” is here too. Check out the video below for this amazing story.

Sun ‘n Fun Update #3 – Ready To Roll At Sun ‘N Fun

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The Rhino is ready for takeoff…

The Cessna cockpit is here too. Come by our booth for special show deals and enter the raffle to win a sweet Saitek jacket. We’re also trying an Instagram contest this year so take awesome pictures at the show and tag them with #Saitek and #SaitekFun. We’ll pick a winner when we get home. Be safe! Don’t run out on the flight line trying to take a picture!

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Now this would be a great Instagram shot! FYI the airshows this week will feature the best of the best, not only the Aeroshell team pictured above but the Blue Angels, Patty Wagstaff, and Mike Goulian. Check out this great video of Mike Goulian explaining how he does a torque roll.

Or you can always try doggie pictures… who doesn’t love doggies?

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Sun ‘n Fun Update #2 – Tales Of The SR-71 Blackbird

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It’s the fastest plane ever flown by man. It could fly from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. in just over an hour. Sun ‘n Fun 2014 will feature programs and panels dedicated to the history SR-71 Blackbird and the unique pilots and reconnaissance systems operators (RSO’s) that manned her.

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Just about every day of the week there will be Blackbird programs at the Florida Air Museum at Sun ‘n Fun including programs on the Blackbird’s research &; development years, the Cold War years, flying over Southeast Asia, and the Blackbird’s record runs.

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The highlight of the week is a talk called “Ejection Over The South Pacific” at the Pavilion, 7pm on Wednesday, April 2. On April 21, 1989, 61-17974 SR-71A (nickname: “Ichi-Ban”) became uncontrollable and began plummeting into the ocean. Pilot Dan House brought the bird down to 10,000 feet and 400 Kts before he and RSO Blair Bozek ejected. Blair Bozek will be at the talk to relive this harrowing moment.

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Bozek is an interesting man and an American hero. He was working at the Pentagon on 9/11 and the impact point was 500 feet from his office. Amidst the smoke and wreckage he saved three women from the flames.

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Just recently, the successor to the Blackbird was announced by Lockheed Martin. The unmanned hypersonic SR-72 will fly twice as fast as its daddy. Perhaps there will be some discussion of the SR-72 at Sun ‘n Fun, I know I’d be interested!

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Read a terrific interview with former SR-71 Blackbird pilot Rick McCrary here.

Sun ‘n Fun Update #1 – Welcome back, Blue Angels!!

1395776097000-032514Blue-Angels-Return-to-Pensacola-3After a year on the shelf due to federal budget cuts the Blue Angels are back at Sun ‘n Fun! The famous F/A-18 Hornets will once again be performing in the skies above Lakeland! Welcome back!

The Blue Angels will be performing at Sun ‘n Fun on Friday 4/4, Saturday 4/5, and Sunday 4/6. All showtimes are at 4pm ET.

Check out this footage from the inside of an F/A-18 Hornet from ABC’s Nightline:


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In the Saitek booth we’ll have a cockpit set up with the new X-55 Rhino HOTAS (“Rhino” being the unofficial nickname for the F/A-18E ‘Super’ Hornet) so come by and have a fly. It’s as close to reality as you can get without a Navy pilot license!

Saitek at Sun ‘n Fun 2014

Saitek returns to Lakeland, FL for Sun ‘n Fun, one of the biggest air shows in North America. Once again we will be offering many special Show-Only sales during the week including savings from 20% – 40% on selected Cessna products, Pro Flight panels, H.O.T.A.S.’s, and joysticks! We’ll even have a limited amount of the brand-new X-55 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. for sale so get there early!

We’ll have demo stations set up showcasing the Rhino, the X-52, and the Saitek Cockpit! This cockpit is due for release this year and is the perfect Saitek-branded solution for housing all the Saitek flight sim hardware you would need for a full simulator. Joe, a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and flight sim enthusiast, will be manning the cockpit all week and he can answer all your questions about aviation and flight sim.

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We’ve also got some Saitek schwag on hand and are running a raffle and Instagram contest for a couple super cool Saitek jackets so make sure you enter to win!

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Last, but certainly not least, if you are at Sun ‘n Fun on Saturday April 5 you definitely want to come by in the morning as we will be visited by flight sim and combat sim pilot extraordinaire Frooglesim! He will stop by our booth and do demonstrations on DCS: Black Shark 2 using the Rhino. You don’t want to miss this!

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Click here to visit Froogle’s YouTube Channel

So whether you are building your simpit piece by piece or brand new to flight simming and are ready to finally give it a shot, we’ve got just the right products for you (including copies of Microsoft FSX). Come by the Saitek booth to check out all our deals or just to chat about flight sim. We’re located in the corner of Hangar Bravo in spaces B-25 and B-26. Hangar Bravo is in square D-2 square on the map below.

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Star Citizen & X-55 Rhino: Roberts Space Industries Studio Tour

c56ecf7e041f22987c51d87b42f08762Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Roberts Space Industries (RSI) offices in Santa Monica, California. The development of Star Citizen, the most anticipated space sim in history, is a truly global effort with studios in several parts of the world creating the game and a fiercely loyal community building the meta-universe around it and here I am entering the head and brains of the entire operation. The mission: to get an X-55 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. in the hands of Chris Roberts, the creator of Star Citizen, and his development team so that the Hornet is ready to fly with the Rhino when the Dogfighting module is released at PAX East.
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The entrance to their studio is in an auspicious hallway that leads out to the famous Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.You might not even notice the place if you were walking the promenade enjoying the street performers or doing some window shopping. In fact, a quick look at the directory for this particular building only shows a “Top Secret Company” listed. Hmmm… but walk down the hallway and look up at the window and you’ll see this:

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Must be the place! I knocked on the door, it quickly opened up, and I was let in straight into what appeared to be a Hollywood-style film shoot. Literally, I walked into the shot of Sandi Gardiner, Director of Marketing, introducing the Dogfighting module to a throng of cameras for the upcoming video series on their official site.

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I half-expected to be admonished for clumsily walking in and spoiling the take but being the calm, cool, collected professional that Sandi is, she wasn’t fazed for a second. With a little time on my hands I perused the many starship models, games, merchandise, and film posters that abound the office and pay homage to Mr. Roberts’ illustrious career.

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Eventually Chris Roberts came downstairs to shoot more footage and to accept the X-55 Rhino. I then took the throttle and stick upstairs to the bullpen to get the Rhino dialed in for a little Dogfighting demonstration. One of the key devs, Pete Mackay, kindly let me commandeer his work station so we could download the drivers and software and get the Rhino working in game.

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The camera crew then rolled on upstairs and we demo’ed the Hornet in a test level with Pete flying around with one hand on the stick and one hand on the throttle. Pete talked about the custom profile that the team would develop for the Rhino; the weapons systems, the shields, thrusters, all of that will have custom mappings on the Rhino taking full advantage of the number of rotaries and switches on offer.

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I have to say the Dogfighting looks incredible! Space sim fans will not be disappointed in the action and the visuals and particle effects are amazing. There is already some gameplay video you can see on their website and all will be revealed soon at PAX East. Stay tuned!

Once we wrapped up our shoot it was time to say goodbye. The team headed to the kitchen to enjoy a BBQ spread and I was off to fight the I-405 South traffic back down to San Diego. I only wish I had had more time to try the Dogfighting module with the Oculus Rift; perhaps next time!

The X-55 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. ships in April.
For more information on the X-55 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. and to pre-order in US/CAN please visit saitek.com/x55/
To pre-order in the UK please visit our UK online store for more information.

For more information on Star Citizen, visit their official website at https://robertsspaceindustries.com/.

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New X-55 Rhino Drivers and Software

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Greetings Rhino owners!

A new version (7_0_32_81) of the H.U.D. software is now available from the downloads page.
If you have the old drivers and software just install the new packages the same way (drivers first, software second) and it will overwrite the old files.

Changes included are:

+ Added axes calibration to the stick settings page for the hall sensors. Now you can re-center your stick anytime direct from the H.U.D. software.
+ Added axis lock profiles. Got rudder pedals? You can lock out the twist rudder if you wish by simply choosing one of the little “lock” symbols in the bottom right menu and hitting “APPLY.” You can do this with the other axes as well.
+ Added a window icon for the profiler.
+ Fixed an issue that made the stick unresponsive to throttle mode changes

Click here to go to the downloads page!

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Reviews, Links, and Videos for the Saitek X-55 Rhino

X55_product“Visually and technically, the X-55 is successful and Saitek has once again ‘landed’ a direct hit.” – Simulator World
“Thank you for making such a finely crafted HOTAS! Thanks for enriching my simming !” – Rob McCoy
“This is hands down the best affordable HOTAS. I highly recommend checking it out.” – scrtagnt69
 

We’ve gathered up some links of interest including a review from Simulator World, an interview on SimHQ, videos, and a profile for the A-10C in DCS.
Check back here for more links as we get them! If you see something on the Rhino or even make you own review, send us a link on twitter @SaitekSim or on Facebook!!

BUY THE RHINO AT MADCATZ.COM (US/CAN/UK).
RHINO TECH SUPPORT FAQ

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X-55 RHINO REVIEW IN SIMULATOR WORLD MAGAZINE (PDF)
English                      German
Subscribe to their free monthly digital mag at simulatorworld.com

SIMHQ REVIEW
AVSIM REVIEW
AEROSOFT SIM NEWS

SIMHQ’S INTERVIEW WITH SAITEK’S TIM DI IULLO
LINK TO SHEIN’S A-10C RHINO PROFILE ON THE DCS FORUMS
LINK TO ATHLONIC’S A-10C RHINO PROFILE ON THE DCS FORUMS
(Note: there may be some salty language on the forum.)

VIDEOS

Frooglesim’s Video Review

NewEgg TV Interview

Spring Changing Tutorial

Unboxing Video

Teaser Trailer Video

Please visit our YouTube channel for more Rhino and Saitek videos!

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