Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware
The Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flight has two main components out of the box. These include the yoke and throttle quadrant; the latter is attached to the former by a simple but secure rotate-to-lock mechanism. The unit dimensions are 496mm in width, 483mm in depth, and 183mm in height. There are quite a number of buttons and controls out of the box, which can be overwhelming at first if you are not a flight simulator enthusiast. Thankfully, Turtle Beach has everyone from the novice to enthusiast user in mind, as the instruction poster I talked about on the previous page is very helpful to help you get started no matter what your skill level is. I will also go through the design of the VelocityOne Flight controller, so you know what you are getting yourself into.
The yoke design is fairly straightforward and is constructed mostly out of hard plastic with a textured grip in relevant areas. There are also rubber nubs in where your pinky and index fingers go. It is well-sized and grips comfortably in my opinion. The yoke rotates up to 90 degrees left or right for a 180-degree total rotation lock-to-lock to control the ailerons to roll of the plane. The center shaft is made out of aluminum for maximum structural integrity and a non-contact hall effect sensor inside for long-term reliability. The yoke slides smoothly forwards and backwards up to approximately 4.5cm in both directions for a total travel of about 9cm to control the elevators for the pitch of the plane. The spring inside the VelocityOne Flight will automatically return the yoke to neutral position. Although the action is pretty smooth as mentioned, the actuation force is not completely linear, and you will find a small dead spot in the neutral position. This may bother the pickiest of flight simulator enthusiasts, but I personally find it perfectly reasonable in day-to-day use.
Of course, there are way more buttons on the VelocityOne Flight than a yoke you would find on, say, a Boeing 777, but you also do not have a full flight deck of a Boeing 777, haha. That said, all of the buttons feel like they are of high quality, like an OEM Xbox controller.
Located in the center of Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flight's yoke is the Flight Management Display, or FMD. The FMD is a 320x230 2" LCD display, which works out to a rather good 197 PPI pixel density. From my experience, the viewing angle and contrast are all pretty good for what it is designed for.
The FMD, per the company, has five main features: Select Xbox or PC input mode, quickly select and activate pre-made Microsoft Flight Simulator profiles, provide additional training support by displaying input assignments, provide flight chronometer information, and view and adjust core hardware settings like LED color and brightness. I feel like it is a bit underutilized, so hopefully more features will be added in the future. Four FMD navigation buttons are located next to the FMD, which includes up, select, back, and down.
All of the standard Xbox controller buttons can be found on the face of the yoke as well. These include A, B, X, Y, View, Xbox, Share, and Menu. POV-1 located on the left side of the yoke acts in place of the standard controller D-pad for Xbox OS and menu navigation.
The Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flight features a Status Indicator Panel, or SIP, behind the yoke. There are twelve LEDs on the SIP. By default, on the left panel, from left to right and top to bottom, we have Parking Brakes, Landing Gear, Flaps Down, Stall Warning, Auto Pilot, and Volts Low. On the right panel, in the same order, we have Master Warning, Master Caution, Fuel Low, Eng Oil Temp, CHT/EGT, and Alternator.
Unfortunately, the SIP does not work at the time of review. Turtle Beach promises Microsoft Flight Simulator compatibility in the near future via an update. I find the SIP to have a lot of potential, since it gives the user clear and easy to understand indication on what the status of the plane is. I also believe the indicator LEDs on the SIP are reconfigurable to indicate something other than what is labeled by default, since the labels are printed on a piece of magnet that can be removed. An second piece of magnet with blank labels are included out of the box. You can label the blank magnet yourself with stickers included out of the box.
At the top of the yoke are three control inputs on each side for a symmetrical design. All of them feature perimeter backlighting for easy visual identification. On the left side, the 8-way POV1 provides a quick view change or cursor, 4-way HAT1 allows you to scroll through different instrument views, and B1 is cursor toggle. On the right side, POV2 is free look, HAT2 controls flaps and toggles parking brakes and landing gear, and B2 is for brakes. I found all of these buttons and controls easy to reach with my thumb. The area where your thumb is placed in resting position is rubber-lined for extra grip and comfort.
At the back of the yoke are four more buttons, with two on each side. These buttons are to be used with your index finger. Again, I found them easy to reach and use, but not easily pressed accidentally. LB is the camera modifier, while RB is the systems modifier. LT and RT control the rudder axis. While I would much prefer foot pedals to control the rudder, this is a reasonable compromise for a budget yoke. I did ask Turtle Beach whether they have foot pedals in the works, and they gave me a fairly cryptic response, which I assume is probably something that we could be expecting down the line.
Let us take a look at the throttle quadrant. The throttle quadrant has both vernier-style controls for smaller aircraft and four throttle levers for four-engine jets, which I find really cool. The throttle position indicators and the ten buttons below them -- B3 to B12 -- are all backlit. The buttons can be labeled by a sticker sheet included out of the box. There is also a trim wheel that uses an optical encoder to fine-tune the nose position so level flight can be maintained. The trim wheel is well-weighted and precise when used in-game.
The vernier-style controls are well-designed in my opinion. They have a variable resistor inside and feature solid aluminum shafts that feel properly weighted. Black is for throttle, blue is for the angle of the propeller blades, and red is for adjusting the air-to-fuel ratio. Meanwhile, the four throttle levers are notched so you can get some tactile feedback so you can feel what the idle and lowest settings are. My only complaint is they feel very light. I feel like they can be weighted a lot more for a more realistic and substantial feel.
Here is a shot of the Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flight from another angle. There is a USB Type-C connector at the back of the throttle quadrant. This is to be connected with another USB Type-C port on the main unit. Besides the fact they are both USB Type-C ports, which I like, I also appreciate the fact all ports and the 1m cable are color-coded blue, so it is obvious what connects to what. The other USB Type-C port on the main unit is color coded red and is used to connect the VelocityOne Flight to your PC or Xbox. The red cable is a 2m USB Type-C to Type-A cable for maximum compatibility.
A magnetic cover at the top of the main unit can be removed to reveal a hex key and two hex screw heads. The hex key is a beefy metal unit clipped into the compartment, and using it to rotate the hex screw heads will lower the mounting clamps at the bottom of the VelocityOne Flight to clip it to your desk. I like how everything is so well-integrated and nicely hidden within the unit so it is not likely you will lose anything, but will always be there when you need it.
Finally, let us inspect the bottom of the Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flight. On the left side is a 3.5mm audio jack for those who want to connect wired analog headsets with microphone support. My above shot shows the metal mounting clamps in the lowered position. There are two rubber strips adjacent to each clamp plus two on the other end so the flight simulation controller can be held securely to your desk. If that is not enough, suction tape and even screws can be added, both included out of the box, to make it even more secure. From my experience, the mounting clamp itself was more than enough to secure the VelocityOne Flight onto my E-WIN 2.0 Edition RGB Gaming Desk.
With all these in mind, let us take the Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flight for a test flight in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Software and Usage Experience