In this day and age flight sticks seem to have a limited appeal and most tend to only target the hard-core flight sim community.
Fortunately the Mad Catz F.L.Y. 5 possesses all the functionality of a premium flight stick but with an R.R.P of $99, this means it is perfect for the novice (that would be me) to take the plunge into flight sims without the normal price barrier.
The first thing that strikes you about the F.L.Y. 5 is its appearance. The head of the stick resembles something that would be more suited to transformers or a stealth fighter and the solid spring that is visible at the base gives you reassurance that this kit can endure some use.
As what seems the norm for the Cyborg range the stick is fully customisable in regards to size and programmability. These are all designed to help you hold and use the F.L.Y. 5 more comfortably and guess what – it works.
There is also the ability to simply fold up the stick and put it away when you’re finished, which adds to the design and ease of use.
My favourite feature is the dual throttle control and when it’s used with the correct game/sim it just adds to the enjoyment level.
‘Wings’ have been added to the F.L.Y. 5 which adds stability when in use and also contains the adjustment tool (basically a small Allen key used to adjust the stick to your desires). You can adjust the height of the stick, the angle of the stick, and also the angle of the head, which determines how far away the buttons are from the head of the stick and puts the control quite literally at your finger (or thumb) tips.
It must be said the tool is not the sturdiest of implements and actually feels like the only thing that might break, so maybe an additional tool would be a good idea here.
To test the F.L.Y. 5 I used Microsoft Flight Sim X (please remember I am a novice).
The game recognised the stick and I could customise all functions and button commands, the Z axis and dual throttle also performed particularly well with this game.
The F.L.Y. 5 also performed exceptionally well with HAWKEN. Once again the customisation on the stick excelled and controlling a ‘mech’ in this way seemed more realistic to me.
I would say the stick is able to be customised in such a way that even using it with a FPS would not be out of the question.
With the price at $99 the Mad Catz Cyborg F.L.Y. 5 cries out to be your first choice as a stick for PC gaming.
The stick is available from PB Tech, JB HiFi, Mightyape and other good retailers.