It’s always exciting to see an email from Wiaczesław Oziabło – better known as the “Slaw” behind Slaw Device. An engineer and supplier of high-end flight control pedals to the “mad enthusiast” market, he is famous for crafting devices that look less like computer peripherals and more like shiny metallic works of art.
It’s straight more exciting when that email promises something new and cool. “After a long hiatus,” Oziabło wrote, “we have resumed and completed preparations for the production of RH Rotor rudder pedals. I currently have several sets of these rudder pedals that have only been used for photos and videos.” He offered to send me one of the nearly finished pre-production models for review, noting that it would have only minor differences from the stock units.
I accepted immediately and a few weeks later DHL placed a heavy box on my porch. Inside was the latest offering from Slaw Device: the RH Rotor pedals.
The RH rotors
Let’s start with two things: First, these pedals are great. Second, these pedals cost $475.
I’m mentioning the price now because it’s going to be a deal-breaker for a lot of people. And while the RH rotors are cheaper than the Thrustmaster TPRs (which I tested in 2018 and are now $599) and while you’d have to be crazy to choose the mass-produced Thrustmaster kit over these handcrafted beauties, there’s only one way to go don’t get around the fact that $475 is a lot money for a single peripheral. And it’s not even a joystick – this is a set of three-axis pedals designed to provide yaw control for an airplane or spacecraft.
If you can stomach the cost, you’ll get a rock-solid device that will likely last you a decade or more. Like previous Slaw Device hardware, the RH rotors are an interconnected dance of struts and sliding metal plates built around a central roller cam with two different engagement profiles, one with pronounced center detent and one smooth. Most of the controller is made from powder-coated aluminum and steel, and the whole thing weighs a whopping 7.7 kilograms. There’s a bit of assembly involved – you’ll need to attach the pedal arms and toe brake braces – but it takes five minutes max, and all the tools you need are included in the accessory kit.
The RH rotors have a wide and long base covered with non-slip rubber pads; The pedals are designed to be stable and to be used on pretty much any surface. They also come with mounting holes if you want to bolt the pedals to a cockpit (or directly to the floor if that’s how you roll).