Technology

Slaw Device is back: RH Rotor Pedals rule the skies—for $475

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Enlarge / The new hotness: RH Rotors at right, compared to older RX Vipers at left.

Lee Hutchinson

It’s always exciting to see an email pop up from Wiaczesław Oziabło—better known than the “Slaw” behind Slaw Device. An engineer and purveyor of high-end flight control pedals for the “crazy enthusiast” market, he’s famous for producing devices that look less like computer peripherals and more like gleaming metallic works of art.

It’s even more exciting when that email promises something new and cool. “After a long break,” Oziabło wrote, “we continued and finished preparations for the production of RH Rotor rudder pedals. At the moment, I have several sets of these rudder pedals, which were only used for photos and videos.” He offered to send me one of the near-final preproduction models for review, noting that it will have only minor differences from the production-run devices.

I accepted immediately, and a couple of weeks later, DHL deposited a heavy box on my front porch. In it was Slaw Device’s latest offering: the RH Rotor pedals.

  • The box! It was heavy.

    Lee Hutchinson

  • Popping the lid reveals the accessory kit.

    Lee Hutchinson

  • Everything you need to assemble and use your new Slaw Device RH Rotor pedals.

    Lee Hutchinson

  • The accessory kit unpacked. All the screws and bolts needed for assembly are neatly packed in individually labeled bags. Slaw Device also provides a couple of Allen wrenches, a 10mm wrench, and a USB cable.

    Lee Hutchinson

  • Beneath the accessory kit sits the RH Rotor body.

    Lee Hutchinson

  • Getting the cardboard out of the way.

    Lee Hutchinson

The RH Rotors

Let’s open with two things: First, these pedals are great. Second, these pedals cost $475.

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I bring up the price now because for a lot of folks, it will be a deal-breaker. And while the RH Rotors are cheaper than the Thrustmaster TPRs (which I reviewed in 2018 and which now cost $599), and while you’d have to be crazy to pick the mass-produced Thrustmaster kit over these hand-made beauties, there’s just no getting around the fact that $475 is a lot of money for a single peripheral. And it’s not even a joystick—this is a set of three-axis pedals intended to provide yaw control for an aircraft or spaceship.

  • The RH Rotors, assembled and ready to fly.

    Lee Hutchinson

  • Right-side arm and foot pedal, showing the weight-saving helicopter cutout.

    Lee Hutchinson

  • There’s a “Slaw Device” logo featured prominently on the pedals’ front face.

    Lee Hutchinson

  • The pedal body, before assembly.

    Lee Hutchinson

If you can stomach the cost, you’ll get a rock-solid device that will likely last you for a decade or more. Like previous Slaw Device hardware, the RH Rotors are an interlinked dance of struts and sliding metal plates built around a center roller-cam with two different engagement profiles, one with a pronounced center detent and one smooth. Most of the controller is made from powder-coated aluminum and steel, and the entire thing weighs a hefty 7.7 kilograms. There’s a bit of assembly required—you have to attach the pedal arms and toe brake struts—but it takes about five minutes max, and all the tools you need are provided in the accessory kit.

The RH Rotors have a wide and long base that’s studded with rubber anti-slip pads; the pedals are designed to be stable and usable on pretty much any type of flooring you might have. They’re also equipped with mounting holes if you want to bolt the pedals in place to a cockpit (or directly to the floor if that’s how you roll).

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