• Review: Thrustmaster T-Flight Headset

    Review: Thrustmaster T-Flight Headset

    USAF Edition

    By Tony Vallillo

    Thrustmaster T-Flight Headset

    Back in the days of my youth there was an aphorism to the effect that "we all know the sound of one hand clapping." Today as I write this, I know well the sound of one hand typing. For indeed I am preparing this report under a handicap; to wit, one arm has been rendered hors de combat due to shoulder surgery. And so here I sit struggling to master the microphone on my iPhone as a writing tool. It may be astonishing to many of you that someone could have existed for so long in the computer age without having used the speech to text option, but so it is. In any event, it is one of the minor miracles of our modern age that we can "type" without using our fingers! Even so, my feeble efforts are bringing forth such malformed fruit that I am spending so much time correcting things that I may as well just type it in with one finger and the spell checker!

    This whole evolution began back in July at Airventure Oshkosh. For decades flight simulation has been a significant presence at the big show; indeed, Microsoft was once a major exhibitor. This tradition continues today; and this year in addition to the "real" certificated products like Redbird and Frasca, one of the long-time hardware manufacturers to the hobby was present at the show with a big exhibit: Thrustmaster.

    Thrustmaster has been around for a long time, and I don't think one would stray too far from the truth to assert that most flight simmers have, at one time or another, used a Thrustmaster product, most likely a control device like a stick. I myself am currently a satisfied owner of a T-Flight HOTAS One stick and throttle. So naturally, I gravitated to the large Thrustmaster display area, located, ironically enough, exactly where Microsoft once flogged various versions of Flight Simulator.

    Over the years, although I have always jumped to the latest and greatest software (the flight sim programs themselves, at least whenever I was in possession of a computer that could handle the new iterations), I have been much slower to chase hardware, especially specialized use peripherals like controllers. I typically keep a stick until it wears out, which in my experience has been around 5-8 years, so I have not been on the leading edge of the hardware side of things, and often I have been only dimly aware of new and improved products from such suppliers as Thrustmaster, Saitek, CH Products, and the like.

    Thrustmaster T-Flight Headset

    This year, Thrustmaster had what appeared to be their entire product line on display for all and sundry to experience firsthand. Their display area was as jammed as Microsoft's used to be, with boys, girls and children of all ages (many in second childhood, like me!) whipping a number of high-end flight sim computer rigs through imaginary skies, usually chasing and shooting at something out in the digital blue yonder. Since I now occupy just about all of my time at Airventure volunteering at various venues, and have little time any more for mere roaming around and immersing myself in things I cannot afford, I never did get to try out any of the glittering toys that were on offer at the Thrustmaster booth. But I did strike up a conversation with one of their representatives, who recognized me from my efforts as an amateur author for this web site, and eventually the conversation came around to the subject of whether or not I might be interested in actually getting my hands on and reviewing some of their hardware.


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