Just Flight's TrackIR Ultra
from NaturalPoint 

A review by Nigel C Martin

Put Your Head In The Game!®


Have you ever seen a product and thought, yup nice idea, but not taken it further, well I have to admit this little device falls into this category, for me.

I had a lot of reservations, not least, adding to the already gathering collection of wires, from the headphones, X52 joystick and throttle, and, to put it bluntly, is it worth the effort? Well, only one way to find out….

So, one transparent plastic blister pack, a lovely picture of the key areas of games most applicable to use with the TrackIR, namely Flight, Driving, Combat. And in the top left I noticed that the package includes S70 Game bundle, to you and me, Battle of Britain 11 (Wings of Victory) and Factor. (Motor racing game)

So upon opening the pack you will find the two complimentary games, ( as mentioned above) a TrackClip PRO quick start guide and CD, a transmutation device which is clipped onto your headphones, and the reception device which sits on the top of your monitor.

Follow the THREE easy steps, YES! ONLY THREE EASY steps and you are almost ready. Before we move on, I want to focus on the setting up.

I have a pair of Logitech headphones with a boom mic mounted on the left, affixing the TrackClip Pro device was simple, position it open the clip, and by adding pressure the clip closes very firmly. (The clip allows for two thickness settings so you should not experience any locating issues) A rather nice idea around each of wires there is a small retaining Velcro strip, which once connected, allows you to attach to your mic lead..

This Velcro, albeit a good idea, was not enough, so I used some tape at regular spacing to hold all the wire firmly to my headphone lead, making a neater and more practical job.

Before plugging into a spare USB port on your computer, you will notice a spare lead, this allows you to plug the Receiver unit into the same connector, thus, only ONE USB port is used. A great feature, saving those all too precious USB ports on your computer.

The receiving unit has three adjustable legs that swivel and with a soft rubber at each end, allows for a positive and non slip mounting. I positioned mine on top my monitor, roughly inline with the transmitter mounted on my head phones.

Right all connected, let’s pop the Installation disc in and get cracking. My disc did not auto-run so seek it via My Computer, and double click, off it goes, follow the simple instructions and you will be ready.

You will notice a shortcut icon on the desktop, remember to activate the system double click on the icon, then minimize (or use the run minimised option to do this automatically) before opening your game choice. There are LOADS of default pre programmed games your route into true 3D space will be fast one. 



Right all set up, and actually, with the unit in position on my head phones, I did not feel too self conscious, of potentially looking a alien, or some high tech Ariel strapped to my head! I did not jump up and shout ‘’Take me to your leader’’ so it must be subtle, and it is..

Ok, you have to be a little careful how you handle the headphones, but this is not a hindrance, and in fact robust.

I fired up my ACOF, selected my favorite 737 300, hit the F9 button to activate the TrackIR Ultra unit, a few very subtle LEDs illuminated on the receiving unit on the monitor, I noticed the view was way off, so holding my head at a natural position looking forward to the monitor hit F12, this immediately gave the correct forward view (this process you use in any new aircraft/vehicle, to get the correct view).

I selected VC mode in the usual way, WOW, there we go right left up down, behind you got the view you wanted by the use of your head movement.

Right, got clearance, new Squawk code, given, I moved forward and moved slightly to my right, the panel became magnified, and was able to adjust the Squawk effortlessly. This goes for the Coms radios as well.

A rather ‘natty’ feature was in my 172 Skylane, on finals I was able to sit high in my seat and look ‘over’ the nose, providing me with a clear view of my threshold. I like this facility.

With the amazing ability of moving forward and magnifying the panel, you can ensure more accurate fights. Well at least you do not have to select View, Instrument…Etc… Simply move forward and hew presto that Flight Director Instrument almost fills the screen! Move back and in a ‘nanno’ second you have full screen again. This does not totally irradiate the need for the occasional instrument selection, ie coms panel, but in most cases I found the selection via use of the TrackIR Ultra acceptable.

You can of course select VC which triggers the TRACKIR or select the non VC mode for full instrument view. And of course there are the usual external views.

Taxiing is very realistic with this device, especially if you are visiting an airfield, taxi navigation sign identification I found easy.

One of favorite aircraft is the classic Tiger Moth, so, with my leather helmet, scarf and gloves on, and my TrackIR Ultra activated, I fired up Gipsy major engine and went for a spin. In this rather ‘simple’ or should I say basic layout the ability of looking around moving in closer, and generally having a good old tour of the cockpit, and the exterior, utilizing the TrackIR Ultra is really great fun.

Seeing as I have mentioned the Taxing, in a ‘tail dragger’ the ability to scan realistically is frankly a God send. Actually Take off and landing the TrackIR Ultra came into it’s own.

Did I get any frame rate drop, NO, not a bit of it! It runs when activated effortlessly and (so far) reliably. It has been active for some 10 hours thus far, with no issues.



As I have previously mentioned, I was not that bothered about purchasing such a device, but now I love it, all right it takes a little to get used too, ie, if you move forward to magnify a instrument, and you intend to adjust it, you have to hold your head very still, otherwise the process of adjusting is a little difficult. Once mastered not a big a issue. Temporally deactivating the unit say for a quick more conventional Coms adjustment can be done by simply pressing the F9 button, and visa versa.

I am very impressed with this unit, it really is not too intrusive, OK, there is a piece of plastic rod attached to your headphones (see pictures) but I have not found this to an issue.

I mentioned about the unit has a Velcro strip attached to each of the leads, frankly you need at least 8 or 9 to make a neat and practical solution to holding the headphone and TrackIR Ultra transmitter leads together. I used adhesive tape which is not the best solution but at least practical.

I must confess to have installed the complimentary motor racing game and had a lot of fun with it in the VC mode, some lovely sounds and effects, so if you want something different have a ‘bat’ around a track or go off-road, go for it!

I do not posses a combat based game, so I cannot comment, but the capability of looking round a corner before proceeding sounds good to me. I am sure there will be a myriad of other possibilities with in the combat arena that I can not offer comment, but appreciate the possibilities the TrackIR Ultra has to offer.

I attempted to get the complementary Battle of Britain game installed, but for some reason had some difficulties, of my doing I am sure, so, I cannot comment in this area either. But again in a Arial combat situation, the ability to scan very quickly around has very obvious advantages!

I have to mention the speed in which you can track in all axis, is fast responsive, and no interruption. Very slick, visual action.

It has convinced me, and will now be a permanent feature, adding that little bit extra to the wonderful experiences we all get when immersed in the world of Flight Simulation.

If you have Motor racing and Combat games, your experience will that much more.

The hardware is not large and imposing, in fact just the opposite, what you are buying is the advanced technology and build quality. OK it can be described by most as expensive, for any peripheral piece of kit.

As a testament, I mentioned in the review that this will sit permanently on my headphones, they will.

Nicely engineered, innovative practical and it works!

System Requirements:

Windows PC Running Windows XP or VISTA
(32 or 64-bit)


Onwards and Upwards..
Nigel C Martin
My review machine specs: TrackIR Links:

AMD64X2 Dual Core processor 3800+

2Gb SD Ram

4x 512Mb DDR2 667Mhz PC5400

Nvidia Geforce 7900GT
Just Flight product page
Just Flight Forums

  Mutley says.. . . .

Thanks Nigel for a very informative and entertaining review!


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