Taking our first look at the front of the retail box for the Warthog, we can see the U.S. Air Force logo at the top right, showing that Thrustmaster is under license with the HOTAS Warthog flight stick.
The main selling points of this stick are also right up front, and easy to see:
- Metal Casing (Handle, Base, and Triggers)
- Realistic button feelings
- Magnetic sensors
- Exclusive feeling with unique five coil springs system
- And this flight stick is made for the PC using Windows, XP, Vista and 7,8, 32bit, or 64bit
Some of those specs are bit outdated, and we wonder how many gamers are still using Win XP 32bit, but it's nice to know that you can use just about any Windows OS with this stick.
The left and right sides of the box have the same image. Here we can see pictures of what all the buttons and triggers do on this stick. A nice graphic shows how the H.E.A.R.T. (Hall Effect AccuRate Technology) works. The bottom section has logos for the T.A.R.G.E.T. software used with the Warthog, and again offers system specs.
This is the top of the retail box. There is a nice picture of the joystick, and fancy afterburner flames coming out of the back of a jet.
After opening up the retail box, you are greeted with another box. There is a kind of lifting tab at the top of the white box, but it was not strong enough to be able to lift the white box out, so it's best to turn it all upside down, and slide the outside box off.
Opening up the white box, we find everything is nicely packed with Styrofoam. Again, it's best to turn this upside down, and lift the white box off.
After lifting the white box off, we find a plastic bag with instructions and user manual along the side of the Styrofoam packing.
Now when we finally get to the flight stick inside, everything is enclosed in plastic bags, and stored nicely and neatly in the Styrofoam packing. It looks like more, but there are really only two pieces here, the base and the flight stick.
Here we have the entire contents of the retail box. There really are not a lot of parts to this; there are only two pieces, and the user manual.
Here is another look at the flight stick and base.
Our first impressions are that this stick weighs a lot, and there is a very nice finish to the flight stick itself. The HOTAS Warthog is very solid, and has no real lip or grove where the two halves of the flight stick are assembled.
Attaching the flight stick to the base is rather simple; just insert the flight stick into the socket, and screw down the metal retaining nut. It's not rocket science here, and it only fits one way.