In 1996, it was proposed to build a near-infrared imager for the 3.8-m UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii, to exploit the 1024 pixel format detectors that were then becoming available. In order to achieve a fast delivery, the instrument was kept simple and existing designs were reused or modified where possible. UFTI was delivered within 2.5 years of the project start. The instrument is based around a 1k Rockwell Hawaii detector and a LSR Astrocam controller and uses the new Mauna Kea optimized J,H,K filter set along with I and Z broad-band filters and several narrow-band line filters. The instrument is cooled by a CTI cry-cooler, while the mechanisms are operated by cold, internal, Bergelahr stepping motors. On UKIRT it can be coupled to a Fabry-Perot etalon for tunable narrow-band imaging at K, or a waveplate for imaging polarimetry through 1-2.5 μm; the cold analyzer is a Barium Borate Wollaston prism. UFTI was designed to take full advantage of the good image quality delivered by UKIRT on conclusion of the upgrades program, and has a fine scale of 0.09 arcsec/pixel. It is used within the UKIRT observatory environment and was the first instrument integrated into ORAC, the Observatory Reduction and Acquisition Control System. Results obtained during instrument characterization in the lab and over the last 3 years on UKIRT are presented, along with performance figures. UFTI has now been used on UKIRT for several hundred nights, and aspects of instrument performance are discussed.