Polk Family Blog

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Coolest. Toy. Ever.

The Air Hogs "Havoc Heli" is the coolest toy I've seen in quite a while. Weighing in at about the same as a sparrow and costing about the same as a video game, this little remote controlled helicopter really blew me away. It charges fully in about 15 minutes, and flight time is right around 10. It's body is comprised of styrofoam, it has plastic blades, and even a tiny little tail rotor with it's own motor, trimmable from the controller. The battery is a small LiPo with surprising power, and it has a neat little ultra-bright blue LED that flashes in a triple-blink pattern, just like the big boys.

Havoc Heli Polk One, awaiting orders to attack any suspicious looking furry creatures on sight.

My first flight with this little mosquito involved ramming it into everything around it. I didn't realize the tendency the chopper had of wanting to spin in a circle upon liftoff unless you had the throttle pegged. Also, launching it by throttling up while holding it like a paper airplane is really the way to go. It made takeoffs a no-brainer. Oh - and I suggest you read the instructions before your first flight. JUST KIDDING! As if that makes sense.

It has a built-in tendency to want to fly forward at a reasonably consistent pace, and the controller gives you left/right and throttle up/down. It takes some getting used to since it's quite susceptible to any air movement in your house at all (even the A/C vents will blow it around). Even the slightest breeze sends the Havoc in weird directions. Stopping is a problem, too. I'm used to an R/C car where reverse fixes everything. The Havoc has only left and right, so if you screw up, better bail out and drop the throttle or you're going to bump something. No worries, though. I crashed repeatedly during my first few flights and sustained no damage. It's durable, and once it's trimmed and adjusted properly, landing, takeoff and flying around the house become much more predictable and crash-free.

Don't be fooled that it's sold in the toy section at Wal-Mart. If you're into R/C stuff (or ever were) and want some cheap entertainment that'll amaze your friends, pick one of these Havoc Helis up for $30 and you'll be entertained for hours. Without some fine hand/eye control and patience, it'll turn into a pile of parts so be around to help any little kiddos learn to fly it. It's durable, but not crazy kid durable.

Words of caution: don't try to hover above your wife's head. You'll screw it up, and it'll hit her. Wives don't like it.

Words of suggestion: fly it around your cat. If your cat's like mine, he'll make really funny "I want to bite it, but it scares the !@#$ out of me" noises.

Here's a Youtube video of someone flying one around in their house. It's not nearly as loud as the video makes it seem: