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i-Helicopter – First Thoughts

We take the little iOS-controlled RC Heli for a spin around the office and see how it fares.

A few months ago, we received the iBladez Flightstick into iCreate Towers and had great fun piloting it around the office rather haphazardly as it span out of control into the desks of our colleagues. Now, though, we have a new toy to play with, and while it follows a similar theme, this one works a lot better.

The i-Helicopter (available, unsurprisingly, at the iHelicopter website for a wallet-friendly $59.95) is very much like the Flightstick, with a lightweight, double-bladed design that allows for both added stability and more maneuverability. However, while the Flightstick used a large joystick to control the RC Helicopter, the i-Helicopter instead uses an iOS device with an IR transmitter that plugs into the headphone socket of your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

The i-Helicopter is not only easy to control, it’s also incredibly fun to fly.

Controls appear on-screen when you open up the i-Helicopter app, and allow you to control the little machine’s hover levels, as well as direct it around your room and switch on the brilliant LEDs that are attached to the nose and tail of the little Helicopter. The controls do take a little getting used to, but they’re fantastic; find the perfect amount of power to let the i-Helicopter hover and you can remove your finger from the screen to hold the ‘copter where it is. There are trim controls on the screen that can be set up and left on, so the i-Helicopter rarely starts spinning out of control. Even better, you have the option to control the i-Helicopter using the Gyroscopic controls on your iOS device, so tipping it forward will cause the little copter to fly forward.

The control system makes things really easy.

What really impressed us was the stability of the i-Helicopter in the air. Unlike the Flightstick, which did have a tendency to spin wildly when you first took off, crashing regularly until you could adjust the trim levels, the i-Helicopter took off, stayed still in the air, and turned on a penny whenever we told it to. We actually became quite adept in piloting it after just a few practice runs, making it a truly addictive experience.

The newest model of the i-Helicopter improve the design in the only way we think it could have – by adding launchable missiles. Get two and you can be the host of the most epic aerial battle your kitchen has ever seen.

Pew! Pew! Epic Aerial Battles have never been so small-scale…

We’ll be reviewing the i-Helicopter fully in an upcoming issue of iCreate, so head down to your nearest newsagents or head over to our Newsstand app to find out more about this epic gadget.