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Just a Bit of Fun: iBladez Flightstick 3D

We take a break from all the Apple stuff and fly a RC helicopter round the office.

Sure, iCreate is geared almost entirely towards Apple products, but we challenge you to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good remote control helicopter, especially when they are powered by USB. Possibly by accident, we recently received a model from Bladez Toys called the iBladez Flightstick and Salvation 3D Heli (we reckon the ‘i’ in the name helped us get hold of this baby) and have been attempting to fly it ever since.

If you’re flying the helicopter this close to the joystick you’re in danger of losing a finger…

We say attempting not to suggest the unit itself is flawed; it’s a simple combination of the low ceilings of iCreate Towers and our own inability to accurately control anything that lacks a multi-touch input device. Still, after a little practice we got used to the joystick-based controls (took us back to our gaming youths, we’re happy to say) and soon had the tiny ‘copter zooming around the office and distracting people from work.

The tiny helicopter feels delicate, but it survived some pretty nasty crashes at our hands

The joystick is the main powerhouse with this one, requiring either 6 AAA batteries, or a USB connection. Naturally we went for the latter. Plugging in the tiny helicopter will charge its battery (the charge took around 45 minutes) and then you’ll have all the power you need to fly. The thumbstick on top controls the throttle, and there are buttons on each side of it to adjust the Trim of the ‘copter as it flies. This means that if the machine is spinning madly in mid-air when flying, a simple button press will calibrate the blades and counteract the spin. Tilting the joystick will turn the nose of the helicopter and while this didn’t seem to have much effect when we did it, we suspect this was more to do with our ability to hold the throttle steady while tilting than a reflection of the device itself.

The most interesting part of the whole thing is the attachment that slots into the front of the joystick. This not only serves as the receiver for the drone, it also adds a vibration to the joystick which increases as you apply the throttle more. While it may seem pointless to some, it actually works incredibly well as it gives tactile feedback of how much you are increasing the power of the throttle so you’ll never over- or under-power the ‘copter. The need for lightness in the helicopter itself means it does feel a little flimsy sometimes, but having had a couple of nasty crashes we can say that it takes quite a lot to really mess the little guy up.

The red part on the front of the joystick adds a vibration to the throttle control, which works brilliantly.

We’ve been wanting to try out one of these for quite a while now, and having finally got our hands on one we realise it takes a little practice to really look good. That said, the Flightstick and Salvation 3D was incredibly good fun, and with no batteries needed it’s also a great value product. We really enjoyed playing with this little piece of tech, and we can highly recommend it if you’re looking for a distraction from work. Check it out here if you want to give it a try.

The Flightstick and Salvation 3D is coming soon to HomeGardenLiving, so check in there if you want to grab one to fly!