Top positive review
103 people found this helpful
Very clever fun flyer, surprisingly tough too
on 3 August 2007
Well, I'm not that young anymore, and my friend's son could fly one of these indoors on his first attempt (in a pretty large hall) but our rooms are too small/low/cluttered to allow this, so we had to wait for a calmer day and try it outside.
It's cleverly made, and tougher than it looks. After one month, still no breakages, but ours is a fairly big old garden. It would not stand much abuse from (say) a very small kid or enthusiastic dog. It's not meant for that. Fisher-Price do that sort of thing.
That it flies at all is amazing, a real triumph of ingenuity, and it stays up for longer than one might expect - ours will go for somewhere around 15 minutes if we remember to look at the clock - but each charge is worth a half hour of entertainment at least - what with recovering it from our bushes and trees. Like most battery flyers it recovers a bit after a rest and will often give you another minute or two - we rarely fly for much more than a few minutes at a stretch.
Flying was a disappointment at first.
It flew, yes, but it semed to dive for the ground as soon as it was turned. The problem was we were out in too much wind with insufficient skill. Not more than a light breeze, but smoke was moving and the top leaves of the trees were too. It prefers still air for beginners.
It also prefers to have its ribbon tail attached. This makes a serious improvement to its stability and it becomes a delight to fly on 'expert' mode - this allows steeper turns to be made by beginners without spiralling in, and increases usable manoeverability.
It also helps if you reduce power slightly before making a turn, apply it again afterwards, and 'prod' or 'nudge' the steering stick rather than try to steer it like a car.
The flight is always slightly 'swooping' on ours - it climbs as you add power until it appears to stall gently and then climbs again. At reduced power that is less marked, and the tail ribbon helps reduce the swooping even more. Flight resembles a woodpecker in some ways, and is not quite as swoopy as some of those small twin-prop RC biplanes.
Once you have a bit of practice in still air, more wind is acceptable, and we are more adventurous now - but the calmer the better, since you don't want to watch it blown into a tall tree *or* the next county.
....."We're not in Hampshire any more, Toto"
Highly educational, it combines the technology lessons of its design with an understanding of insect flight, and lessons in patience when recharging and learning to fly it. We watch real dragonflies with increased respect. It is great fun, too.
Sutable for all ages with the self-control to learn a new skill.