Customer Review

205 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible not to be impressed, 4 Oct. 2010
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Many, many years ago I owned a toy helicopter game called "Vertibird", where you could fly a helicopter on the end of a long plastic arm in a circle, supposedly in order to thwart some escaping criminals whose getaway car was handily fitted with a large hoop which your aircraft could grab hold of. It was brilliant, but it was more fun to just fly it around and around in circles over the lounge carpet.

Anyway, this weekend I bought one of these helicopters and memories of "Vertibird" came flooding back. It's a sturdy little thing, made of metal whereas other similar helicopters tend to be plastic or polystyrene, and it looks fantastic. Once the box is opened you'll find the helicopter, the controller (which requires six AA batteries - not supplied), a USB lead for charging the helicopter from your PC (more on this in a moment) and a single sheet of instructions which, although written in somewhat fractured English, tell you all you need to know.

Once the batteries are installed into the controller you need to charge the helicopter itself. There are two available methods. The first option involves connecting the helicopter to the controller via a short cable which is stowed inside a compartment on the edge of the controller itself. Plug this into the helicopter and switch the controller on, and wait 40-50 minutes until a red light on the unit turns green. This obviously drains the batteries in the controller. The second option is to charge the helicopter from a PC using the supplied USB lead. Either way, a full charge will give you just under ten minutes of flying time, which is actually fine, and seems plenty.

So, what about flying? It's actually very easy to fly. There is a tiny switch on the side of the helicopter which needs to be flicked to the "on" position, and a bigger one on the controller, and once they're both active you're ready to go. A small LED light also flashes on the front of the helicopter to indicate that it is switched on, plus it looks pretty cool too. There are two joysticks on the controller, the left controlling the throttle (push it away from you to make the rotors spin faster, which allows you to take off and then control height), and the right moves left and right to turn the helicopter, or push away from you to move forwards, or pull back to reverse. After a few minutes - and a few crashes - you'll have the knack. Should the helicopter crash - which it will do, several times - it seems pretty sturdy, and replacement blades etc. can be purchased. The blades actually pivot, so should you hit an item of furniture they should do no damage.

Within five minutes or so I was happily flying journeys along the length of my lounge, the helicopter taking off from the carpet, tables, and even my hand, and landing on sofas and even laps. It's noisy, but understandably so due to its nature. Oh, and as others have said, don't take it outside as it's quite light and not designed to fly in breezes, plus it will easily go out of range and immediately crash.

All in all it's a tremendously impressive bit of fun, and you'll find yourself singing the "Airwolf" theme as you make it zoom around the lounge. My next goal is to make it land on the back of my (moving) "Big Trak", oh, and also to get the bigger one for Christmas. Think I'm going to need a bigger house :-)
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Nov 2012 21:19:07 GMT
Moosehunter says:
I charge mine with my IPhone charger. Just unplug the iPhone bit, plug the USB in to the plug and away you go. Much easier than plugging it into your PC.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2012 09:17:40 GMT
Peter Lee says:
I suppose you could use a different charger (not just one for an iPhone - some of us don't own them) but I found the option for charging from the controller was just fine and have never used the PC cable. As for the helicopter I'm afraid it is now retired - I went to use it one day and found the vertical rod to the rotors was somehow slightly bent and so its flying days are sadly over :-(

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2012 11:53:42 GMT
Moosehunter says:
Ah well at least they're cheap as chips to replace. :-).

Posted on 8 Feb 2013 23:01:24 GMT
yellowhedge says:
thanks for mentioning the 6 AA batteries ... even the pack doesn't tell you need them. very helpful!

Posted on 9 Nov 2013 20:06:55 GMT
M. Cadman says:
I too owned a "Vertibird" back in the 70's: excellent fun indeed! Your review caught my eye and I just had to order one of these!
Looking forward to buzzing it around the house and, if possible, avoiding the German Pointer.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Nov 2013 20:14:55 GMT
Peter Lee says:
Hello! Ah, another Vertibird fan! :-) The little helicopter is great fun & I'm sure you'll love it. Sadly the flying days of mine are over since it had an accident (something fell on it - a book I think) but your comment has reminded me to buy another one :-) Have fun!

Posted on 26 Nov 2014 14:45:03 GMT
Something that I havent seen mentioned anywhere is... how long do the 6 AA batteries in the controller last for? I know you get under 10 mins flight time from the helicopter, but... what about controller time? How frequently will I be changing the 6 AA batteries?

Charging the helicopter via the controller seems like a total waste of battery power! As for the USB connection, is it like a mini USB conenction on the helicopter and a full size USB connection for plugging into the PC? Something like the way a phone is charged maybe?

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Nov 2014 20:09:52 GMT
Peter Lee says:
Hello! Difficult to answer this one as my helicopter gave up the ghost some time ago (main propeller shaft somehow became bent). The controller batteries seemed to last a long time, even when charging the helicopter from the controller. I can't quantify it but it seemed to have a negligible impact on the controller batteries, so I can only assume that the helicopter battery is tiny. Hope this helps somehow.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2014 12:52:06 GMT

Posted on 28 Dec 2014 13:59:26 GMT
s says:
Just reading your Vertibird comment and was thinking exactly the same thing only yesterday. Its as if the Vertibird has snapped its tether and flown free (always my dream as a boy). Vertibird was the best ever toy. Great observation sir.
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Peter Lee

Location: Manchester ,United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 516