So Saturday I took a trip down to Tygervalley Shopping Mall and as usual I took a trip to my favourite toy shop Peggity’s Toys. As you come in the door there’s a pile of these “helicopter things” but what caught my eye was the name “PicooZ” you see I had read about these things online they’re IR (Infra Red) controlled helicopters that are lightweight and designed for flying in doors. So I grabbed one and purchased it, it was only R 350.00 which isn’t too bad.
Let’s just say that this is the most fun I’ve had in along time.
The whole Saturday afternoon was spent at Michael’s flat flying this thing round the room. It’s easy to fly and because it doesn’t break easy means that you can fly it in a rather confined space. The control uses 6 AA batteries (not included) and the helicopter plugs into the control to charge it’s battery (Li-Polymer Battery) off a 25min charge you get about 10min flying time which isn’t too bad, this is this things biggest problem, is that it takes too long to charge because all you going to want todo is fly this thing around.
You can’t change the pitch of the rotor’s on the helicopter so you can’t go forward and backward with. You control the direction by altering the speed of the tail rotor, lift is controlled by changing the speed of the top rotor. It’s got cool dual top rotor setup that alters the pitch of the top rotors depending on which way the helicopter is lying, if you tilt it forward with a weight it makes sure the helicopter is stable but will fly forward. (It’s rather hard to explain.)
It would never be able to fly outdoors a small breeze through a window can easily send the little helicopter in the wrong direction or crashing to the ground. The other problem is that strong sunlight (or other strong lighting) does affect the little IR transmitter so for example it won’t turn or doesn’t want to go up or down when you tell it too… but in a closed room with the lights off this little copter is impressive.
Out of the box the helicopter flies rather well but it does have a few problems, most notable is that it doesn’t really move forward which does kinda suck. This is easily fixed by putting a little weight on the nose of the helicopter this causes the helicopter to tilt for ever so slightly which gives it a little motion forward and makes it more fun to fly. They did supply little aluminium stickon weights but I tried one and a it was too light so rather than use the rest of the weights I made my own with a little ball of prestick. The cool thing about the prestick is that you can add and remove it easily until you have the perfect weight.
At first flying the helicopter it feels like you’re not in control but after a while you get used to it and you’ll get better at controlling it. I wouldn’t call the helicopter indestructable but it is pretty well built and mostly consist of foam and plastic. It does survive pretty hard knocks against, walls, floors, lights, furniture and pretty much everything in the room. I don’t think there is anything in my lounge I haven’t hit.
According to the box this toy is for kids but I know alot of adults that would want one… it’s big attraction is that it’s so much easier to fly than a “proper” RC helicopter. Obviously you can’t do all the same tricks and everything but when your helicopter is small engough to land on the palm of your hand who cares?
I’ve attempted to get a movie clip of the helicopter flying around but I failed miserably, it’s very hard to film something moving when you need both hands to operate the controls, I’ve uploaded and included the best clip I have… it’s not brilliant but the helicopter is there and does fly around.