We love flying gizmos, who doesn’t? We love the zooming bit and the soaring bit and the not quite crashing bit. But most of all we love the way the prices of fun flying gadgets are coming down to sensible levels. Because that means we can enjoy them just like the rich people do.
A few months ago a proper multi-channel quadcopter would cost a fair bit of money, but now they’re selling for very reasonable prices. This Think Gizmos Turbo Drone Quadcopter for instance retails at just £49.99, which is around 60% of what it would have cost a few months ago. Sure it’s looks like a rather basic and flimsy product, but it’s actually pretty tough, and the less it has to carry the longer it can fly on a charge.
It comes with all the bits you need, included a chunky radio control unit that offers full custom tweaking to compensate for drift etc, plus a set of spare blades and a battery. There’s nothing to assemble, just charge up and slot in the tiny battery, insert some AAs into the controller box and you’re set to go. It couldn’t be easier.
However flying the thing is – despite the marketing blurb – not an easy task at all, and you’ll need to practice slow and steady first before venturing outside to give it a full tryout. Oh yes, this craft will fly both inside and out, as long as there’s no big wind blowing. Even so, take it steady first time out otherwise you’ll probably find yourself minus one quadcopter and plus one irate neighbor or tree. Hmm…can trees get angry?
We found that we could take off and hover for seconds at a time when we first started, before crashing tragically into the nearest bit of furniture. However after a few
years months hours of practice we were…well crashing into bits of furniture after a minute or two. Yes, those guys doing tricks on the videos have definitely spent a LONG time learning how to do their stunts.
Despite the challenges it’s a heap of fun, and something we reckon could easily become addictive. The one thing we haven’t tried yet is attaching a small camera, we suspect that a very light one would be fine. Now that definitely would be fun.
Recommended as a great fun gift, and if you’re worried about the flying, you can download a great little free Android app called Absolute RC Heli Sim which is an excellent way to practice on your phone with a virtual ‘copter first, before risking the real thing.
Great fun, great price, and lots of possibilities for extra activities like teasing the cat, annoying the neighbors.