Thursday, January 15, 2009

Men Do NOT Grow Up (Neither Do Women)

This is the Air Hogs™ remote-controlled helicopter I asked Santa to bring me.
Actually, I asked Sylvia when they went on sale for half price.
$15 is about right for a toy that is not going to last a year due to it's ultra-light construction.
$30--No Way!
We got a raincheck because the other men bought them all, then Sylvia went to another Target 3 days later and chose my favorite version because she's so smart.

I love my combat boots and flash umbrella and other neat stuff, but this present is the most fun.
The transmitter/charger takes 6 AA batteries--I use the cheap ones from Dollar Tree--and it communicates with the copter via infrared like a TV remote.
You have a throttle, a left/right spin/turn control, and a LR trim.
Forward/back would require another channel and those models cost twice as much, but I rather enjoy the unpredictable nature of these simpler copter's flight characteristics.

The tail rotor is driven by what looks suspiciously like a pager or cellphone vibrator motor. For their intended use an offset weight on the shaft causes the wobble that at high speed equals a buzz in your pocket.

Photographing this thing in the air is a challenge to say the least.
I tried to do it myself but the frustration level went into the red zone very quickly.
Luckily, Sylvia already has her wings and offered to pilot the Apache while I took pictures. Trying to get it high enough (but not TOO high or it'll crash into the flash I had on a stand overhead) while keeping it between me and the black background was a real challenge, but she did great.
Out of 33 exposures, these were the only ones I liked.

Check the boxes carefully if you plan on buying more than one.
They come in three channels (A, B, & C) so each copter in the same room has to be a different one. The transmitters have a switch that lets you use them with any copter, but unfortunately you can't buy just the helo separately.
You can fly them outdoors, but any breeze at all will cause problems.
They're only 7 inches long and maybe 10 grams: The middle photo is very close to actual size on my 17" 1024x768 monitor.

As a kid I would have killed for a toy this cool, but since men don't grow up it doesn't bother me at all to play with one now.
Scientists have long maintained that the more intelligent a person is, the more likely they are to need childish play time to keep their brain happy and healthy.
I agree.


Thiên said...

Uh, I would play with that any day as well and I'm about to turn forty. :)

KeithAlanK said...


I would guess that at least 60% of these are being bought for adults, but the numbers are at 100% here at Views...
(Changing title now)