It may seem weird to start a review of the new Air Hogs Heli Replay R/C Helicopter by praising its lack of a spring. After all, this is a remote controlled helicopter that can be controlled with the included remote control OR by using an iPhone, iPad, iPod or Android device. In addition, you can record maneuvers with this helicopter and click a button on your phone or tablet and watch the helicopter replay those maneuvers. Given all these features, why are we obsessed with the lack of a spring in the remote control???
No, I Can’t Chew Gum and Walk At The Same Time, That Is Why I Hate Springs
At first glance, the remote control for the Air Hogs Heli Replay looks the same as all the other Air Hogs remotes. One lever controls the altitude and the other is for moving left and right. But wait, move that altitude lever and you notice something different right away – it is not spring loaded! Have the altitude set half way up and let go and it will not spring back to zero. This means you spend less time fussing with holding the altitude in the right place and instead can concentrate on flying the thing. Now I can explain to my kids why I have had horrible piloting skills in the past, the damn spring loaded remotes were messing with my mad flying skills!
Let’s take a look at the Air Hogs Heli Replay in action and the whole spring loaded control thing will make much more sense…
Once You Go Gyro Stability, You Never Go Back
As our regular readers know, we have a love/hate relationship with remote controlled flying ships. We love the thought of piloting planes and helicopters like a Top Gun, but we are often crushed by how difficult it really is just to keep these toys in the air for more than a few moments. The Air Hogs Heli Replay, in addition to its spring free remote, has gyro stability technology and it makes a world of difference.
The Heli Replay was fun and dare we say it…rather easy to fly. The kids had no problem flying it, but that is no surprise. The real shocker was that I was able to pilot the helicopter in a somewhat stable and controllable manner. In fact, in a rarity, no cats, humans or dogs were maimed in the filming of the review video!
Yes Dad, I Actually Can Do More Than Just Text on My SmartPhone
Kids, your Mom and Dad giving you a hard time for texting all the time? Now you can prove that you actually use your smartphone for other things…like flying a helicopter! As the video shows, you can use a smartphone or tablet to fly the Air Hogs Heli Replay.
I found it easier to use the included remote control, but if you want to try out the replay feature of the helicopter you need to use a smartphone or tablet. The idea is you hit record and the helicopter remembers the moves you do. You then hit play and the helicopter will replay those maneuvers. We had limited success with the replay feature, it does work, it just doesn’t add much to the play value. It is not precise enough to have you record a whole flight and exactly play it back, in addition changes in battery power effect the accuracy. A recording made of going full throttle when the battery is 90% charged will have a different result when you play it back and the battery in 20%.
Speaking of Batteries, Time To Mention the Kryptonite Of All RC Helicopters
In order for these helicopters to pull off their flying magic, they need to be small and light. This means a relatively small battery is crammed into the helicopter. You will only get about 5-8 minutes of flight time, then you need to plug the helicopter into the remote control and let it charge for about 30 minutes. Yes, this is a drag – but it seems to be unavoidable with these toy level helicopters.
Conclusion: The Air Hogs Heli Replay R/C Helicopter Has Us Believing In RC Toys Again!
Simply put, we love this gyro stability, spring free, easy to fly R/C Helicopter. We were starting to get worried that the RC helicopter market was getting overrun with gimmicks and gadgets, while getting away from making simple helicopters that are easy to fly and have high play value. The Air Hogs R/C Heli Replay has restored our faith in the industry.
We have no shortage of R/C helicopters in the house, some with cameras and others with missiles. Still, when it comes time to play, the kids have been going for the easy to fly and fun to play with Air Hogs Heli Replay. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go have some “Spring Free And Lovin’ It” T-Shirts printed up.
Air Hogs Heli Replay, Ages 12+, Indoors, Price: $44.99
Buy the Air Hogs Heli Replay At Amazon.Com