Thursday, March 8, 2012

F106 R/C Helicopter review... Great fun for beginners (like me!) who want to start out with something cheap yet decent...

A few months ago I finally took the plunge and went out on a mission to buy myself a beginners radio controlled helicopter.
Nowadays, this once exclusive hobby has become much more accessible and affordable, thanks to the use of infra-red communication between the remote controller and the helicopter.

It also makes a lot more sense to spend a few hundred bucks on a hobby which takes a bit of learning, rather than spending thousands, only to smash your brand new chopper into a tree on your first flight...

Trust me - I had a few close calls and some pretty spectacular crashes on my first few flights, but thankfully the F106 IR R/C Helicopter is one tough little beast:

In the box - a 4 Channel IR Remote Control and the F106 Chopper...

The F106 in action - best flown indoors (it only weighs 60g!)

Capturing the blades in flight...

It's a good looker, in the air or on the ground...

The F106 packs in 4 channels - now I had to read up a bit to find out what this actually means, but in short, each channel provides a particular function for the radio controlled device.
In this case, there is one channel for throttle, one for pitch (nose up / nose down), one for roll (bank left / bank right) and one for yaw (rudder - i.e. pointing the chopper where you want it to go).

It features 2 rotors that spin in opposite directions which makes it pretty easy to fly, as well as a built in gyroscope which helps to stabilize the chopper in flight.
The horizontal tail rotor provides the pitch function - i.e. the ability to angle the nose up or down.

Flight time is approx. 10 minutes on a single charge, and the F106 charges directly off the remote controller, or via the provided USB cable (which you can plug into any PC USB port to charge from).
A recharge takes approx. 40 mins - 1 hour.

All in all it amounts to a ton of fun - mainly indoors, since the combination of light weight and IR control are not an ideal mix for outdoor flying.
Apparently sunlight somehow interferes with the IR connection - I tried to fly it once in direct sunlight, and it flew about 2 metres and then dropped straight to the ground. Ouch!

I picked up the F106 for R 499 at Outrage R.C. in Broadacres a few months ago.
They were extremely helpful when I purchased it, and when I subsequently brought it back with a broken ski and faulty tail rotor (probably from one of the crashes I mentioned above :)).

You can get in touch with Outrage RC on 011 021 8499, or visit their website at http://www.outragerc.co.za

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