If you have any history with RC helicopters it probably went something like this: “Wow it flies!” (then…) “wow it’s tough to control” (then…) “wow it’s really leaning to the left” (and eventually…) “okay, it doesn’t really fly any more.” We’re lucky enough to say RC helicopters exist and they are quite affordable, but they’ve always been lacking one key feature until now: control. With the Silverlit Blue Sky Heli, I’m able to whiz the RC helicopter into my roommate’s bedroom, loopty-loop around his head, and bring it right back home–and all from my iPhone!
What’s in the Box:
-Blue Sky Heli
-Spare tail rotor blade x 1
-Tool for tail rotor blade replacement x 1
With your iPhone, iPod Touch, or even iPad (iOS 4+) you can control the helicopter with a strong bluetooth connection. The Silverlit R/C app from the Apple app store has three different methods of control. The easiest to use is Joystick mode, which is two joy sticks: throttle and directional. The throttle controls the speed of the blades and the height of the heli. The directional joystick turns the helicopter right and left, or flies the helicopter backward and forward (up and down direction). The heli has so much control that when you turn it right and left, it pivots in place as it hovers in a stationary position. The other two control modes are a bit tougher, but a lot of fun to try to get the hang of. There is full gesture mode and partial gesture mode, which both rely on tilting your iPhone to control the direction of the heli.
The setup is simple. Charge the helicopter with the included USB charger for 30-45 minutes. Turn on the heli with the switch on the bottom. When on, the heli will show up as a bluetooth device on your iOS device, just as any bluetooth headset would. Once bluetooth pairing is complete, just open up the app and get ready to fly! My iPhone 4S did not pair the helicopter automatically; each time I use heli I have to go into the bluetooth settings and tap “SL_BlueSkyHeli” from the device list (your results may vary). The battery is supposed to last four to five minutes, but in practice you’ll get 10-15 minutes of play.
The helicopter has an LED spotlight, and there are 8 different spotlight choices to choose from in the app. The choices range from a solid spotlight color to different fading colors. The helicopter transmits it’s battery level to the app, which has a three bar battery indicator. In the app settings you can adjust the sound effects, vibration, sensitivity, and throttle curve adjustment. While you’re controlling the helicopter, you can also adjust the trim in case the heli is spinning right or left on its own.
Even as a 24 year old, I can admit the SilverLit Blue Sky Heli is a lot of fun to play with. The level of control is what really differentiates this R/C helicopter from the rest. While the control is amazing, the durability is also amazing. The Blue Sky Heli was certainly put to the test (and I had my friends do the same), and it probably crash landed 50-100 times with no noticeable damage. At one point it started leaning to the right more than the maximum trim allowed me to compensate for, strangely enough after a few some more crash landings it fixed itself. Once you get good at flying (it doesn’t take very long), it’s easy to prevent crashes. Half the fun is learning to fly.
Since the SilverLit Blue Sky Heli is very controllable, you are able to fly it in small rooms without destroying it or anything else. SilverLit built the Blue Sky Heli to be durable and tough, knowing very well that helicopters crash. The SilverLit Blue Sky Heli is currently available for $74.99 from Amazon.com in blue, white, or orange. Considering this is not another helicopter that will break in a matter of days, you can very easily get your money’s worth. Also another bonus is that it’s rechargeable and so is your iPhone or iPod, so you won’t have to go through piles of batteries.
The Good: Amazing Control, Very Durable, Rechargeable, Works with iPhone, iPod or iPad, Different Methods of Control, Powerful, Spotlight, Strong Bluetooth Connection, Easy Set Up, Battery Sensor in Remote App
The Bad: Have to Pair Bluetooth Manually Every Time, Short Charging Cable, Crashes have Some Effect on Trim