R/C Helicopters = Awesome

Too soon, woot. Too soon…

Any idea what battery life is for any of these things? Is it measured in minutes or hours?

I had the same thought. Unfortunate timing. :frowning: I am sorry for that family’s loss.

Thoughts go out to his family. Unfortunately the uneducated (including the media) are going to associate this accident with the true toy grade quads and helis. The guy was flying a nitro-powered 700-size heli:

http://youtu.be/47mjyTsol58

The majority of the brushed quads and helis propellers are much smaller than the 250 sized heli in the video above. There’s no way you would decapitate yourself with a toy-grade brushed quad. The V929 is WL Toy’s oldest mini quad model and is a bit outdated. The V212 isn’t much more and flies much better:

http://www.massiverc.com/PrestaShop/en/103-wl-toys-v212-rtf-alien-canopy.html

Flying time is definitely minutes, probably on the order of 5-8 per charge. The batteries in the transmitters should last through multiple charge/flight cycles before needing to be replaced.

Considering purchasing- World Trading23 Unbreakable 3.5-Channel. Any one have any user experience? Any what is the warranty on something that is called unbreakable??? Guessing I won’t have any trouble breaking it after a week of use.

There was no intent to slight that event. Keep in mind that the young man in this article was flying a much larger gas-powered RC helicopter. We are selling toys.

Intent vs. Perception. I understand there was no intent to cause harm, but still seems almost perfectly ill timed. And, yes, Woot’s offerings are toys that could maybe poke your eye out if you’re very unlucky.

That said, I have a friend who almost died in a gas-powered RC helicopter accident a few years ago. Lost sight of the helicopter in the sun and a gust of wind pushed it in his direction. Too fast to try to react. My condolences to the family.

There are three things you need to pay attention to when purchasing these entry level helicopters.

  1. Number of channels. 3 channels move up/down, rotate left/right, and go forward/backward. 4 channels add in a slide left/right. The fourth channel ads a considerable amount of maneuverability. I would recommend starting with a 4 channel. Yes, they are a little bit more difficult to learn, but the layout of the controls is different than a 3 channel so if you start with a 3, you can’t just move up to a 4, you have to completely relearn how to fly it. And don’t let the X.5 channel throw you off, the “.5” is a marketing ploy, I really have no idea what it means… a 3.5 channel is the same thing as a 3.

  2. Fixed pitch vs collective pitch rotors. A fixed pitch helicopter as two blades that have fixed to a motor, each spinning a different way (which they refer to as “coaxial”). There is a third tail rotor mounted horizontally that lifts and lowers the tail to provide forward/backward movement. A collective pitch rotor the pitch of the blades float on a swash plate that changes the pitch of the blades alowing a greater level of control and enabling side to side movement. Collective pitch helicopters are much more maneuverable and enjoyable.

  3. Radio Controlled vs Infra Red Controlled. IR controllers use an infra red beam of light to send controls to the copter, same as a typical tv remote. This means that you need to stay line of sight and you cannot use it outdoors in sunlight. RC controls use a radio signal giving you a much greater range and can be used in bright sunlight. To tell the difference, IR transmitters have a little plastic dome on the top of the controller. RC will have an actual antenna, though it may only be a few inches long

With all of that said, I would strongly encourage anyone getting into it to buy a 4 channel, collective pitch, RC helicopter. They are much more enjoyable. 3 channel, fixed pitch, IR copters are slow, have poor maneuverablity, and just get boring quickly.

Another thing to mention, make sure the helicopter you buy has readily available parts. As durable as any of them claim to be, eventually parts will break. Most of the time, these parts are dirt cheap and simple to fix… but that’s only if you can find parts for it. It would be best to google the model number + “replacement parts” to see if they are readily available.

To answer a previous question, flight time for these type helicopters is usually in the 10-15 minute range. I’m not familiar with these particular brands to say exactly.

IMHO, don’t trust the videos. While I’m sure the frame is rock-solid, the rotors, gears, etc. are just as fragile as on any other heli. That’s not to say it’s going to fall apart if you sneeze on it, but it’s definitely not indestructible. As for a warranty, I pretty much consider these things disposable after you open the box. You might be able to find replacement parts online but at this price it might be easier and less frustrating to just buy two.

For the record I ordered one, because I like that ~12" rotor size - small enough to still fly inside but handles OK outside on calm days, too.

"Helicopters work because … huh … we never really thought about it before. The Bernoulli Principle? "

Helicopters do not fly, they beat the air into submission.

Helicopters don’t fly, they’re just so ugly the earth repels them.

That said, I recommend one with a gyro, it makes it much easier to learn to fly. I have a so called 3.5 channel one i got for Christmas last year. Lots of fun. Be aware that IR control and outside do not mix.

So, should every store in the country stop selling them toys or otherwise becuase of an unfortunate accident?

My personal favoritte is the WL Toys V911, http://www.amazon.com/Improved-Single-Rotor-Helicopter-Version/dp/B009SEOV40

In two years mine has take a beating. The part that breaks the most is the balance bar, which I have broken 3 or 4 times, a replacement is about $2 The blades are next, I’ve broken 2 of them and they cost about $2 for a pair.

At $40 for the helicopter, I’ve broken it 5 times… which would have cost $200 if it were disposable. And have repaired it 5 times for a total of about $8

Nope, not saying that at all, but with Woot, who has a limited offering, and hopefully, planning, this could have been postponed and another item substituted or not. As another poster wrote, there’s reality and there’s perception.

Check out RC Groups:

http://www.rcgroups.com/mini-multirotors-800/

As well as our guide:

http://www.massiverc.com/before-your-first-purchase.html

Two White Plastic cogs stacked on top of eachother in the body of the heli connected via a shaft are used to spin the two rotors. two spinning metal rods that have have tiny plastic cogs spin the larger cogs. the problem I am experiencing is that the small cogs are not attached very well and the shaft spins but the cog at the end doesnt. I re-glued them on a couple of times, but will look for a better solution the next time I take them apart.

Yes we are getting way to sensitive.Remember Williams Sonoma(I think)removed pressure cookers from their stores after the Boston Bombing.Just ridiculous.If I were the victim of either of those tragedies I’d be outraged that anyone changed their behavior temporally just to make people think they are more"caring".

So only woot has a responsibility here??What about stores close to the accident?Should the move all their copters to the stockroom?For how long?
This kind of thinking is just bad.

We had a bunch (10 or so) of these toy helicopters in our office. While they lasted, they were great. After about 2 weeks of daily use, the battery stops holding much of a charge and the helicopter just skims the ground.

That being said, they were so much fun that most everyone just went out and got another. There are some models with a replaceable battery as well.