Air Hogs is stepping up their game by releasing the Helix 360 which is a 4 channel helicopter that is similar to the size as the Havoc Heli and the Syma S107. I got my hands on one and layout the good and the bad of it below.
- Small and lightweight – about the size of a Havoc Heli
- Durable plastic instead of foam
- Extra tail rotors included in the package
- Price – $80
- Stability – Gyro only affects tail
- Controllability - takes a lot of practice to control it well
My Hands on Experience with the Helix 360
I was really excited initially when I stumbled upon the Air Hogs Helix 360 at Target. I had not heard of it before and was taken back that this little copter had 4 channels and a gyro built into it. The price seemed a little high but I expected there to be a more real helicopter feel to it with the extra channel so I figured it would be worth it.
Out of the box the micro heli seemed like it was put together well and it charged up pretty quick. My initial flight with the Helix 360 wasn’t near as fun as I expected it to be though. It took a little effort to trim the copter and even when I could not trim it any more I still could not get it to hover in place. It always wanted to go to the left a little no matter how much I turned the trim knob.
Forward flight did not seem much better then what you would get with a Havoc Heli. It would go forward when you push the stick but then would rock back some and then go forward a little more. I really expected more from a 4 channel helicopter.
On my first flight I got about 7 minutes of flight time from the Helix. The copter was a little difficult to control compared to other 2 and 3 channel micro helis that I have flow. This is understandable though as the extra channel does require more input and concentration. I guess the issue that I had was that I seemed to spend more time concentrating on getting it not to do something I didn’t want it to do as opposed to doing what I wanted it to do. I fly these things to have fun and buzz my kid’s and dog’s heads, not to fight against them.
Compared to the Syma S107
The overall feeling of flying the Helix 360 wasn’t near as fun as what I experienced with the Syma S107. There are two main reasons for this – price and stability.
The price of the S107 is only $30 which is nearly 1/3 of the Helix 360. This makes it easier to swallow (and justify) when purchasing. With the Syma you aren’t spending much so your expectation isn’t as high but then it blows you away. With the Helix you are paying a good amount and personally I was disappointed with the performance at the price I paid. I expected more then what I got from the Syma.
Out of the box the Syma was stable and hovered in place without any trimming. Forward flight is a little bit of struggle with it but so is it with the Havoc Heli and the rest of the small and inexpensive micro heli’s. As mentioned above even after doing a lot of trimming the Helix did not hover as well as the Syma.
Overall the Syma had more of a wow and fun factor (especially for the price) then the Helix 360. I feel like I got more then my money’s worth with the Syma S107. I felt like I wanted my money back with the Helix 360.
If you are looking for a micro helicopter that is going to give you the most bang for your buck I would recommend the Syma S107.
It is cool to see Air Hogs pushing the envelope and packing so much technology into a small package. Unfortunately I don’t think they quite delivered for the price on this one. The Air Hogs Helix 360 is a great idea but not the best execution. My recommendation would be to spend your money on a Syma S107 instead.
Hear are some videos of the Air Hogs Helix 360