Product Type: Syma toys
Newest Review: ... increase in velocity than going up and down - especially down, of course. It's all good fun! The Syma s107 has a 3-channel frequen... more
Now everyone can own their very own helicopter, but be careful
Syma S107 Helicopter
Member Name: blissman70
Syma S107 Helicopter
Advantages: great fun, easy to get the hang of and a delight to watch fly
Disadvantages: broke a bit too easy for my liking
I bought this helicopter mainly due to the fact that I've got a bit of a thing for remote control gadgets, especially flying gadgets, so when I saw this one being sold for £10.00 I jumped at the chance.
When I first started using it, getting used to the way it manoeuvred around the air, and the way it rose, dropped and even turned I was in my element.
Sadly though, after a few flights, with a few knocks, mostly gentle ones mind you, the top rotor blade holder seemed to drop out of position and on closer inspection I noticed that the tiny little plastic 'bobble' thing that holds the rotor blades in position whilst allowing them to spin freely, had both completely snapped off. This left the top blades unsupported which made them drop down onto the lower ones, making the helicopter useless.
Although when I say useless I guess that's the wrong word as I did manage to perform a little bit of fine surgery, involving a tiny cross headed screwdriver, a 2mm drill bit, two 3mm pieces of metal rod, (which I took from a the spring of a wooden clothes peg), a small pair of pliers, a steady hand and a lot of patience I managed to drill out and replace the broken parts with the metal rods, giving the blade back its flexibility and giving me more or less full control back. But I don't believe that I should have had to perform this type of operation on something that should be able to withstand a bit of impact.
Don't get me wrong, the way the helicopter flew before its little 'accident' was simply brilliant, with the gyro system managing to keep the thing in the air with total stability, even if controlling it took a little bit of getting used to, with a few wallops on the ceiling and several bounces of the floor. But I did manage to get the hang of it and was taking off and landing it with some professionalism.
* The helicopter itself...
It's not the biggest of helicopter, which is good considering that it's only really for indoor use, so the smaller the better really. The actual size of it is about 100mm high, up to the top of the rotor blade pole, by 40mm wide by 220mm long, weighing it at a feather weight 300g.
The front of the helicopter is designed to look like a real one, with a full window right at the front and side panels to bout, with the side panels on this one being a lovely red colour, although it does come in other colours, such as yellow and black.
The construction of the chopper itself is 99% very good, with the blades being made of a tough plastic, which is both lightweight and flexible, and allowing it to take a bit of a battering. In fact I was expecting these blades to be the first to break, considering that they sell spare blades for such accidents, but I was wrong on that then as these blades can take some hammering, believe me.
The body of the chopper is made of thin, yet very sturdy metal and plastic, which give it a good strength whilst remaining light enough to fly around, with the rest of the chopper being made of thick wire strips that keep it all together.
There are four blades on the chopper, two directly above the body with the other two slightly higher. Then there's the 'counter balance' directly above them, which help give the chopper a bit of stability.
Inside the chopper is the brains of the machine, the brains that manage to help fly the chopper with fine control, this is what they call the 'GyroScope', which is quite a good name for it isn't it.
When the chopper is switched on there is a tiny little blue light on the front under body which, when the power is running low, starts to blink to let you know that it needs charging. The other inclination that it need charging is that it just won't get the height it should do and keep dropping to the ground no matter how much throttle you give it.
* What about charging..?
Charging it is simple, you plug the smaller end into the body of the helicopter then you plug the USB cable end into either you home PC or the USB slot which is on the remote control itself, this is hidden behind a sliding section which is below the on/off switch. But both ways take about 40 minutes to fully charge the helicopter.
You do have to remember to switch the helicopter off whilst it is charging other wise it won't charge, you can tell if it is charging as the light on the USB end isn't lit up, but when the helicopter is charged the USB cable end lights up a lovely colour of red.
The little on/off switch on the helicopter is a bit hard to see at first as it is so small and more or less the same colour as the body of the mini beast itself, but once you know where it is you don't forget.
Firstly the controller itself does need four AA batteries to get its power, but these do seem to last for quite some time, even if you use them to charge the choppers built-in battery.
Controlling the helicopter can take a bit of getting used to, especially the lift and drop as the ceilings do tend to be a bit low when I try to take off sometimes, if you know what I mean.
The controller has two joystick controls so that it saves on any confusion, thus, less having to look at the control box, allowing you to concentrate on the flying itself. The left control pushes forwards, which give the chopper power and lift, then if you pull it backwards the power drops and so does the choppers, the art here is keeping the left control moving slightly back and forth so that the chopper stays at a nice level.
Then the right side control will turn the chopper if you push left or right, then pushing it forwards will make the chopper dip slightly at the front sending it lurching forwards. Pull the joystick back and the choppers front pulls back upwards and making it reverse, in a way.
* My Opinion...
As I said I love remote control devices, especially helicopters as I find them more fun when I'm chasing my dog around the house with them, (gives him some exercise without going out in the rain), and this little beauty was no exception, especially with it's in house miniature size.
Once I'd got the hang of the controls I was away, well, that was until the top blade sections two little plastic bits broke and made the helicopter spin around like a paper hat in a wind tunnel.
That was annoying and as I could see what the problem was I was determined to fix it, but as I said a problem like this should not happen as the makers of such devices should think about where the likely impact would be. In this case the top rotor blades and the bottom landing tracks, so why put a crappy bit of a plastic 'bobble' on a section that would be taking most of the impact as it flew around and bumped into things. I mean, even now, with lots of practice and near perfect flying, I'm still bouncing it off walls, ceiling and the dogs backside, (kidding) so the top blades are having to take a bit of a battering.
The rest of the chopper is still as solid as ever, continuing to keep it's original shape, even though it has had many collisions.
The other downside to this helicopter, which really does let it down almost as much as the shoddy plastic breakable bits, is the rather disappointing flying time you get with a full charge. Around 8 minutes at the most, and that's if you're only flying up and down, but if you start to fly around then the flying time really drops to around five minutes.
So you're talking 5 to 8 minutes of flying time after waiting around forty minutes to get a full charge is pretty weak, especially with technology these days. I'm sure there could be a way of getting a battery inside the helicopter that could hold a charge for more than twenty minutes, or even a way of swapping a battery so that when the internal battery runs down you could put in a freshly charged one and carry on flying.
But no, all you get is 8 minutes of fun after 40 minutes of waiting.
These days I still fly this little chopper around, usually when my youngest want to have a go of it as she seems to have inherited my fascination for remote control vehicles, but after the initial fun I find that now I just can not be bothered waiting for it to charge up just for a few minutes of test flying.
Anyway, as for the price. Well what would you expect to pay for an elegant piece of flight engineering, especially if you didn't know about the slight design flaws?
£50..? £60..? Maybe more?
No, you're way to high. You can actually get this helicopter for around the £20.00 region, which would be a cracking bargain indeed, if you don't mind spending £20 on something that spends most of its time charging up, and that's if the top rotor blade manages to stay in position in the first place.
Would I buy this again... absolutely not, due to the fact that I'm guessing that they are all made the same and will therefore all stop flying at the end of the day, which defeats the purpose of a remote control flying helicopter
As for the two stars I have given it, well, I ummed and arred between one and two stars but decided on two due to the fact that when it does fly it is fun to use.
Summary: If this was a real helicopter I'd rather go by balloon....
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