As a child of the 80s I have a love for helicopters that is almost entirely based on the TV show Airwolf, in which Stringfellow Hawke, a loner who lives in a cabin outside of LA, accompanied only by his Bluetick Coonhound, “Tet”, and his priceless collection of paintings, serenading eagles with his equally priceless Stradivarius cello, flies a top secret military helicopter. They don’t make TV shows like that anymore. Thank God.
However, Griffin have kept my ”Knight Rider in a Helicopter”-based dreams alive by extending their AppPowered Accessories range, to the HELO TC Assault – a missile-launching touch-controlled helicopter for iOS and Android devices.
In the box is a helicopter and flight deck module that you slide your phone into (kudos to Griffin for making an accessory compatible with a large number of smartphones). The flight deck transmits infrared signals to the helicopter giving you total flying control – although it can take a little time to get used to the control mechanism.
The helicopter can be charged from any USB power source and has a flying time of approximately 8 minutes, not a problem if you’re whizzing around the office, but a bit of an annoyance if you’re outside (although to be fair this is a problem with most RC devices). The actual helicopters are built on a light weight metal frame with a black polycarbonate body. The Helo TC can record and store up to 3 flight plans, and has 5 super-bright LEDs for night flying.
The Helo TC Assault features six live-fire missiles, launched and two flight modes – on screen controls or Tilt-to-Fly, which utilises your smartphone’s accelerometer. Neither mode was able to stop me from repeatedly crashing into my wall, so I’m guessing Pilotwings on the SNES deceived me about the extent of my flying skills. Fortunately the HELO TCs come with replaceable main and tail rotor systems.
Check out some footage of the helicopter zipping around here
Pricing and Availability
The HELO TC Assault, RRP £49.99, is available now from Vodaphone stores nationwide