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Aug 18, 2011

I Want One Of These: Griffin HELO TC Helicopter

by Freddie Harrison

Whilst Griffin might not be the first manufacturer to produce an iOS-powered RC helicopter, their entry, the HELO TC, looks like it might be a worthy contender for everyone’s ultimate gadget wish list.

Griffin Helo TC
Griffin's Helo TC looks like it's light enough for flight.

There’s some pretty stiff competition in the iOS-controlled, RC Helicopter market – we’ve already messed around with the iBladez Flightstick 3D, and at the time we wished for an iOS controller for it, then along came the AR Drone and blew everyone’s minds, and now Griffin have come out with the affordable option for the rest of us. Great stuff.

The Helo TC certainly looks like it’s built to fly with its lightweight metal and polycarbonate frame and twin-rotored system, but it’s the non-helicopter part of this tasty little package where things really get interesting. The flight deck module that comes included allows you to control the helicopter from your iOS (iPhone or iPod Touch, the iPad looks like it might be a little too big for it!) device via infrared in a couple of different ways. Touch control allows you to make the most of your iPhone or iPod touch’s multi-toucbinterface and use joystick-like controls to move your ‘copter, whilst Tilt To Steer mode makes use of your device’s accelerometer to control movement – we reckon the latter could be the most fun.

Griffin Helo TC and Controller
The controller is key with this awesome helicopter.

Another awesome feature of the Helo TC is the ability to store up to three ‘Flight Plans’, essentially pre-programmed flights, so you can repeat common journeys like getting your helicopter from another room without having to leave the comfort of your sofa. Now, if this helicopter could transport a couple of drinks from the fridge…

Our favourite part of the Helo TC, though, is the price. At a snip under $50, it’s an affordable alternative to that stiff competition we mentioned earlier, and conveniently Griffin says it’ll be widely available in time for Christmas. We’re hoping to unwrap one of these on the big day…

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