‘Warning, not a toy! Overcharging may result in fire or explosion!’ screams the manual. This chopper’s not for kids: the sophisticated radio-controlled machine is being squarely pitched as the next step up from the likes of the Pico-Z.
Designed to be flown indoors, the Walkera is a doddle to get airborne. It comes ready-built, meaning the only thing you need bring to the party is eight AA batteries for the remote control.
Place the chopper in the centre of a large room (expect endless prangs before you master the complex controls) and ease the throttle forward. It twitches to life, makes the proper ‘fut-fut-fut-frrrr’ noise of a real chopper starting up, and hovers skywards. Amazing!
The controls are scarily sensitive, but replicate the real deal perfectly: as well as ascending and descending, you can bank left and right, rotate left and right, and tip forward and back. You could literally land it on a ha’penny.
This chopper takes practise to master, but is highly addictive at the same time – it’s one of those ‘just one more go’ toys. And it’s resilient too, thanks to unfixed rotors which give way when you hit a wall.
The 70s styling is ace – cooler than its polystyrene rivals – and for each charge of the battery, expect about ten minutes of airborne cat-harassment.
All in all, this is the daddy radio-controlled choppers. Finally our long-forgotten dream of a guest role in Airwolf are about to come off…