Air hogs havoc heli

Friday 22 June 2007This is 16 years old. Be careful.

Because of Damien’s post about his flying helicopter toy, I asked for one for my birthday. As a result, I now have two! They are actually different brands. One is a Air Hogs Havoc Heli from Amazon (thanks Sarai!), and the other is from ThinkGeek (thanks Susan!).

It’s interesting to see the two together. They are different brands, came in completely different boxes (not even the same size and shape), and have completely different bodies. But the mechanisms and remotes are clearly identical.

They are rugged copters, and fly very easily. They don’t control easily, though, so be prepared for them to buzz around and crash into things. They are lightweight enough that the crashes don’t bother them. One thing to watch out for: if it skitters under the furniture, it can tangle up in hair and dust, and then you have to get a tweezers to unclog the rotors.

Practicing with the controls does help, but I still haven’t gotten them to turn predictably or move forward in any real way. The main rotor is an interesting double-rotor, with a linkage between the two to provide some sort of stabilization. I don’t understand the mechanics enough to figure out exactly what it does.

Although they are pretty tough, one of my copters has developed a disabling shimmy: it isn’t stable enough to hover any more. At the office, we’ve had three or four of the best software minds in the business trying to analyze and fix the mechanical problem, to no avail.

It’s definitely a fun toy. The tiny copter is a marvel, and seeing it hover for the first time is an eye-opener. I recommend it.


Wow! thanks for the review. My son has been bugging us relentlessly for one (the Havoc Heli) for weeks. A much older neighbor has one. He is still too young, but the child in me has been itching to give in. The question now is, can 'I' wait until he is older?
Doug, don't wait! Come up with a reason to celebrate something your son has done, and buy it for him (you)! Don't put off happiness in any form, even tiny chopper-shaped happiness.

Ned, one point on which I disagree with you: there is NO DUST OR HAIR under our furniture! How dare you!
Because of an entry in Suesan's blog, I got the ThinkGeek one too. I have been having a hell of a time getting it to do anything. It tends to want to move forward without any of the propulsion props running, so I put them in reverse and then it runs backwards. Getting a good hover is quite difficult too. Still working at it.

If you come up with any "ah HA!" moments, let me know. I will do the same for you.
Ah, Andrew, maybe YOU have dust and hair under your furniture! Colleen's hair is awfully long...
Thanks for the sage advice! We often have things to celebrate; thought we definitely have dust rino's. *duck*
Tony and Pablo are into this stuff more than I.... I tried them at Tony's and found that it is much easier if you stand behind the chopper and have it face away from you. As long as you keep it that way, you can get it going....
Another thing that helps is the software based emulator with the adapter to use the same remote control (Serial / USB special thing...)
BTW, like the comments on Dust/Hair :-)
I am also a fan of the Havoc Heli. I recommend putting a light thumb-tac into the nose of the heli. This will give it a constant forward movement - it no longer "hovers", but you can fly it a bit easier. This is a quicker path to getting it to move in the direction you want, especially when starting out.

have fun!

For out door use, the Air Hogs Aero Ace biplanes are fabulous. You can fly them in a normal-sized front yard. My wife and I have a blast with these. There's a wealth of information on, just search for 'Aero Ace.'
This will prove highly addictive and fun and it is not a wallet killer. It is somewhat realistic (no main rotor blade pitch and rear rotor is not belt driven) and can fly inside or outside.

I don't know what it is about hovering, but once you start to hover, it's like you can't get enough of it.
I saw these while visiting Vax and Manousos a few weeks back but didn't get a chance to fly 'em around the office - guess I have to get one (or four) now!
For more on the havoc heli, if you're still fiddling with it, try this thread:

Some have had that thumbtack in the nose trick backfire on them. There are other tricks that work, though.
The Havoc Heli is an awesome little toy and I enjoy it as well. There has recently been a community formed here: to make it better and help each other with problems.

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