Air Hogs Havoc Heli 2009
Street Price: $29.99 US
Manufacturer: Spin Master
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8+
Our recommended age range: 8+
Primary use: Indoors
Radio: n/a - infrared
- Assembled heli
- Transmitter / charger
- Spare tail rotor
- Balancing tape
- 6 AA batteries for the transmitter
IMPORTANT: The Air Hogs Havoc Heli has been updated over the years! See the newer version reviewed:
- Air Hogs Havoc Heli - 2011 with 5-direction control
My decision to try this heli out was truly based entirely on initial impressions! It's still a Havoc like I reviewed in 2007, with only slight functional updates, but it looks way better. Instead of a styrofoam fuselage, it has a new durable plastic shell with aggressive details & styling and clear windows. The tail boom has black plastic fins supported on a rigid, lightweight carbon strut. To me, it's the best-looking micro heli made to date, without a doubt.
Preparing to Fly
Some things improve with age. However, some things are just fine from the start, like the trademark Air Hogs charging mechanism. You pull a charging jack on a wire out from the controller and plug it right into the bottom of the heli, and wait for it to get juiced up. Other than that, there's really no pre-flight effort required.
I fully expected the new Havoc to fly exactly like the old one, but it did not! Not at all! It seems to have a lot more power and if you give it full throttle it will rocket up to your ceiling in about a second. Also, while most micro RC helicopters I've tested need a little weight added to the front to make them move forward, this one moved forward quite quickly on its own, and this actually made it extremely difficult and frustrating to control. I had to use all three strips of a adhesive metal tape that are included in the package, attaching them to the underside of the tail fin to put the weight as far back as I could. After doing this, the craft was significantly more easy to fly, but it still moved forward on its own. I was then able to use the direction trims on the controller to fine-tune the yaw (turning) so it wouldn't turn on its own.
As is normal for low-cost single-rotor helis, the Havoc turns more smoothly in the direction that the blades rotate, which in this case is to the right, or clockwise. This shows up in the video pretty clearly. If you turn to the left, it spins very quickly, so if you literally want to make a gentle, normal left turn, you have to give it just a little left input on the controller, quickly let it center, and then repeat, inching it around carefully.
The big flight improvement versus the earlier version is that it can now take off more easily from a flat surface. The original would spin dramatically when it tok off and sometimes couldn't be controlled. This one spins a bit too, but it gets under control on its own much of the time, and if you help it out with some corrective input on the controller, it can be ready to fly normally very quickly.
(You can click on a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)
Once the weight is balanced, this really is the same Havoc I've known for years, it just looks way cooler and can move faster. It's still not an aircraft that will just fly wherever you want it to. To run it in a small room takes a lot of practice, skill, and constant controller inputs. It's still a very fun novelty, though, and the new fuselage will pique kids' interest and imaginations better than ever.