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Unbelievable RC

Air Hogs Micro Havoc

December 2008

Street Price: $39.99 US
Manufacturer: Spin Master
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8+
Our recommended age range: 8+
Primary use: Indoors
Radio: n/a - infrared
Includes:

  • Micro heli
  • Transmitter / charger
  • Balancing weight tape
  • 3x spare tail rotors
  • Instructions
Requires:
  • 4 AA batteries for the transmitter

Initial Impressions

The original Air Hogs Havoc heli was a tiny little bugger, but I became used to its size over time, especially with all of the different versions that were released, like the Laser Battle set and Apache. When I first saw the Micro Havoc on the shelf at a local store, I thought it was just one more new look for the classic, but when I got closer I felt like my eyes were tricking me, because it seemed to shrink just a bit right in front of my eyes. Sure enough, it's smaller, by about 1 1/4", but otherwise looks like any mainstream micro heli. One "big" difference is the all-new controller. You see, when they made the heli smaller, they made the controller larger, just enough in fact to fit the heli inside of it!

 

Cool idea -- controller acts as a carrying case so it's easier to take the whole thing from place to place without risking any damage. If it flies as well as its larger, older brother, this could be a real hit!

Preparing to Fly

Ah, there's another good thing about the smaller size of the Micro Havoc. It only requires 4 AA batteries for the transmitter/charger, compared to 6 for the original. Charging is a cinch, just plug the cord from the transmitter into the charging port on the bottom of the heli, turn on the transmitter, and wait for the green light to go out. Ready to go!

Testing

Well, it's a helicopter, it's little, and it flies, but not so well. At first it was tending to fly backwards a bit, so I first added all of the included adhesive weight strips under the nose, and when that wasn't enough, I tried a little trimming of the tail as suggested in the instruction sheet. This stopped it from going backwards, and even got it tending to move forward, but it was still a real handful to control. It really tends to have a mind of its own, over-correcting its on flight, partly spinning here & there. I've had experience with now probably a dozen toy-class RC helicopters and a dozen hobby-class ones, and the Micro Havoc is at least as much trouble to control as any other I've tried. In the video I'm working as hard as I can to keep it as stable and close to hovering still as possible.

Video

(Click a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)

Conclusion

I like small things, and I'm not ashamed to say I'm completely about the way the Micro Havoc can be carried inside the controller, but the fly-ability leaves a lot to be desired. It's not so much smaller than other micro helis that its size is truly impressive and noticeable, so you really don't gain much in exchange for the loss of control versus the very slightly larger original. Given that the original costs $10-15 US less, I really can't justify the purchase of the little guy. It works, but it's just not a good deal. Do yourself a favor and get one of the normal ones, an Apache, or a Stinger instead.

C+

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