Air Hogs Rolling Fury
Street Price: $39.99 US
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8
Our recommended age range: 10+
Primary use: Outdoors
- Mostly-assembled plane
- Landing gear
- 2x spare propellers
- 2x nose guards
- 6x AA batteries
At first glance, this limited Target-exclusive release appears to be a slick, sporty-looking, but basic monowing plane with the much-welcomed addition of landing gear. Landing gear! That's something I'm always hoping for in the Air Hogs line -- the ability to land like a real plane, and possibly even to take off from the ground. There's actually more to the Rolling Fury than meets the eye, though. While most Air Hogs planes use two-channel radios so you can control speed and direction, this one uses a three-channel setup with a controllable elevator (horizontal flap on the tail) that lets you control up & down motion independent of motor speed, and supposedly even allows you to do tricks in the air! It sounds great until you remember the last 3-channel Air Hogs plane I tested, the Skywinder, a truly epic failure. Hopefully they learned from that one.
Preparing to Fly
A tiny bit of assembly is required here, and a tiny bit is optional. Specifically, the main landing gear, which comes as one piece, has to be inserted into a slot on the bottom of the fuselage, and a clear plastic nose cone can be attached with included double-sided tape for extra crash protection. A small third wheel comes pre-installed in the tail of the plane so that nothing actually drags on the ground.
The controller takes the usual 6 AA batteries, and it has the usual Air Hogs charging jack that you plug right into the plane.
Testing day was pretty rough because there was a lot of gusty wind, but I had already procrastinated for too long and had to go for it. A friend more experienced with planes did most of the flying to give us a better chance of capturing some usable video footage. For such a lightweight plane in such bad flying conditions, it did impressively well. It's one of the faster-moving Air Hogs, and very agile, so you can fly it really hard through tight turns. What gets really interesting is when you get high enough in the air and then start using the third radio channel, which is forward & back on the right controller stick. Again, it was rough in the wind we flew in, but we got some successful loops & twists in the air nevertheless, and it was great being able to quickly gain or lose a little altitude without changing speed much. You just have to make sure you don't try any stunts too close to the ground, as it can lose a lot of height when doing a loop. It's also important to just do one maneuver at a time before letting the plane recover and regain speed before you try another.
The landing gear were what really worked great on the Rolling Fury. Being able to take off from the ground, land, and take off again without running to pick it up ever time was a real treat. It might take a little practice to do a smooth, straight landing, but as long as you just don't come down too fast you'll be able to keep it whel side down. Those wheels are really small, though, so it's advisable to stay away from really rough, bumpy surfaces.
(Click a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)
Everything the Air Hogs Rolling Fury promises, it delivers. It's a sporty, capable plane for intermediate-level pilots that can take off like a real plane and do real aerobatic stunts in the air. Because of its speed and agility, I don't agree with the 8-year-old minimum age the manufacturer suggests. Give this to a 10 to 12 year old and he or she should have or be able to develop the hand-eye coordination to have a great time with it.