Air Hogs Sharp Shooter
Street Price: $34.99 US
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 10
Our recommended age range: 10 to adult
Primary use: Indoors
Top speed: n/a
Radio: n/a (infrared)
- Assembled helicopter
- Controller / charger
- Six missile projectiles
- Three cardboard stand-up targets
- 6x AA batteries
When I first learned about the Air Hogs Sharp Shooter I could not believe it. It's a micro RC helicopter, that actually shoots real projectiles! I thought the Havoc Laser Battle helis were cool; this takes it to a whole new level!
The Sharp Shooter is a really slick-looking dual-rotor helicopter with a nicely detailed fuselage, realistic landing gear, and a stealthy matte black paint job. Most importantly, it has two "missile" launch tubes on the sides that are remote-activated. To make sure you have something to shoot, Air Hogs includes three practice targets, though these are a little disappointing -- just thin cardboard cutouts with flimsy stands.
Preparing to Fly
This is an Air Hogs RC aircraft, so as is usual, the heli charges from the controller. This set uses the newer-style charging jack that Air Hogs switched to awhile ago, which makes it really easy to plug in, and the instructions are very clear about exactly what to do. There's just one extra step with the Sharp Shooter -- loading the twin missiles!
My first liftoff with the Sharp Shooter was a truly amazing experience. The heli lifted off from a table and with a quick and easy adjustment of the trim knob on the controller, it was flying more smoothly and consistently than literally any heli I've ever tested. It moved slightly forward on its own, not too slow, not too fast. Turning was smooth and well-controlled. I used up a whole battery charge just staring in awe as I flew it around the room without even a close call. On my second charge, I decided to really test out the stability and control of the heli, and I flew it directly in front of my face, around an area no larger than 2 feet by 2 feet, for literally four minutes. I don't recommend ever trying this, because the spinning rotor blades can be dangerous, especially if one hits you in the eye. However, as an experienced adult pilot I was able to really put the craft to the test and never had to duck out of its way.
After taking video of the Sharp Shooter while flying it for the third time, I set up the three included practice targets to see how accurate the firing mechanism could be. To shoot, you push the large red button on the upper right corner of the controller. This will fire one spring-loaded "missile." Pushing it again will fire the second projectile. There's just a little bit of lag time (a fraction of a second, but noticeable) between when you push the button and when it actually fires, so you want to try to be moving straight when you shoot, and not turning, otherwise it's hard to time. It takes quite a bit of practice, and I found that you really want to get close to your target to get a good shot. It's possible to make shots from a longer distance, it's just really, really hard. The practice targets were also easy to get blown over by just the air from the rotors, so I'd recommend using something more sturdy. Nevertheless, it was an incredibly fun experience and I never tired of going on little attack sorties and flying back to reload.
(Click a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)
The Air Hogs Sharp Shooter is amazing. Simply amazing. The quality of the heli itself seems very high, and its flight characteristics are unmatched, especially for the price. The controller is sturdy and as easy to use as ever. The ability to shoot real physical projectiles is out of this world, and the fun factor is off the charts. It's easy to recommend the Sharp Shooter to just about anyone!