Swann makes a number of RC helicopters. The Black Swann was the one that had its fight debut on my landing strip.
I loaded the batteries (6 AA) into the R/C controller and charged the helicopter for about 90 minutes. As a side note, the manual does give you a warning to not leave it plugged in for longer than that. After that, I donned my pilot glasses, put on the flight jacket and I was ready to play “DEA pilot” in my Apache chopper.
- Inside at low (less than 6’) altitude and slow speed
- Outside at maximum velocity and altitude with video (see actual video)
- Both night and daylight flights
That being said, the feature that sets this apart (other than the ease of use) is the on board camera.
After charging and before its maiden flight, I swapped the (included 1 gig) microSD card for an 8 gig one (16 is max allowed) simply for more recording time. There is also a great pocket card reader included.
After all the pre-flight checks and double checks were passed, it was time for its maiden voyage(s)
It’s first flight was a low speed, low altitude hug the hardwood floor type flight. This is just what is needed to get used to the controls, including the trim and yaw rate. Once you have it relatively hovering, it’s time to pickup the speed and climb a little.
The controls were amazingly responsive. Just a slight stick movement (Forward, back, left or right) and it did just that. The altitude stick also was just as responsive.
The control was so “on target” that I was able to hover enough to torment the dog for a few minutes.
The manual claims only 8 or so minutes of flight time on a full charge, but I believe that to be way off, as I got close to 15 or 18 actually.
After the inaugural flight, it was time to charge it for another sortie. With a full moon, I decided to turn on all the lights and go into UFO mode. Lights are fully suggested if you are going to try a night flight, as you WILL NEVER see it in its matte black state at night. It appeared to get to about 80-90 feet up and performed as fast and responsively as inside. However, night flights are not suggested during the non-winter months for one reason and one reason only. Wait for it ! BATS; and I do not mean what the Boston Red Sox couldn’t utilize this summer. I looked up, just intime to see one of the little flying menaces buzz the helicopter. Thankfully, the lights were on. I cut the power and it dropped into my hands.
The next day, it was time for the real flight. As you can see from the video, there were a few novice type mishaps, but the flight went well otherwise. The clarity of the video was utterly amazing given the fact the camera is extremely small. Instead of clear views, graininess was fully expected. It was a treat to see the neighbor hood at that level. I did take a rangefinder out with me and verified an altitude of 120’ at its highest.
The manual was extremely well written and seems to have the beginning to novice R/C fan in mind. It’s jargon is easy enough for that level, but will also not bore a true R/C pro. Also within the manual are instructions just in case you do manage to push it too far and snap something, there are also some spare parts included. Parts are also available on the web site as well as at ThinkRC.com.
Overall, the Black Swann RC Stealth Helicopter is extremely fun for any age. The gyro technology and built in stabilization is meant to help make flying a helicopter as easy as possible. At roughly $99, it is priced well enough for an older child’s birthday or holiday gift or even just a “hey, great job” gift. Be sure to watch the DEMO FLIGHT from the North Chelmsford Airport..