I’m not very big on playing with toys, but when Brando offered the Nano Falcon R/C helicopter by Silverlit, it piqued my curiosity. It’s billed as the World’s smallest, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Having never attempted to fly a remote-controlled helicopter, I went for the new experience. What could go wrong?Because of my lack of experience in flying helicopters, I actually read the manual from front to back. Perhaps this was the one time I shouldn’t have.
- Guinness World Records Smallest RC Helicopter
- Size of just 65mm and weighs just 11g
- 3 channel indoor heli flies up and down; forward and backward; left and right
- Built-in Gyro Stabilizer makes flying easier
- Precise variable speed rotor delivers excellent flying control
- Pre-selected tri band system
- Slim design for transmitter
A close up of the Nano.
The controller. It requires 4 AA batteries (not included) to operate. It also is the charging station for the helicopter.
After installing the batteries, the next step is to charge the Nano. You make sure the switch on the helicopter is turned off, and then plug it on the remote controller. It takes about 30 minutes to charge the battery, which then gives you about 5 minutes of flight time. Now that everything was set, I was ready to make my first flight.
I again read the instruction book, which advised that I should slowly advance the power until the Nano hovered about a meter above the ground. I did so, and the Nano immediately nosed over and plowed into the table. OK, so I tried again. Slowly increased the throttle, and I got the same results. After about an hour of this frustration, I put the Nano away in anticipation of an upcoming visit to my good friend Ed.
Ed has a couple of remote-control helicopters, and he flies them every time we visit. On top of that he is a retired certified helicopter mechanic, so I thought he could find out what was wrong. When we arrived on the recent visit, I showed him the Nano, and he asked how to charge it and looked at the controls. He put the helicopter on a launching pad (a book) and advanced the power a quarter of the way, and lo and behold, the Nano popped in the air. After adjusting the trim, he was able to fly it around a room with 8′ ceilings.
Ed is actually flying the Nano here. I’m the one taking the shaky video.
Well, I guess the lesson here is don’t always believe what you read in the manual. After a little bit of practice, I too was able to hover the Nano and fly around the room. Now don’t get me wrong. There is a rather long learning curve, and I still am not able to land the Nano without crashing, although those crashes have become less severe. Now that I’m back home, I also have the advantage of cathedral ceilings in my living room, which keeps me from hitting them as much.
I’ve been enjoying flying the Nano since I figured out it was pilot error at the beginning. The fast recharge time makes it easy to get caught up in the fun and time seems to get lost somehow. A couple of caveats though. Don’t try to fly the Nano outside or where there is an air current, like over heat registers. The helicopter is very light and the slightest breeze will destabilize it. It will take practice to make it work. I did as the manual suggested and initially concentrated on maneuvering up and down. Once I got that down, I then worked on my lateral controls. And don’t get this for a child. It takes concentration to master. The manufacturer suggests for 10 and above, but I’m not sure a 10-year-old has the patience. On the other hand, if you buy it for a 10-year-old and it doesn’t work out, you then have a new toy!