Griffin’s HELO TC joins growing squadron of iDevice-controlled toy aircraft
By Darren Quick
August 18, 2011
iDevices seem to be the control interface of choice for increasing numbers of remote controlled devices - just look at Parrot's AR.Drone and the iPhly app. Now Griffin, a company well known for its range of iPhone, iPod and iPad accessories, has joined the growing number of iPhone controlled flying gizmos with its HELO TC Helicopter. The pint-sized, twin-rotored helicopter works in conjunction with the accompanying HELO TC app that transforms the multi-touch display of an iOS device into a remote control.
The HELO TC comes with an infrared "Flight Deck" module that plugs into an iOS device's 3.5mm headphone jack and beams infrared commands to the helicopter. Users can pilot the helicopter using the iOS device's touchscreen to control a virtual joystick and throttle, or switch to Tilt to Steer mode to take advantage of the iOS device's built-in accelerometers and move the helicopter forward, back and side-to-side by tilting the device.
The HEMO TC app can also record and store up to three flight plans to let users repeat a favorite flight path or provide some indisputable evidence of a particularly impressive piloting job to those skeptics who wont believe your tales of aeronautical prowess. The app also allows users to choose between channels to allow up to three helicopters to be flown in the same airspace at the one time.
Comprising a black polycarbonate body over a lightweight metal frame, the HELO TC is powered by a built-in battery that recharges via USB. The Flight Deck infrared module is powered by four AAA batteries.
The HELO TC is currently available for US$49.99 through the Griffin Technology website and is set to hit retail shelves before the holiday season. The HELO TC app is available as a free download from the App Store.