More RC Helicopters Flyable Using the iPhone

“Prior to today, you could not get a decent remote controlled helicopter, or any other -esque toy, if you will, for the iPhone without also anticipating the hefty price tag that it would come accompanied with.” Scratch that, would you?

The above line was a mistake on my part because of me being uninformed when I posted about Griffin’s iPhone-controlled helicopter two nights ago. Almost immediately after I published that article, I was followed on Twitter by another website; it turns out that there are a few more RC helicopters available in the same price range as Griffin’s upcoming HELLO TC, which can be found on iHelicopters.net.

There are four different helicopter models available all available for the same price ($59.95) and all controllable using iOS devices. One noticeable difference between Griffin’s take in the RC helicopter market and iHelicopter’s copters, is that the latter are compatible with all versions of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad – and of course that the latter are available for purchase and delivery right now.

Comparable to Griffin’s $50 solution to your quirky-toy craving, the RC copters available on iHelicopers.net are controlled from the iOS device. You plug in a small transmitter to the headphone jack, and can immediately start flying your helicopter via an application currently available on the App Store. Here again, there are two control methods which are the same touch control, using an on-screen joystick, as well as a tilt option that utilizes the gyroscope (and accelerometers for older iDevice generations).

I’m really interested in both of the above mentioned helicopters (Griffin’s and iHelicopters’) and am currently trying to get my hands on one at-least. The whole idea of controlling an RC helicopter from my iPod Touch is really peaking my interest, as I’ve never before thought of that use (am I shallow or what?). It would certainly be great to see if the transmitter is a more comfortable alternative to Griffin’s Flight Deck docking solution and to also check out how the battery life on the copters is. Like Michael pointed out in the comments yesterday, it would be an awesome littler gadget, if you will, if the battery wouldn’t simply die after just a bit of use; it doesn’t seem too promising, though, by the looks of it on each helicopter’s specification page:

Charge Time:
- Transmitter: 120 minutes
- Helicopter: 45 minutes

Playing Time:
- Transmitter: 120 minutes
- iHelicopter: 8-10 minutes

There’s also a very well made video available that shows one of the copters from iHelicopters being flown.