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Review: iUFO – A Fun iOS Controlled Flying Machine

Rating: 4.5/5

Posted in iOS, Miscellaneous, Reviews on 15/01/2013 by Ian Fuchs

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The invention of the iPhone has spawned one of the largest 3rd party accessory communities in history.  Things like docks, peripherals, and adapters have made the iPhone more than just a way to make calls, send texts and emails, and surf the web.  It’s now a tool to process payments, create high quality music and video, and even control other devices.  Now, flight is possible with your iPhone and the iUFO flying saucer.

Overview:

The iUFO ($59.99 on iHelicopters.net) is the newest addition to the iHelicopters line of iPhone controlled RC devices.  The iPhone controlled aircraft is simple, lightweight, and (as you’d expect from an iPhone peripheral), easy to use.

The iUFO gets it name from the shape created by the structure surrounding the rotors.  The spherical orb is made of a durable plastic, as are the stabilizers surrounding the motor, which cut down on vibration and keep the helicopter balanced.  The rotor blades and steering prop are also made of the same durable plastic, which can withstand several crashes (trust me!).

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The iUFO also includes a transmitter which connects to your iPhone though the headphone jack.  When powered on (through the iPhone “iController” app), the iUFO transmitter is programmable to three channels, allowing you to fly with friends.  The iController app also features throttle (for up/down movement), a directional stick (for forward/back/left/right), trim (for balancing and centering your iUFO), and a motion control setting.

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The motion control setting uses your iPhone’s accelerometer to fly the iUFO, which creates a unique and challenging flying experience.  I would definitely suggest getting familiar with flying the iUFO through the on-screen controls before jumping into using the motion control.  While the iUFO doesn’t include a flight light like some iHelicopters, it does include the standard flight beacon for flying in dimly lit areas.

iHelicopters recommends not flying the iUFO outside, but it is recommended that you fly in a very spacious area (away from breakables).  If you’re lucky enough to get a very calm day, you might be safe to take a short flight outside, but wind will certainly make controlling the iUFO nearly impossible.  The minimal weight also means that you won’t be using the iUFO to carry things like a camera, beer, chihuahua, hamster, etc.

Verdict
Rating: 4.5/5

The iUFO is a great iPhone controlled helicopter, especially for inexperienced pilots.  The durable frame and simple controls make flying an easy and enjoyable experience.  The lightweight design means the iUFO won’t destroy your living room on a evening adventure gone wrong, but also means flying is restricted to calm, indoor environments.

Pros:

  • Simple controls
  • Durable design
  • USB rechargeable (no need to buy batteries)
  • Great for letting out your inner child
  • Includes spare rotors, control prop, and support arms

Cons:

  • Minimal weight restricts flight to indoors

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If you’re looking for a fun toy for the living room or office, the iUFO is great toy to add some excitement to your day.



Author

Ian Fuchs

Ian, Senior Review Editor at MacTrast, has been an Apple enthusiast for years, starting in 2000 with an iMac and iMovie. In college, Ian developed skills and further interest in all things Apple. Ian's expanding skill set increased his love for Apple's products. Now the owner of "the new iPad", iPad mini, iPhone 5, Apple TV, MacBook, MacBook Pro, numerous iPods, and a classic G5 Mac Pro, he is "pretty familiar" with Apple's products. Ian resides in Chicago, works as a Programmer & Systems Analyst at a college, loves his dog more than most people and plays drums & guitar.