Remote control UFOs

Has anyone got one of those remote control UFOs? Are they much fun or just an expensive ripoff? Are they better with2 or 3 motors? (If you dont know what Im talking about, try http://rctoys.com/products_38s.html ) I want to get one, but I would like an opinion from any other bored office workers/couch potatos before parting with my bills…

I was dying to get one until you read the fine print:

Cannot be used outdoors and you must refill the helium every couple weeks.
Wha? I can’t fake UFO sightings? Plus I’m too lazy to refill it so often. Its essentially a balloon with a little RC fan attached.

I have one of them. I got it for a bunch of K-mart points. It’s the exact model on the web page you posted.

It’s not nearly as fun as it looks. The way you control it is simply to turn the two motors on and off. The motors are fixed at a permanent angle, so if you run them in reverse it will descend, and if you run them forward it will climb. To turn the thing, you run one forward and one reverse, or just run one forward or reverse. That way you can get it to circle and descend, or circle and climb.

The big problem is that it’s really sluggish and not very manoeverable at all. Start the motors, and it will slowly pick up speed. Put them both in reverse and it’ll take a few feet to finally slow down and stop.

The construction is pretty flimsy. The motor unit is scotch-taped to the gas bag, which is just a large mylar balloon. And this is the biggest problem with the thing - it’s HUGE. The balloon is about 3’ in diameter. It barely fits through doorways, and in your average living room all you’re going to be able to do is fly it forwards and back and spin it in a circle. You’ll never get any speed going, either. You most definitely cannot fly it outside, since even a slight breeze would overpower the tiny motors.

It’d be great fun to have 3 or 4 of them in a large enclosed space like an auditorium and have obstacle course races, but in a typical house they’re just too big and non-manoeverable to really do much.

We played with it on Christmas day for a few hours, then it got ignored. The batteries for it are also expensive. The lithium cell for the motor unit was something like $12.

I went out and bought an aluminum helium canister for about $30 which has enough helium to fill the thing many times (plus many party balloons). You have to fill it up until it floats to the ceiling, then laboriously add little bits of putty (supplied) until it has neutral bouyancy. Then the next day if you want to play with it you’ll have to take off some putty to make up for the gas that leaked out since you last used it. After a few days of doing this, you add more helium and put the putty back on again.

Hope this helps.

If you cut some large paper or plastic into 5’ circles & glue the edges together, put over a bon fire [carefully] until full of hot air, itll rise. practically free too.