There is no more impressive indoor toy than a radio controlled helium balloon. Once mastered, it can be flown around the house, through doorways, up stairs and even at a pet-and-child bothering low-level flight path a couple of inches above the carpet. The officially licensed Goodyear airship comes complete with a palm-sized transmitter unit and a relatively sturdy basket module, with fake windows in it.
Trickiest of all pre-flight preparations is balancing the balloon. You need to make it float in mid-air, and to this end the makers supply some putty, which you can add to the basket if you need more weight. If you need less weight, add a touch more helium. Once you have your balance right, the helium present will last for a good few flights.
The vehicle has three propellers giving you total control. If you're good, you can watch the fans turning and get a real feel for the movement of the vehicle, as well as mastering the handset levers and switches. Once you're away, the balloon in flight is an awesome sight, and you get a real sense of satisfaction making it do its stuff from the comfort of the sofa.
One of the best features in the package is the diagrammatic explanation of the controls printed on the transmitter handset. It makes the inevitable recovery moves much simpler, and also improves your general technique because the instructions are in front of your face at all times. Rather than having to learn from the manual, learning on the job, as it were, is easily the best way of doing things.
And please please please only use this indoors like it says on the box and in the manual and like we say here. Even if there seems to be no wind, your beloved helium balloon will be whisked into the clouds before you can look up and get to the tenth 'o' in 'nooooooooooooo...'
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