Now, you too can join luminaries such as Prince Andrew, TC off Magnum and, er, Noel Edmonds by piloting your very own swanky helicopter. Okay, so you won't be able to nip over to St Tropez, harass Higgins in Hawaii or whisk Mr Blobby to his next signing session, but you will be able to take control of a sleek and nifty R/C chopper without having to apply for a mortgage.
The Sky Patrol R/C Helicopter is the finest entry-level chopper we've ever seen, and even the most maladroit wannabe pilot should be able to get this baby off the ground. Featuring the same on-board computer technology as the popular Intruder R/C Airplane, this wonderful whirlybird has been engineered to make flying a doddle.
The proportional control flight system uses a Scalextric-style trigger unit to regulate altitude and speed, whilst the light but durable body construction means that even Mike Smith-style pilots won't terminally damage the aircraft if it nosedives into the ground.
The Sky Patrol Helicopter uses a quick charger that resembles a landing pad and comes complete with a seriously funky 'fuelling' hose - simply attach the hose to the chopper, wait for the light to turn green and you're ready for take off. The Sky Patrol is pretty much plug-and-play - we got it flying within minutes out of the box.
Once airborne the helicopter will soar to heights of well over 50ft and distances of 300ft. It takes a little while to master the control - basically the harder you squeeze the trigger, the higher it flies in a pretty much forward direction. Ease off the trigger and the Sky Patrol will lose altitude and start to turn; pull the trigger when it's facing the new direction you want to charge off in.
Although recommended for outdoor flight only, we couldn't help but try the Sky Patrol indoors, as its size and lightweight construction seems to lend itself to office flight. With this in mind, may we suggest hovering the Sky Patrol above a colleague's carefully stacked paperwork whilst loudly humming Flight of the Valkyries and quoting lines from Apocalypse Now. (NB: Firebox cannot replace helicopters that have been plucked from the sky and stamped on as a result of this highly irritating activity).
For £70 you're not getting a state of the art, fuel guzzling, iron beast of a 'copter. Control is somewhat erratic and definitely takes some getting used to. In fact make sure you have plenty of space available when you launch because it has an uncanny ability to head straight for the nearest person leaving you to watch helplessly as they scramble for cover. But then that's half the fun isn't it?
All in all we think this is the ultimate airborne plaything for the price conscious chopper shopper.