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Features & Specifications
The Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter is billed as a hobby grade copter with 15 step digital proportional control and a trim knob. Like the Picco Z, the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter has an internal Li-Poly battery that is good for 7 to 9 minute fly times and recharges directly from the controller in about 20 minutes.
A small cable that stores in the controller connects to the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter for recharging. On the bottom of the Hornet 3 between the landing skids is the charging port and the on off switch. To charge you turn the Hornet 3 off and plug the cable in while the charger is on. A green light on the charger glows when the copter is charging and goes off when charging is complete. The controller itself is powered by six AA batteries that are not included. If you want more than one hornet 3, three different frequencies available will allow you to fly all three copters at once.
The controller has levers for controlling the altitude of the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter and the left and right rotation of the Hornet 3. With these two controls, you can aim the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter virtually anywhere you want. To get the best maneuverability out of the copter you need to trim it for straight flight. This is done via a small knob on the controller. On the Picco Z, the trim adjustment was done with little push buttons that were hard to use. The Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter trim knob is much more user friendly and easier to get a good trim out of.
Construction of the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter is with EPP foam making it very strong and resistant to damage in crashes. This little copter will see many crashes and a strong build is required to make the Hornet 3 last. I crashed my Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter many times and it never suffered so much s a dent or scuff. Once I even flew it into my ceiling fan, which threw the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter across the room, into the wall where my dog was waiting to pounce on it. One of the three impacts I fully expected to cause some sort of lasting damage. All I needed to do was trim the Hornet 3 again and it was ready to fly with no problems.
Due to the lightweight design of the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter, it is not meant to fly out doors. Any wind makes the copter hard to control due to its very lightweight design. I found that even fans, ceiling fans and air coming from AC/heat vents were enough to rattle the copter in level flight. Like a real helicopter, the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter uses a tail rotor along with the main rotor and a smaller secondary rotor above the main. The rotors spin very fast and can cause injury if you are not careful.
Flying the Hornet 3
My son was flying the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter and crashed it into his own head (do not ask). Naturally, he was much more dramatic than needed, but the high-speed main rotor did raise a small welt on his cheek from the impact. Just be careful when you fly the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter and watch your children closely and there is no real risk of injury.
My son’s dog seemed to be very interested, often chasing the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter around the house when we flew it. When the batteries get low, you are not able to gain altitude when flying and on one such occasion, the dog jumped up and snatched the Hornet 3 out of the air. Naturally, he did not keep it in his mouth long thanks to the still spinning rotor blades. The copter was not hurt from the mauling, but the dog never again chased the Hornet 3 after the beating* his dog lips took from the rotors blades.
*No animals, small children or household items were harmed or injured during this review.
The Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter is great fun for kids and adults alike to play with. It is easy to fly (so long as there are no drafts) and sturdy enough to stand up to crashes from novice pilots. The price for the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter is good too at $39.96. Three different frequencies are available as well for flying up to three Hornet 3’s at once, and trust me, if you have more than one kid they will each want one.
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