Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Radio Controlled Toys

If you have small children, say 6 or 7 and under, Estes has a very nice, free, downloadable little flight simulator to go with its "Sky Rangers" electric radio controlled airplanes. You can download the simulator from: http://flyrc123.com. Once you download it, you may be asked to enter your birthdate. Enter the parent's birthday (or any year pre-1989) or you will be asked to fax parental permission to the company (COPPA compliance). The installation process will leave an icon on the desktop that you click to start the simulator.

The simulator is great for kids because there are only 2 buttons -- left and right. If you have ever flown one of these planes, you will realize that the simulator is very realistic. When you turn, you lose altitude, so you have to keep an eye on altitude just like you do when flying the real toy.

We have one of these planes (the Air Hogs plane shown above). Little toy R/C airplanes like these became popular a year or two ago:

So you charge the plane for two minutes, fly it for 2 minutes, run and pick it up, charge it, fly it, etc. For kids it is perfect. The planes are small and light so they don't destroy themselves in crash landings, and they fly slow enough that a kid can handle it. The Estes simulator does a good job of teaching the behavior of the real plane before you go out and fly it for real.

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