I have flown these mechanical birds before and have enough experience to know weight is everything. A few extra grams here and there and you have a bird that does not want to fly well. The Avitron was designed by Edwin van Ruymbeke who has lots of history with his father the inventor of the Tim Bird. Released to some degree in 2009, rcFlyingbird.com is the exclusive distributor of the Avitron in the US.
|Wing Weight/Wing Area:||3.22 g/dm. sq.|
|Transmitter:||2 channel 2.4 GHz.|
|Receiver:||2 channel 2.4 GHz. Multi-Frequency Ė up to 6|
|Battery:||40 mAh LiPo|
|Charger:||Included in transmitter|
|Charge Time:||12 minutes|
|Motors:||2 ultra-micro size brushed|
|Motor Speed Unloaded:||53,000 RPM|
|Motor Speed Loaded:||35,000 RPM|
|Wing Speed:||Up to 17 flaps/sec|
|Wing Amplitude:||55 degrees|
|Charges on AA batteries:||Up to 75 charges|
|Maximum Static Thrust:||5 grams|
The packaging is excellent, and mine arrived with no damage. I thought the manufacturer did a quality job of making sure nothing moves around during shipping.
The kit comes complete with a foam molded body with the all the electronics installed. An extra set of wings and transmitter knobs are also provided. A small group of aluminum tape strips are also included which are needed to tune the wings.
The wings are very lightweight liquid crystal and polymer composition and are covered with a reflective prism Mylar. They are durable, yet provide the lift necessary in a very elegant manner (see video). The motor is capable of moving the wings at incredible speeds of 17 flaps per second using self lubricating polyacetate materials. Motor RPM with fully loaded wings is near 35,000.
The Avitron has a molded body with a postage stamp size ESC (.06g). The LiPo and two motors are housed inside. The single antennae stick out the top by a few inches with a micro switch also located on the top. The underside has a small charging port.
The tail does not really steer the Avitron by rotating back and forth (see video). Rather watch the video and notice how the movement of the tail deflects the wings which do in fact turn the Avitron. The tail is adjustable with five different settings for different speeds of flight.
The transmitter supplies the power for as many as 75 charges on a single set of high quality batteries. Each charge takes about 12 minutes. A blinking light on the transmitter shows the charge is underway and glows green when the charge is complete. The power should be turned off on the Avitron receiver before initiating a charge.
The binding sequence is pretty easy to read and confirm. When you turn on the transmitter the lights will flash between green and red. When you turn on the receiver, the lights on the transmitter will quit flashing. For my Avitron frequency, the red light stays lit. You will have a red light on the transmitter and the receiver. If you turn off the receiver while the transmitter is still on and then turn the receiver back on it will not bind and you will see inside the body a red and green flashing sequence. Turn the transmitter back off and then back on and the two will bind.
There is no assembly required, and all that is needed is to charge up the on-board battery and start flying. Tuning of the wings is required and this procedure takes a few flights. You hand launch the Avitron. Note the direction it tends to go and add weight to the tip of the opposite wing. Continue this until you have directional control. You want the bird to fly straight, and when you input controls, it should turn.
A very gentle hand toss will put the Avitron into the air.
It took me at least five of six flights to get the Avitron flying under my control. Wind is definitely a consideration. I flew in the evening in pretty much calm winds to adjust the wings and take the video. This is a great indoor flyer, so do not hesitate to fly some indoors. Check out some of rcFlying's videos on their website showing indoor flying.
You have the ability to control the flight throttle and still keep the Avitron in the air. If you cut back the throttle the Avitron will begin to descend. If you increase the throttle it will rise. Setting on the tail elevation will impact how quickly it rises and descends. The tail will control the direction, and you have to get used to not cramming the stick right and left as the flight will be more realistic if you are gentle. You can, in fact, over steer while gliding.
It will also glide to the ground. You can gain some altitude and cut the throttle back, and by inputting slight stick movements, keep it pretty straight. Too much movement and it will enter a stall spin and softly descends to the ground. If you fly off of grass it will be almost impossible to cause any damage from even a hard landing. Almost all of my powerless landings were spins.
I am not sure about a beginner simply because one has to understand how to make sure it will be trimmed. The cautions provided (see below) are very clear on how to handle the Avitron as well, so it takes a gentle, educated grip.
The Avitron is fun. It is an upgrade to 2.4 GHz and once you learn to fly the little bird you gain some new flying skills. It has flight duration of up to six minutes, so you can get two or three flights in over lunch including charges. Overall, I found the Avitron to be an excellent blend of design, micro technology and durability.
Avitron looks rather fragile and delicate, how should I handle it?
This product was tested for a lifespan of hundreds of cycles in flight; however it remains a high technology product that should be handled with care when not flying. Avoid seizing it by the wings or tail, but rather by its foam body. Take caution so the wings and tail do not snag anything. Never leave the Avitron stored on the wings, below another object, or under direct sunlight. Place it carefully and gently on the charging port, there is no force involved. The Avitron will fit very easily on the charging port. Be very careful in the event of replacing a wing.
Is the Avitron safe for my children?
It is strongly recommended not to let children handle the bird, or pick it up from the ground after a flight. On the other hand, according to their aptitude, they can certainly try to control it in the air, under adult monitoring. Or simply enjoy watching Avitron flying !
Is the product guaranteed?
This product is warranted against defects in material and workmanship under normal use (as described in the manual supplied) for thirty (30) days from the date of purchase (Keep your purchase receipt and original box.)
100 yards = 300 feet. I would think that's plenty of range for something so small. My eyes, however, may not be as good as others. Nice review Dave, thanks!
Sorry for any confusion, the range is approximately 100 yards, but in my experience you cannot see the bird well enough after about 45-50.
Bob, not sure what you mean by green screen, Dave's videos were actual footage, as is the one on my site. They fly really well in calm weather and even better indoors. I can post up some pictures of the internals if anyone would like to see.
Wast the bat 2.4? Proportional throttle/steering? Replacement parts available? Someone like me on the forums for active support? Just other things to consider with the pricetag..
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