Griffin Helo TC Challenges A.R. Drone to Copter/App Wars

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The battle for the skies has started now that Griffin Technologies has taken the wraps off its new Helo TC remote-controlled helicopter. While the Parrot AR. Drone may have drawn first blood, this new iOS app-controlled app-cessory looks like it could hold its own in a dog-fight.

The $49.99 Helo TC charges via USB and can stay airbound for 8 minutes with a full battery. The copter  is a twin-rotored, indoor helicopter built on a lightweight metal frame with a black polycarbonate body. The free iOS app turns your iPhone into the controller (complete with this easy-to-hold case) and includes both on-screen controls and an accelerometer-based “Tilt-to-Fly” mode. The app can record and store up to three Flight Plans so you, or another pilot, can repeat a favorite flight pattern easily. There’s also an included Flight Deck module, which runs on four AAA batteries and plugs into your iOS device’s headphone jack to transmit signals. Should you decide to take flight at night, the helicopter’s five LEDs will help you find it post-crash. You can get it now at

In contrast, the $299.99 AR. Drone is a significantly more expensive quad-propeller copter that is controlled via Wi-Fi using Parrot's iOS augmented reality app. The device sports two on-board cameras; one to monitor surroundings and one to stream back to your iPhone. Which do you think would win in a fight and which one is worth the cash? Tell us in the comments.

Author Bio
Anna Attkisson
Anna Attkisson, Laptop Mag & Tom's Guide Managing Editor
A lover of lists and deadlines, Anna Attkisson covers apps, social networking, tablets, chromebooks and accessories. She loves each of her devices equally, including the phablet, three tablets, three laptops and desktop. She joined the Laptop Mag staff in 2007, after working at Time Inc. Content Solutions where she created custom publications for companies from American Express to National Parks Foundation.
Anna Attkisson, Laptop Mag & Tom's Guide Managing Editor on
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1 comment
  • Officer Frank Murphy Says:

    The Helo TC would destroy the competition. It's faster and more agile. My friend Lymangood and I have even looped one before. Why they should code name that little buzz saw, "Black Thunder"!

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