Pros and Cons of the FlyTech Dragonfly
- Beginner and expert modes make it suitable for all ages and skill levels
- All-in-one controller/charger/charging perch
- LED eyes for night time flights
- Decent 10-15 minute runtime on a 20 minute charge
- Comes in two frequencies so two can fly together
- Requires plenty of flying room, especially in beginner mode (due to wide turns)
- Outdoor flight requires absolutely no wind
- Flapping wings are loud
- Two frequencies: 27MHz or 49MHz
- Two standard colors: blue or green
- Two special editions: Discovery Channel stores version in red; Black and yellow Barry B. Benson "The Bee Movie" version (compare prices)
- Ready-to-fly, no assembly required. Requires six AA batteries for controller
- Ornithopter-based design -- flaps its wings like a real insect
- Comes with extra set of wings
- Retails for approximately $45-$50 USD
Excited to find out if the Dragonfly's performance is as cool as its looks, I didn't wait for daylight to take it out for a first flight. Fortunately it was a windless night. I found out later that even the slightest breeze makes it almost impossible to fly -- so pick a windless day or fly it indoors with the ceiling fans turned off. In the darkness the green glowing eyes gave the Dragonfly an almost haunting presence.
The controller has two channels: one for lift and forward movement; one for left and right movement. Giving it a little throttle, the Dragonfly started flapping it's large wings up and down and making an odd sound. Some might think the whir of the internal mechanics takes away from the realism but I thought it was a little like a real buzzing insect.
Easy to Fly
Flight time on a single 20 minute charge is around 15 minutes. That suited me just fine although some reviewers think it's too short. The Dragonfly comes with two sets of wings: insect-like dragonfly wings and high-tech robotic wings. There is also an extra rear prop in case you break the delicate installed prop.
The manufacturer recommends the Dragonfly for ages 8 and up. With a little help from their parents, even slightly younger ones could probably fly it as well -- as long as it is kept in beginner mode. However, it does have delicate parts that very young kids (or clumsy adults) could easily break so responsible adult supervision is necessary.
The $45-$50 USD retail price of the Dragonfly is comparable to other toy RC planes and helicopters and it delivers just as much, if not more, fun for the money.