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FlyTech Dragonfly

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The WowWee FlyTech Dragonfly with Controller.

The WowWee FlyTech Dragonfly with Controller.

© M. James
The FlyTech Dragonfly is, by far, the most entertaining of all the RC toys I own. You can fly in either beginner or expert mode. The dual settings make the Dragonfly suitable for both novice and more experienced flyers and let you start slow and improve over time. Not only is it easy to fly, the Dragonfly has a unique look. It flaps its wings like a real insect, has a buzzing noise, and LED eyes that light up during flight. It comes with two sets of wings -- an insect-looking pair and a set with a more robotic look. Those LED eyes make keeping track of it during night flight easier and it just looks cool too.

Pros and Cons of the FlyTech Dragonfly

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Requires plenty of flying room, especially in beginner mode (due to wide turns)
  • Outdoor flight requires absolutely no wind
  • Flapping wings are loud

At-a-Glance

Green Dragonfly held aloft.

Green Dragonfly held aloft.

© J. James
  • 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

FlyTech Dragonfly

FlyTech Dragonfly from WowWee is one of the Toy Retailers Association's "Dream Dozen" for the 2007 holiday season. What makes the Flytech Dragonfly unique among flying RCs is the way it takes flight. It reminds me of those little rubber band operated model birds that you would wind up, let go, and then watch as they flapped their wings like real birds. They would fly until they ran out of rubber band power.

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

Dragonfly in mid-flight with wings spread.

Dragonfly in mid-flight with wings spread.

© J. James
I'm no expert at flying RCs but this one was quite easy for me to master in the "beginner" setting. With the Dragonfly set on "beginner" it makes wide, sweeping turns. This helps you maintain control when turning or maneuvering through minor obstacles. The Dragonfly's "expert" mode jacks up its turning capabilities a few notches giving the Dragonfly a smaller turning radius and more maneuverability. Although I've tried flying in "expert" mode"I'm more comfortable using the "beginner" setting.

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.

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