Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Force RC Combat Helicopters


Sunset is fast approaching and the night air is still. I am behind the controls of a military helicopter patrolling the air around our satellite base station. An uneasy feeling comes over me, putting me on high alert. As I hover past my base station again, BAM! I am suddenly hit out of nowhere and my heli spins out of control. I quickly regain control and just over the horizon spot two enemy helicopters in strike position. Just then, an explosion is heard at the base station. I take a firm grip on the controls as I engage the enemy. I have the shot and FIRE! I strike the enemy and watch as he pirouettes before regaining control. I did not take him out! My wingman fires his shot and takes out the second enemy bird. Suddenly, I hear Im hit. Im going down, as my wingman takes direct hit from the enemy helicopter I damaged with my first shot. I see the enemy on the horizon but Im not in a good position for the shot. With the enemy distracted by the fate of my wingman, I flank to the left, slide in behind him and with a quick pull of the trigger, Ka Pow the enemy threat has been eliminated.

You might be thinking that I am describing a military helicopter simulator, or perhaps a table top roll playing game, but you would be wrong. This scenario recently played out right in the living room as three friends and I engaged in battle with the new Readyto- fly combat helicopters from Force RC. What a total blast! Forget about video games and watching reruns on TV. Force RC has taken electronic entertainment to a whole new level. This is as close as you can get to a virtual reality helicopter battle mission right in your living room. So lets charge them up and let the battle begin!

The coaxial Force RC helicopters come in two versions, the red FHX Carbon Brotherhood Strike Heli and the blue MH-35 Allied Defense Battle Heli. Each comes complete with an interference- free 2.4GHz 5-channel transmitter and 120mAh 1-cell 3.7v LiPo battery pack. The transmitter has a charging jack built in to recharge the battery and you can even recharge a spare battery while flying. In addition to the normal left and right transmitter controls, there are two red trigger-style buttons that let you fire at your targets with the infrared gun mounted under the belly of each helicopter. An audible machine gun sound emits from the transmitter each time you pull the trigger. The transmitter features digital trims on the throttle, rudder and cyclic controls.

At first glance the helicopters themselves may seem similar to other micro coaxials that Horizon offers. It isnt until you get these helis in the air when you realize there is a big difference. The Force RC helis feature a new SimpliFly control option which makes flying them much easier. If you are a beginner with no helicopter flight experience you can not only fly these helis, but successfully take on an experienced pilot.

Another great feature of the Force RC helicopters is that they are rugged; truly battle- hardened. As you can imagine with a mix of pilots with various skills, mid-air collisions are pretty commonplace in the heat of battle, as are the occasional high

speed dives into the wall, floor and coffee table. Crashes that would have you heading to the hobby shop seemed to have no effect on these little birds. This alone makes the Force RC helis a great new form of family entertainment. Trust me, the kids love them.
The heart of the Force RC helis is the VDAS (Visual Damage Assessment System). The VDAS module is located on the belly of each helicopter and it contains the infrared gun, hit detector and LED status system. When you fire at the enemy aircraft or Radar Base Station, a realistic machine gun sound emits from the transmitter accompanied by a blinking white LED on the helicopter. When a helicopter is first hit, the VDAS causes the heli to spin quickly one time before you regain control, while the team LED flashes for two seconds. The second hit will cause the helicopter to spin once in each direction, again with the team LED flashing for two seconds. The third and final hit will cause the helicopter to spin continuously with decreasing throttle until it reaches the floor. The team LED will flash for 10 seconds and the hit counter will reset itself so you can return to the fray as soon as your nerves allow. When the helicopter is hit the third time, it is important not to use the aileron or elevator controls (right stick) or it may not land correctly. However the throttle and rudder controls may be used during a number three hit.ATTACKING GROUND TARGETSForce RC also has a new Ground Target that you can add into your battle field for solo practice or team game play. The satellite dish on the target will squeal and the front LED will flash each time it is hit. Like the helicopters, the ground target can be programmed to accept any hits, or filter friendly fire in team mode. When the Ground Target is struck the first and second time the front LED flashes for five seconds and the target will make an explosion sound. When the LED goes back to a solid color, it is ready to
TALKING TIME IS OVERWant to settle a dispute? Looking to see who is the better pilot? Force RC lets you bring the battle to your living room, giving you hours of endless fun blasting your friends and family out of the sky while sharpening your skills at the same time. The use of the SimpliFly mode levels the battlefield, allowing novice pilots to square up against seasoned heli pilots by reducing the pilot workload, allowing them to concentrate more on attacking targets and less on actual flying. The VDAS and Team ID systems add a whole new dimension to helicopter flying. Whether you are flying a solo mission against a ground target, dueling one-on-one, or in a full-blown team battle, you are sure to earn your wings with Force RC.Links
E-flite, distributed exclusively by Horizon Hobby Distributors,, (800) 338-4639Force RC, distributed exclusively by Horizon Hobby Distributors,, (800) 338-4639

GETTING STARTEDBefore you actually engage the enemy, you must charge the single cell flight battery. In the bottom of the left hand transmitter grip is a charge receptacle to insert the battery. Once inserted an LED will let you know the charging status. A solid red LED means the battery is charging. As it gets close to completion it will start to blink. When the battery is fully charged the LED goes out completely. The transmitter itself is powered by four AA batteries. Both the flight battery and a set of AA cells to get you started are included in the kit.With a fully charged battery it is time to power up the transmitter and be sure the throttle stick is in the lowest setting. Next, plug in the battery and leave the heli alone on a table for 5-10 seconds to let the internal gyro calibrate. Once the LED on the helicopter goes solid it is ok to slide the battery into the cradle and you are ready for flight.
detect an attack again. When it is hit a third time, the LED flashes for 15 seconds and the target makes three explosion sounds again resetting itself automatically to a solid LED to continue game play. Team assignment is simple. There is a pushbutton on the top of the unit once you open the satellite lid. Depressing the button will allow you to select the mode that it operates in. The base stations even include a battery-saving timer that will shut them off if they dont see any activity for 20 minutes.
PROGRAMMING OPTIONS There are several settings that you can customize on your Force RC helicopters. The factory settings have your heli ready for battle right out of the box. The flight setting is set to standard mode (not SimpliFly). It comes set for green team (rogue or free-for-all) with the long range (20 feet) gun mode. Each of these battle settings can be changed by placing the helicopter into Force Operations Setup Mode. To enter the setup mode, push the left control stick (throttle) to the full position. Connect the battery pack to the helicopter. Before the ESC arms (within five seconds of connecting the battery) press and hold the left fire button and power the transmitter on. If done correctly you will see a slow, double blinking blue LED on the helicopter and the transmitter will have a continuous gunfire sound with a blinking LED. To change the range limit on the infrared cannon, press and release the right fire button. To indicate that you are in long range mode (20 feet) the LED on the helicopter will blink rapidly. If you are in short range mode (10 feet) the LED will blink slowly. Short range will obviously test your piloting skills significantly more, and is preferred when flying in a smaller site. To change the Team ID function on the helicopter, you simply press and release the left fire button when in setup mode. If the LED on the helicopter turns green then it is set to accept any hits from any other helicopter. It the LED is blue then it will accept hits only from the red and green teams. If the LED is red then it will only accept hits from the blue and green teams. This setting will allow you to battle it out with friends while eliminating friendly fire from your wingman. To change the helicopter flight mode to the SimpliFly setting, push the right stick (cyclic) down until it clicks. The transmitter will beep twice when you push the stick and the LED will blink indicating that you are in SimpliFly mode. When you are in standard mode you will hear one beep when you push the stick and the transmitter LED will be solid red. To save the settings and exit the setup mode you simply push the left control stick (throttle) to the idle or low position. If you are looking for more maneuverability in your helicopter, there is a longer set of swashplate control balls that you can move the lower rotor head links to which will increase the control response. This can be useful if flying outside or indoors with ventilation air movement. Note that the infrared canon and receiver are not designed for use in daylight, so any outdoor battles will be most effectively fought at twilight on calm evenings. Force RC also has spare parts and additional bodies that you can purchase to repair your battle-weary model or customize the look of your helicopter. This is especially useful if you are flying 3 squadrons against each other.