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Indoor Flight 

Maybe due to the current economic climate, this year’s Toy Fair definitely seemed smaller. One product that caught my eye was a helicopter manufactured in China.

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While visiting the recent Toy Fair, held at the Excel Exhibition Centre, I was struck by, what appeared to be, a total lack of one particular toy that was heavily featured last year.  Flights of fancy, via remote controlled helicopters and the like, were now conspicuous by their absence – but not quite.  The thought had barely faded from my mind when, as chance would have it, I stumbled across the small, but welcome, Extreme Fliers stand.  Set up last year by Vernon Kerswell, a student at Manchester Business School, Extreme Fliers is a company that develops and sells a range of remote controlled miniature helicopters and UFOs.  Having just got back from “Toy City”, a remote area of China with more than 4,000 factories, where he had been building up business contacts and developing a prototype anti-gravity car, Vernon was at the Toy Fair to promote some of his company’s products including a remote controlled insect, a twin-rotor Chinook chopper and a Desert Apache helicopter.

It is the latter item that forms the basis for this review.  The Desert Apache product consists of the helicopter unit and a remote control.  The helicopter, measuring 152mm from nose to tail, is the twin-blade type.  A power socket and an on/off switch are located on one side of the fuselage.  Powered by six AA batteries, which you need to supply, the remote control features a throttle stick, rudder joystick and a vernier adjustment knob (for adjusting trim).  An on/off power switch with power light, band selector with a choice of A, B or C and a concealed charger lead located on the left side of the remote complete the unit’s functionality options.

Connecting the remote control to the helicopter in order to recharge its battery is straightforward but perhaps a little fiddly for those of us with large fingers.  A 20-30 minute session should give between 5 and 6 minutes of flight time.  Making use of the helicopter’s on/off switch proved to be more difficult.  Moving the switch was not the problem, it was getting it in the exact position before the helicopter would respond to the remote control.  It took several attempts, at one stage I thought the unit was broken, before I was able to find the appropriate “hot spot”.  Fortunately this did become easier with practice and I was able to indulge in various indoor flights without causing too much damage.

Even if the packaging and remote control had not been clearly labelled Made in China, the rather limited documentation would have given the clue that this helicopter had not been manufactured in the UK.  Whoever had translated the original documentation from Chinese obviously had little understanding of the English language.  Trying to make sense of the four pages of English instructions was harder than flying the helicopter.  A couple of examples, chosen at random should give you an idea of the quality of the documentation.  “When the controller is in electrification, the controller LED turns light, when in charge, the controller is twinkling.”  Having digested that what about “When the airplane tail presents the counterclockwise rotation, you may the clockwise rotation you in the hand the remote control vernier adjustment knob until balanced.”  There are instructions in Chinese but unfortunately I neither read nor speak the language.

The Desert Apache is fine for those who have an understanding of what is involved but some experimentation will be required.  Hopefully future products from Extreme Fliers will undergo better quality control.  Expect to pay around £26 for the Desert Apache. 

http://www.extremefliers.co.uk/

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Rating:

Comment by wellhead, Dec 15, 2012 12:07

Unfortunately I was not a member on Gadgetspeak otherwise I would have avoided EF. I bought a Sub Zeor Heli and like the main complaint above I do not seem to be able to charge the Heli. Is it simply as he says the on/off swuitch is a little flimsy and you have to find the right position. I have connected the handset to the heli with heli switched off and the handset switched on and the red light flashing is this all I have to do.
I am usually quite good with these type of technical issues but no matter which way I connect and switch position I cannot get the heli to operate. Is it just the switch position on the heli.
Help welcome
Rating:

Comment by Paul James, Mar 19, 2012 14:55

Ordered a helicopter from Groupon way before christmas. When it finally arrrived it would not hold its charge. After numerous emails and attempts to contact the mobile number provided by Groupon it was replaced only to have the same fault. I saw these jokers at a fair at the NEC and got a contact number for there head office - still no one answers this phone. I am waiting until the end of the week before I contact trading standards to report this problem. On there flyer they also state a number of toy organisations that they are a memer of, i will also be contacting these to report the crooks at EXTREME FLIERS.
Rating:

Comment by Damian, Jan 30, 2012 15:10

Ordered a helicopter at the beginning of Jan. Have been waiting and emailling them since.  No phone numbers, no responses to email beyond one that said my order was on target for delivery. No dates.
Nothing.
Absolute rip off merchants.
Do not go near these people if you can avoid it.
Rating:

Comment by rubal miah, Jan 27, 2012 18:13

very disappointed by their service waiting now 3 weeks for my helicopter was meant for a birthday gift not yet recieved, contacted them few times on one reply. very disgusting il be honest. i dont know how dragons den invested in them.
Rating:

Comment by Paula, Jan 25, 2012 4:48

Also ordered mine off groupon, great helicopter, mine arrived on time and my son loves it
Rating:

Comment by WC28, Jan 11, 2012 22:39

Ordered mine of the Groupon order in November the first day you could...and on 12/23 emailed them it was still not received. Two coworkers who i referred ordered it too. the person who ordered it last, got it first. ??? The other got hers two days AFTER christmas. Here it is January 11 of 2012 and i still have nothing to show for the Groupon or the Shipping. Contacted them on 12/23 and was told it went out 12/8...???? then contacted two days ago and no reply. Contacted them again today and waiting to see what the next step is. If dont' hear back will go to groupon to complain, then the Better Business Bureau and whoever else i can file with in the UK. Irritating as it was, like most people who bought it, a gift for a kid for Christmas. i had to run out to Toys R Us on 12/23 and buy another gift....that was a nightmare.
Rating:

Comment by KD, Dec 27, 2011 16:32

Ha  been waiting for spare parts for about 6 weeks, EF lost my first order so had to re-order. They will not answer emails, I have sent 10 so far. Their contact number is a FULL voice mail box. Recieved my order last week, because of the contact problems I ordered qty 3 top blade sets, only recieved one!
Don't touch these people, their custormer services are discusting, people like this should not be allowed to trade. They are total rip off merchants.
Rating:

Comment by Simon Grost, Dec 15, 2011 13:07

I have a Groupon voucher that I have attempted to redeem but the site will not recognize it. I have sent many many emails to Extreme flyers and to Groupon but still no reply. Can't get refund can't get contact. My son will be going without this Christmas. I am very upset and disappointed and i will no longer be using Groupon. Both Groupon and Extreme Fliers are total cowboys. Going to go to office of fair trading etc. These idiots will not get away with this!!!  
Rating:

Comment by rbw, Nov 25, 2011 14:45

Ordered the Groupon deal on 16th Nov & nothing since, no replies to emails.
Rating:

Comment by Chris Smith, Nov 21, 2011 13:08

I am still waiting for my groupon order 3 weeks after it was oredered on line. Is anyne else having similar problmes??
Rating:

Comment by Helen Gray, Oct 14, 2011 14:11

Interesting comments on this "company" I foolishly bought a groupon deal and waited 6 weeks for the helicopter to be delivered. My husband had only  tried it for a few minutes and the rotor on the back came off. My son e-mailed them right away and got a very speedy reply back telling him how to order and send money. He did this 3 weeks ago and to date nothing from  extreme fliers despite another 2 emails being sent. I have now asked Groupon for assistance so here,s hoping!! To be honest I would prefer a refund from EF as i can see this being an ongoing problem. Wish I had never heard of them.
Rating:

Comment by Extreme Fliers, May 19, 2011 3:22

All issues happily resolved. Spare parts dispatched, queries followed up.  Following the intense media exposure some emails became lost, but all have been followed up now. Please contact us customercare@extremefliers.co.uk
Rating:

Comment by keith750cc, Oct 3, 2010 18:00

NEVER BOTHER WITH THESE JOKERS, BOUGHT 3 HELICOPTERS FROM PRESTON BULLRING IN DEC 2009 (CHRISTMAS PRESENTS) INTO THE NEW YEAR AND 2 BROKE, I DID A BIT OF RESEARCH AND FOUND WE NEEDED NEW SET OF ROTORS FOR ONE OF THEM, CONTACTED EXTREMEFLIERS AND QUICKLY RECEIVED AN EMAIL SAYING WHAT I NEEDED TO ORDER, PAID VIA PAYPAL ( LUCKILY ONLY £3.50 ) ITS NOW SEPT 2010 NO ROTORS, NO REFUND, NEVER EVER REPLY NOW TO MY EMAILS, EVERY PHONE NUMBER LISTED IS UNOBTAINABLE, THIS LOT ARE NOTHING MORE THAN MARKET TRADERS..... AVOID AT ALL COSTS
Rating:

Comment by steve, June 25, 2010 10:38

yes yes I had problem with "terror wasp" and extreme fliers do not respond to my emails. also their phone number is phoney. I HATE BEING SWINDLED . bad feedback on its way
Rating:

Comment by zebedee720, Aug 26, 2009 12:15

i ordered a terror wasp from extremefliers uk it was advertised on tv *a in stock*on something for the weekend.i paid via paypal 8 day ago.i had email from seller saying received order then another email saying order was confirmed.after not receiving product nor any communication in 8 days i contacted extreme fliers..no reply so next day i emailed them again and they sent 4 emails saying cancelled order.i have received no refund.very poor service and rude to boot.i have filed a claim with paypal and will leave bad reviews wherever i can.they are crooks,dishonest.

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OverallExtreme Fliers Desert Apache Helicopter rated 60 out of 100

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