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Written by Dillon Carpenter
Worth a Closer Look
Product Spotlight
As seen in the April 2019 issue of
Model Aviation.


worth a closer look


Bonus Video

Product Review

By now you have likely heard about Tiny Whoops and micro quadcopters. These little flying machines are fun to fly indoors alone or race with a group of friends. Recently, the online community has introduced a new twist: the ability to convert one into a tiny hovercraft!

Alexandre Disvignes was the original pioneer of the idea and design of the Tiny Whoov. Since then, hobbyists and manufacturers have created their own versions of the design. The Blade Inductrix Switch RTF comes preassembled as a hovercraft and is ready to go out of the box for $59.99.

The kit includes the Blade Inductrix Switch, a 2.4 GHz four-channel transmitter, 1S 25C 150 mAh LiPo battery and charger, four AA batteries, and a user’s manual. This hovercraft is a one-of-a-kind RC experience, especially with an FPV camera onboard (sold separately).

Because the hovercraft "floats" on a pillow of air, the lack of traction makes it fun to drive and drift over carpet, hard flooring, or even water. The Switch operates much better above laminate flooring, concrete, hardwood, or a similar surface. It takes more power to give the hovercraft enough lift to counteract the extra friction above carpet, which results in shorter battery life. The conformal-coated Switch is water resistant and perfect for hovering over puddles or other bodies of water.

The hovercraft’s frame is constructed of molded EPP foam and rigid molded plastic. The EPP foam skirt offers superior durability when bumping into furniture and walls and is resistant to denting. The nose of the frame is rounded to be able to roll out of corners in the event of a head-on collision. There is no reverse on this craft!

The optional FPV camera adds a new level of fun. Instead of cruising around via line-of-sight, you can attach an FPV camera and get a mouse’s-eye view of the action.

Half of the fun of a hovercraft-type vehicle is drifting. Because of the way it operates, the hovercraft lacks any form of traction. It can be frustrating to adapt to how this vehicle handles because the momentum will carry it out of a turn if you’re not careful. After you get the hang of it, you learn to use the momentum to make wide, sweeping turns and power out of them at the right moment. It’s exciting to nail a drift around a corner and come out of it at high speeds.

There are two control modes in the hovercraft configuration. One allows for simple, one-stick operation. The left stick controls the forward thrust, downward thrust or "pillow," and yaw. Two-stick control mode places thrust and steering on the left stick and pillow control on the right stick. This mode would be preferable in circumstances where you might need more control over separation from the surface, such as above carpet or water. The onboard LED shows to what control mode the hovercraft is set, and a simple stick maneuver will change between the two modes.

The Switch comes with SAFE technology and it’s easy to go from flight mode to hover mode. Removing the flight frame from the hovercraft frame is a snap. Unhook the ducts from the body, pop the flight frame out, and hook the ducts to the rear of the flight frame. After a quick stick maneuver, the Switch is ready to fly.

The frame is an interesting innovation. All four ducts are removable and replaceable. The frame’s design sets the ducts, motors, and propellers farther apart compared with a conventional micro drone frame, providing a more stable aircraft.

Sources:

Horizon Hobby

(800) 338-4639

www.horizonhobby.com

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