Who needs to fly an actual personal helicopter with all that danger when you can vicariously fly a Silverlit Picoo Z that's about the size of a deck of cards? They've been improved, flying forward now instead of just going up or down. Before, all you could do to get them to go straight ahead was bend the tail rudder a bit, place more weight on the front and hope for the best. Get out of the way! We were dodging these things coming from every direction here at our Midwest Test Facility, frustrated by their borderline controllability.
These should be more satisfying to fly. Two of the new models have a three-channel infrared remote that actually lets you control forward and backward movement. The best of the bunch is the $79 Picoo Z Tandem Z (pictured top), a dual-rotor Chinook-style copter. The $59 Picoo Z Atlas (left) also has three-channel control but with a single rotor, and looking a lot like its Picoo Z predecessors we flew here but about half its size is the $59 Mini Micron, which is redesigned to simply go forward all the time rather than the constant hovering of the original Picoo Z.
All are able to stay in the air longer, too, capable of a 10-minute flight after a 20-minute charge, about 30% longer than we've been able to fly the previous models on each charge. There are plenty of three-channel mini-copters on the market, but all are bigger and a lot more expensive than these Picoo Z choppers. With their newfound controllability, they're certainly worth a try.