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Picco Z RC Helicopter Review

by Oscar Sodani
October 31, 2006

Oscar Sodani is a founder of Help2Go and owner of Help2Go Networks, an IT consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Oscar holds the CISSP certification as well as industry certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and Novell.

A few days ago I talked about how much I loved my Air Hogs Aero Ace RC airplane. That purchase prompted me to try to find something that I could fly indoors, during the long winter months. The search led to me to the Picco Z remote control helicopter, which I found at Radio Shack for $40.

I didn't purchase it blind - the same article I read that recommended the Aero Ace also recommends the Picco Z, so I decided to give it a try.

The Picco Z is impossibly small - about 6 1/2 inches from nose to tail. The main rotor is 5 inches. Like the Aero Ace, it is made mostly of styrofoam with a little bit of plastic. It also has a tiny lithium battery - you just plug it in to the remote control to charge it up, making recharges very simple wherever you might be.


Picco Z Helicopter


However, this is strictly an indoor helicopter. Because it is SO light, the slightest wind will send it veering, and even a drafty room will make it difficult to control.

So how does it control? Getting it up in the air is extremely simple. Just push up on the remote, and it will take off effortlessly. In fact, when the battery is freshly charged, it will zoom straight up in the air and into your ceiling!

Moving it around the house takes a lot of practice, but it can be done. The second axis on the remote will rotate the helicopter either clockwise or counter-clockwise. As it turns, it moves forward slightly.

Once you get the hang of it, flying it around the house is great fun! My cat has not yet figured out what this giant mosquito-sounding object is, so she chases it around the room mercilessly. I have successfully piloted it from room to room, and landed on a variety of surfaces.

While it may look fragile, I can definitively say that it is not. My 2 year old son got sick of just watching it fly - he wanted to pilot it himself. I reluctantly gave over the control, dreading the inevitable destruction of the copter - but no matter how many times he crashed it into the ceiling and various pieces of furniture, the helicopter survives without any problems whatsoever!

In fact, my son now plays with it every day! We takes turns piloting it, well, I pilot it - he just crashes it. But its durability really surprised me! Last week, he managed to step on it, and all it did was bend one of the rotors. I was able to quickly bend it back into place, and it is flying as well as it ever has.

The one complaint I have is that it is very hard to control when fully charged. There's simply too much power. After a minute or two of use, however, the power level plateaus and controlling it becomes simple.

Each recharge will last you about 10 minutes of flying time. Recharging it takes about 15-20 minutes. If you must have continual flight, then consider purchasing two. 

I recommend the Picco Z (sometimes stores will misspell it a Picoo Z). It is a worthy indoor aircraft for when the weather is just not right for flying the Aero Ace. 

UPDATE: Air Hogs now sells these helicopters under the Havoc Heli name:

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