This page looks at two modern flying toys and two flying toys from a few decades ago.
Many modern toys use remote control. Although it was possible to buy radio controlled toy cars in the 70s an RC toy helicopter was out of the question. The Dragonfly Prince is a good example of a modern toy helicopter. It is infrared controlled and powered by a Lithium polymer rechargeable battery.
< Camera work by Carol 2007
Although the 70s did not witness toy RC helicopters there was, however, an exciting game called "Vertibird". In it the helicopter was tethered and flew in circles, being controlled in both motor speed and forward / aft movement. I played it a lot at my friend Keith's house. This video shows a similar game from the 90s.
Camera work by Rob 2011 >
Toy aircraft even come with the latest 2.4GHz radios nowadays and just need slotting together and charging before you set off for the park. Unfortunately, this instant gratification is not entirely satisfying. If the preparation for flight doesn't involve toil there's always an element of pleasure missing. Just ask any Klingon.
< Camera work by Alex 2011
There were plenty of rubber-powered model aircraft kits in the 70s - and even with the availability of modern RC toys there's still something wonderful about trimming out a free-flight aircraft and simply watching it. This model is the Cosmo R1, kindly bought for me by friend Phil Ibbs in 1987.
Camera work by Alex, Rob and Carol 2011 >