In the right hands, on the right day (flat calm!), or better still indoors, what you’re looking at here is, believe it or not, a very very stable, very capable, indeed very impressive all-round performer. The models in the X-Twin range have been selling like hotcakes ever since Flying Toys first introduced them, and not just to children.
Priced at a modest (bearing in mind the technology) Ł24.99, each model is supplied 100% ready to fly and comes packaged with a 27MHz transmitter that cunningly doubles as a charger for the pre-installed / sealed lithium polymer cell. Take the model from the box, load six AA batteries into the back of the transmitter then, using a lead that’s located under a hinged flap at the front of the tranny, connect to the underside of the aeroplane. Charging commences immediately (indicated by a green light on the transmitter fascia) and after 20 or 30 minutes (when the light goes out) the model is ready to fly.
Isn’t it nice when you’re pleasantly surprised by the performance of a particular model - no matter what it is? If I’m being honest we weren’t really expecting much from our little review sample, indeed our reservations made its uncanny performance even more enjoyable when we eventually realised how well it flew. I say ‘eventually’ because our flying example - a sleek canard design with a ‘T’ tail - needed a small amount of nose weight to make it glide correctly and prevent a power-induced climb and stall pattern. This took us all of two minutes to establish and rectify, then, after a short test glide to confirm our observations, we throttled-up and launched her in the confines of my good farmer friend’s not-so-modest packing shed.
With just power and differential motor control to worry about the little X-Twin is a simple thing to control, but only when you’ve established that it doesn’t need a great deal of your input. Holding full ‘turn’ for any length of time produces a rapidly descending spiral dive that you’ve no elevator to help counter. The answer, as I discovered, is to perform a turn by gently blipping the stick. These are naturally stable designs and, clearly, the less you interfere with their flightpath the better they fly - a familiar trait that we’ve all experienced!
Having bounced off the odd wall or two I soon got used to the amount of pilot interference needed and within four or five circuits had the little canard cruising around the pack house in gentle, rock-steady circuits that any self-respecting aeromodeller could only admire. Four very experienced flyers were on hand to witness the event and each left that evening with a mission to seek a supplier and bag one of these little gems for themselves.
Equally as amazing as the performance was the genuinely impressive duration of the thing. Silverlit, the manufacturer of the range, suggest 10 minute flights in the instruction manual, a boast that had the typically sceptical audience (myself included) very seriously doubting the claim. However, although I can’t pretend to have timed it I’d be very surprised if the flight was any less than eight or nine minutes. My little X-Twin seemed to be going for ages, indeed, plenty long enough for me to get a good ‘fix’ then offer the transmitter around for further opinion.
Last, but by no means least, I was delighted with the overall resilience of the model. Moulded in EPP foam, it simply shrugged off its various encounters with walls and machinery and emerged from the ordeal without a scratch.
If you’re looking for a bit of zero-commitment instant fun, go and get yourself one of these super little models. Make a point of trimming it properly and don’t be satisfied until you’ve flown it indoors. I haven’t played with mine outside yet but, to be honest, I reckon it would have to be very calm to reproduce the impressive performance that can be achieved inside. Superb value for money and terrific fun - we make no apology for telling you about them. You can contact Flying Toys via their website
or on 01702 295110 to order one for yourself.