There is an app for most things, but flying a helicopter has been (perhaps understandably) absent from the list. Sure, you can pilot a virtual helicopter or play a game involving a helicopter on-screen, but how about flying an actual helicopter in the actual sky using an actual iPhone?
Griffin Technology Inc, best known for a whole load of innovative hardware accessories for the original iPod, has today been demonstrating how to fly a real helicopter using an iPhone, or an iPad for that matter. OK, so it's a small helicopter, a remote controlled one in fact, but it's real and it does fly and you do control it using an iPhone app.
Helo TC is a functional touch controlled helicopter operated via an iPhone or iPad, effectively turning your iOS device into an indoor helicopter remote control unit. The helicopter itself charges from any USB power source, including your computer, and then you just slide your iPhone into the flight deck module and away you go: up, up and away.
The flight deck handles the infrared signal transmission, while the iPhone app handles the multi-touch display to control the Helo TC's throttle and flight control joystick. You can, if you are feeling brave and don't mind crashing a lot, even go into 'Tilt-to-Fly' mode and use the iOS accelerometers to handle flight: tilting forwards, backwards and side-to-side in an attempt to control flight.
With an average flight time of around eight minutes per charge, the lightweight metal and polycarbonate boded helicopter has a twin-rotor design which makes it relatively easy and stable to fly. Just in case you crash a bit too often, it comes complete with a replaceable main and tail rotor system. Oh, and some super-bright LEDs to illuminate the way if you fancy some night flying. The Helo TC app even allows for the storing of 'flight plans' to automate the flying process.
Expect to pay around UK £34.99 when the Helo TC becomes available 'sometime before Christmas' with the iPhone app being free of charge.