Who among us hasn’t wanted to get behind the flight stick of our very own Millennium Falcon? For almost 40 years, the iconic ship has captured the hearts and minds of three generations of fans. Air Hogs’ latest remote control quadcopter offers you the chance to be its captain – on a very small scale, of course. Stable, smooth and far easier to fly than many of the RC helicopters we’ve reviewed over the years, the Air Hogs Millennium Falcon speaks to that Star Wars fan in all of us, making it one of our favorite Christmas gifts for the 2015 holiday season.
We were initially a bit disappointed by ship’s diminutive size. Just 9.25 inches long and 6.75 inches wide, it’s a small machine that’s far better suited to indoor flight than outdoor acrobatics. A stiff wind can quickly send it spiraling out of control, but you never have to worry about damage: The hull of the Falcon is made of a soft, almost rubbery foam that can take crash after crash without suffering any ill effects. Since the drone’s rotors are safely tucked away inside ducts that run the height of the ship, they don’t rub and break against the ground or a wall, even if the drone crashes upside-down. You might accumulate a few nicks, scratches and dirty scrapes, but just like on the real Millennium Falcon, they only add to the ship’s charm.
The Falcon’s remote control is simple to use yet very attractive, decked out like a prop from the movies. You power it with six AA batteries (not included) and charge the Falcon itself using a short cable that runs from the transmitter to the ship. Charging up this way is convenient if you’re away from an outlet, but it obviously drains those six AA batteries quickly. Fortunately, Air Hogs includes a USB cable that connects the transmitter to any standard USB port. When plugged in, the Falcon bypasses the AA batteries and pulls power directly from a computer or wall outlet.
Flying the Millennium Falcon is a piece of cake. Though the transmitter doesn’t have any trim buttons to counteract drift or spin, we found we never missed them – the ship stayed very stable in the air. Like all quadcopters its size, even a slight breeze from an air vent is enough to push it off course, but that’s only if you’re trying to keep the Falcon in one place. Unlike virtually every other drone on the market, it’s always easy to see which direction the Falcon is facing, thanks to those iconic twin prongs on the ship’s front.
The Air Hogs Star Wars Millennium Falcon quadcopter, despite having a mouthful of a name, is a sterling drone and a joy to play with. At just over $100, it’s definitely pricier than similar-size RC helicopters, but its incredible durability and easy flight more than make up for the cost. Whether they are 10 years old or were 10 when Star Wars was first released back in 1977, the Star Wars fan in your life is sure to love flying their very own Millennium Falcon through the sky.