Air Hogs Hawk Eye Blue Sky R/C Airplane with Onboard Camera, retail $89.92
Manufactured by Spinmaster (www.spinmaster.com)
Last updated 05-22-14

This isn't a flashlight, household lamp, Christmas light set, or other thing that glows,but what the hey. I have only evaluated remote controlled (RC) toys several times before, so please bear with me here.

I love things that fly; that's why I took the bate (I've seen the Air Hogs brand advertised on United States TV) and also why I added a seperate section titled "PRODUCTS DESIGNED TO FLY" on my website.

This is a very small, lightweight, easy-to-fly remote controlled airplane. It fits in the palm of your hand, and is designed almost exclusively to be flown outdoors - though it can be flown indoors if a sufficiently large space is available.

It also features an onboard camera that can shoot still photos and shoot full-motion video!

It uses two propellers, not just one. And it is steered by varying the power to each prop instead of being steered by a horizontal stabiliser (an adjustable flap on the tail) like all single-engine airplanes have.

05-19-14): From somebody who knows their {vulgar slang term for a fudge bunny} about aircraft, comes the following (no changes to spelling, grammar, or syntax were made):

2-engine airplanes with individually-variable engine power can be steered by unequal engine power. It is probably possible for some airplanes to achieve a "coordinated turn" by merely boosting the power to the engine on the outside of the turn.

Boosting power to the outside-of-turn engine will cause the airplane to yaw, which will contribute to turning.

Boosting power to the outside-of-turn engine, with yaw rotation, also increases lift of the wing on the outside-of-turn side. That typically causes the airplane to roll, so that it is "banked" into the turn. Since the wings are rolled / banked, their lift vector has a horizontal component that provides much of the force that changes the direction of the airplane's movement.

The tilting of the wings detracts from the vertical component of the lift vector. Therefore either more engine power, or pitching the airplane upwards (which slows its speed) is required to avoid loss of altitude. Thankfully, increasing power to the outside-of-turn engine is likely to come close to solving all of these issues.

A "coordinated turn" is turning with the proper usage of both roll and yaw.

If roll is insufficient and/or yaw is excessive, then this situation is known as a "skid". A typical skid is with turning effort being excessively by rudder, and insufficiently by aelerons (or unequal power to engines of a 2-enginge airplane). Result: The airplane points towards where it is turning, but it is sluggish at accomplishing the turn.

The opposite situation is the "slip". This is when the airplane is rolled / banked excessively for the turn, with insufficient contribution by rudder (or unequal engine thrust from 2 engines). The airplane "falls into its turn" more quickly than where it is pointing. Loss of altitude is likely, unless engine power is increased to extent above that required for making that turn a coordinated one with sustained airspeed.

An extreme case of the "slip" is the "side slip". In that case, the airplane is banked (rolled from level), but it is not turning. That has the airplane being rolled as if turning one way, and it is yawed the other way (from rudder). The airplane is pointed towards the "wing-up side" of where its straight flight is going.

Turns, slips, and skids require airplanes to increase engine power to maintain level flight. All 3 of these require extra airspeed above "stall speed", whether from more engine power, or from gravity power while descending.

One problematic item is turning and/or slipping with airspeed close to stall speed: One wing can lose lift from "stall condition". This can lead to a "spin" - which requires expert maneuvering (and lots of altitude to fall through) to recover from.

01-16-09): The following is from an email sent by a pilot; this person knows more about aircraft than I do.

I read a few of your RC aircraft reviews, and you have a pretty serious misconception stated at least twice in discussions of models with 2 motors: In full-sized aircraft or in RC, the horizontal stabilizer is NOT primarily involved in turning the aircraft. It does have a secondary role in turning, which I'll return to later. I have dabbled in RC aircraft a couple of times in my life (I'm essentially your age) and I also have a private pilot's license for full-sized aircraft, although I have not exercised that privilege since moving out of Colorado.

The first part of your misconception seems to be that the horizontal stabilizer controls horizontal movement. Not so.

There are three rotational movements: yaw, pitch and roll. Yaw is the horizontal displacement of the nose and tail about the vertical axis. Pitch is vertical displacement about a horizontal axis roughly aligned with the wing, and roll is vertical displacement of the wing tips about a horizontal axis roughly aligned with the propeller shaft.

The fixed horizontal stabilizers (the little wings usually at the back of the aircraft that stick out horizontally) and movable elevator attached to them (or the "stabilator" or "all-flying stabilizer" in the case of a single piece which moves in its entirety) control PITCH. Although this points the nose up or down, and so generally increases or decreases lift, it really controls airspeed: nose-up leads to slower airspeed and nose-down leads to higher airspeed. The aircraft's "state of trim," which depends more or less on the position of the elevator or stabilator, tends to maintain a constant airspeed, although the varying airflow with changing engine power off the propeller does affect trim speed somewhat. POWER translates into climb or descent: at a constant airspeed, more power means climb and less power means decent, and at a constant power more speed means descent and less speed means climb (until you reach the "region of reverse command," when induced drag increases so much that lower speed means MORE power is needed to maintain level flight, or in the most extreme case: when the wing stalls and a small decrease in speed leads to a loss of lift and RAPID descent). This is a common-sense situation: it takes more power to go uphill at a constant speed than downhill, whether in an airplane, car, bicycle or scooter. The lack of a solid hill doesn't really matter.

So, you probably really meant that the VERTICAL stabilizer (the fin sticking up at the back of the fuselage), which affects yaw, controls turning. This is also wrong, although not completely in the case of some RC aircraft. However, unlike in a surface vehicle, YAW, although it does slew the nose sideways, does not turn the aircraft in the sense of causing it to travel in a circular horizontal course. That is actually the result of ROLL, or banking. Rolling into a modest bank angle causes the lift vector of the wing to point sideways as well as up. The sideways force becomes a centripetal force that moves the aircraft in a horizontal circle. The only centripetal force provided by yaw directly is the vector of the engine's thrust resulting from the yaw angle, and except for military jets, the engine's thrust is WAY less than the force of the wing's lift, and is not enough to turn the airplane through a decent arc. (Other exceptions exist in 3D aerobatics, but I'm ignoring that.)

In fact, in a really well-designed airplane, the rudder is hardly needed to turn, and in RC aircraft, low performance planes with 2 channel control have rudder and elevator, but high performance 2 channel planes have aileron and elevator control. (Assumes either glider or constant-power engine/motor. Read as "3-channel" if you want a throttle control, too.) Low-performance models use yaw-roll coupling to let the rudder CAUSE the roll needed to turn the plane, usually via excess dihedral in the wing, but ideally, roll is controlled directly by ailerons. The problem is that ailerons cause roll by increasing lift on one wing, which raises that wing but also induces drag (lift is not free of cost) and slows it down. The wing going up needs to go faster, not slower, to go around the outside of the turn, so this causes "adverse yaw:" the plane tends to turn the opposite of the intended direction, at least while the roll is occurring (the effect becomes less, but not zero, while maintaining a constant bank angle). The rudder is primarily needed to provide a yaw force to offset this adverse yaw and lead to a "coordinated turn" in which there are no net yaw forces, also described as lack of slip or skid. (Deliberate slip is a another use of the rudder to increase drag on the aircraft, and skid can cause the fun/dangerous spin or snap-roll when combined with stall. Brief rolling motions with proper rudder use leads to a "Dutch roll" in which the heading of the airplane doesn't change while the wings rock back and forth. Look them all up if desired!) Older airplanes had lots of adverse yaw, and needed active footwork on the rudder control pedals to make a nice turn or good Dutch rolls, but more recent and more clever designs can make almost-coordinated turns with your feet off the rudder pedals, at least at average airspeed.

There IS an important roll of the horizontal stabilizer in turning: If you want to turn and simultaneously maintain constant altitude, you need to pull back on the stick (pitch the nose up) to increase lift, since as you roll the lift vector would otherwise be the same force. With part of the force directed horizontally, the aircraft would begin to descend unless lift increased, so total lift must increase by either more power (and more airspeed) or more pitch (and slightly reduced airspeed). The latter is usually chosen, so to turn an airplane properly, you use aileron to roll and simulanteously rudder to control adverse yaw, then as the bank angle increases, back stick to increase lift and maintain constant altitude. It's all much easier when you are in the aircraft and can FEEL the results vs. an RC model or flight simulator program, except the consequences of mistakes are worse.


This toy is remarkably easy to use for an R/C airplane...here's how to make it fly:

As with any rechargeable product, charge it first (see directly below), and then you can pretend to fly a dragonfly (well, that's what the kitty cat would think it is if it were designed to be flown indoors - fly it outdoors in a fairly large space relatively free of obstructions like trees or utility poles - a public park is a good place to start here.

1: Be certain the battery in the airplane is fully charged first.

2: On the underside of the airplane's body near the front, there's a tiny on/off/charge switch. Use a fingernail to slide this switch to the "on" position.

3: On the remote control, slide the switch below the left-hand control stick toward the front of the remote; a yellow-green LED will come on.

4: Make certain the TRIM knob on the controller is set so the line on it is aimed straight ahead.

5: Hold the airplane so that the nose points straight ahead; you may hold it with most of your fingers on the fuselage (
this word is definitely *NOT* pronounced "fyoo SELL' uh jee" as Drake Parker from the TV program "Drake and Josh" would pronounce it; the word is pronounced "" ) (body) and your index finger (forefinger) is behind the tail wings.

6: Push the left hand stick on the controller forward; the airplane's motors should now rapidly throttle up. Be certain your fingers are away from the propellers at this point.

7: Gently throw the airplane forward - it should now be flying.

Congratulations, you are now a pilot!!!

For additional instructions & tips on how to fly, please read the instructional material that comes with the product.

To take an aerial photograph, press & release the red button on the front of the Tx in front of the left-hand stick.

To shoot realtime aerial video, press & release the red button on the front of the Tx in front of the right-hand stick. Press & release it again to neutralise the recording of video.

Turn the Hawk Eye and remote control off when finished using them.
Same switches as before, but slide them in the opposite direction this time. Slide the switch on the Hawk Eye itself to the center position -- not all the way back.

To transfer photos & videos from your Hawk Eye to your computer, plug the USB cable into the Hawkeye and into your computer as though you were charging its battery; slide the "POWER/OFF/CHARGE" switch on the Hawkeye to the "CHARGE" position.

On your, "My Computer" screen, you should now see a new "disk drive" labelled, "AIR HOGS". Double-click on that.

If you see an executable file named, "DCIM.EXE", you may go ahead and safely delete it. My own antivirus software AVG reported that this file contains a high-risk trojan; third-party reports indicate that Norton Antivirus software also warns that this file contains a high-risk virus.

You should now see a folder labelled, "DCIM". Double-click on that.
If you don't see a folder, go to your Windows control panel, double-click on the Folder Options icon, and be certain that the radio button with, "Show hidden files and folders" next to it is checked. Click Apply and then Close.

Still photos will have the .JPG extension, and videos will have the .AVI extension.

Copy & paste them to the folder of your choosing (I made a folder titled, "Hawk Eye" for this express purpose). When you are finished, delete the files from the Hawk Eye so that its memory card is empty for your next flight(s).

At this time, you may unplug the Hawk Eye and set its blue slide switch to the center "OFF" position -- or leave it plugged into your computer if its flight battery is still charging (indicated by the red light on it blinking).

The battery in the Hawk Eye itself is rechargeable and is not designed to be changed; however the batteries in the remote will need to be changed from time to time.

To do this, unscrew & remove the phillips screw from the battery door on the underside of the unit, using a phillips screwdriver that you furnish yourself. Set the screw aside if it comes out; otherwise just leave it in the hole.

Remove the battery door, very gently place it on the ground, and kick it into the garden so the hungry, hungry praying mantids will think it's something yummy to eat and strike at it...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead.

Remove the six used AA cells from the compartment, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Insert six new AA cells into the compartment, orienting each cell so its flat-end (-) negative faces a spring for it in each chamber.

Finally, place the battery door back on, and screw the screw back in.
Aren't you glad you didn't kick that battery door into the garden with all those hungry, hungry praying mantids now?

Here is what a praying mantis looks like.
I found this guy on the morning of 09-08-06 clinging to the basket of my scooter.

To charge the battery in the Hawk Eye, find the included USB cable, plug the small end into the small female receptacle on the underside of the Hawk Eye's fuselage (this connector is keyed to fit the receptacle on the Hawk Eye only one way; please do not force it or you may irreversibly damage the Hawk Eye and it might not fly for you again. ), and plug the larger end into any free USB port on your pee-cee or Mac.

You may also field-charge the unit by plugging the large end of the USB cable into the receptacle for it on the upper surface of the Tx (remote control); in this case you'll want to first swing up that protective red rubber bung on the Tx and THEN plug the USB cable in. Slide the POWER/OFF/CHARGE" on the Tx to the "Charge" position -- toward the bottom of the Tx.

A red LED on the underside of the airplane (right near the camera) will begin blinking. When this LED stops blinking and turns steady on, the charge cycle is complete.

Fully charging the Hawk Eye's battery should give you ~10-12 minutes of flying time.

According to the instructional materials furnished with the product, you should wait 15 to 20 minutes before recharging the battery after you've run it down in order to allow it to cool.

This RC airplane is meant to be used as a toy in a dry area outdoors, not as a flashlight meant to be carried around, thrashed, trashed, and abused, so I won't try to drown it in the toliet tank, bash it against a steel rod or against the concrete floor of a patio, let my housemate's citty kats go to the litterbox on it, run over it with a 450lb Celebrity motorised wheelchair, stomp on it, use a medium ball peen hammer in order to bash it open to check it for candiosity, fire it from the cannoñata, drop it down the top of Mt. Erupto (I guess I've been watching the TV program "Viva Piñata" too much again (yes, I watched four episodes of this program just two days ago!!!) - candiosity is usually checked with a laser-type device on a platform with a large readout (located at Piñata Central), with a handheld wand that Langston Lickatoad uses, or with a pack-of-cards-sized device that Fergy Fudgehog uses; the cannoñata (also located at Piñata Central) is only used to shoot piñatas to piñata parties away from picturesque Piñata Island, and Mt. Erupto is an active volcano on Piñata Island), send it to the Daystrom Institute for additional analysis, or perform other indecencies on it that a flashlight might have to have performed on it. So this section of the web page will be ***SIGNIFICANTLY*** more bare than this section of the web page on a page about a flashlight.

The maximum range of the remote control to the Hawk Eye R/C Airplane is 300 feet (91 meters).
The remote control uses radio waves; not infrared radiation like R/C aircraft designed specifically to be flown indoors.

The body of the Hawk Eye is made of a very lightweight foam (known by most people as Styrofoam®), so it can withstand crashes that a heavier aircraft might be damaged or even destroyed in.

This product is recommended for children of 8 years of age or older; younger children can injure themselves on moving parts or by swallowing something they should not (like an AA cell or one of the spare propellers).

The airplane's motors will continue to operate for ~2.50 seconds after contact is lost with the remote control - but they *WILL* stop after this time has elapsed.
Should this occur, you'll need to turn your Hawk Eye off & back on to restore operation -- once you actually find the silly thing that is.

The transmitter in this particular model operates at a frequency of 2.40GHz. I believe that there is at least one, possibly two additional frequencies available, so that more than one Hawk Eye can be flown in the same airspace simultaneously.

Because of this high frequency, you won't find any conventional antennae on the Tx or the Hawk Eye itself.

If the wings on the jet become damaged (such as if you graze a tree or something), repairs may rather easily be performed with nothing more than a bit of transparent household tape.

Photograph of its remote control.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this aeroplane.

Spectrographic analysis
Narrowband spectrographic analysis of the LED in this aeroplane; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 635nm and 645nm to pinpoint emission peak wavelength, which is 640.920nm.

The raw spectrometer data (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/46/hawkeye.txt

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the "photo/video being shot" LED in the Tx.

Spectrographic analysis
Narrowband spectrographic analysis of the "photo/video being shot" LED in the Tx; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 670nm and 690nm to pinpoint emission peak wavelength, which is 679.250nm.

The raw spectrometer data (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/46/hawkrcp.txt

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the "power" LED in the Tx.

Spectrographic analysis
Narrowband spectrographic analysis of the "power" LED in the Tx; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 555nm and 575nm to pinpoint emission peak wavelength, which is 559.050nm.

The raw spectrometer data (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/46/hawkerp.txt

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

Photograph of my late aunt's back yard taken with the Hawk Eye's onboard camera.
No alterations of any type were made on this photo.

This is a screen dump (yes, that's really what it's called!) from a recent flight video. This one shows me standing in the baseball park outfield grass, controlling the gay little styrofoam airplane.

Test unit was ordered on Amazon.com on 04-30-14, and was received at 2:12pm PDT on 05-07-14.

UPDATE: 00-00-00

Onboard camera allows you to experience aerial photography & videography at a reasonable price!
Lightweight construction makes it highly crash breakage-resistant
Easy as pie to fly -- just accelerator + left & right
Long flight time per battery charge
Flight battery easily charges directly from the Tx and from your computer


Motors do not instantaneously stop -- there is a time delay of ~2.5 seconds if the signal from the Tx is lost. That's what lobbed ½ a remote from its rating
Easily deformed; that's what nocked off the other ½ remote

    MANUFACTURER: Spinmaster
    PRODUCT TYPE: R/C airplane with onboard still & video camera
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    SWITCH TYPE: Slide on/off on underside of product
    CASE MATERIAL: Styrofoam & plastic
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: 6xAA cells (remote), 3.7 volt Li-Poly rechargeable (airplane itself)
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER- AND MICTURITION-RESISTANT: Very light splatter-resistance at maximum
    ACCESSORIES: USB charging/data transfer cable, two spare propellers
    SIZE: 432mm Wingspan x 305mm L x 114mm H
    WEIGHT: 32.60g (0.940 oz. )
    WARRANTY: Unknown/not stated


    R/C rating R/C rating R/C rating R/C rating

Air Hogs Hawk Eye Blue Sky R/C Airplane with Onboard Camera *

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