The HELO TC Assault by Griffin Technology is an updated version of the original HELO TC, a popular remote-controlled helicopter\u00a0known for its easy-to-learn controls and\u00a0smooth flight. The new\u00a0mini chopper's chassis is completely redesigned,\u00a0and the gadget can\u00a0now fire a couple of spring-loaded missiles. The HELO TC Assault uses\u00a0a \u201cFlight Deck\u201d infrared (IR) transmitter\u00a0that pairs with iOS\u00a0and Android devices for\u00a0both touch- and motion-controlled flying.\n\tThe\u00a0HELO TC Assault has a much sleeker, predatory appearance than its predecessor. The new, streamlined design also makes the chopper more sturdy, which is important when you consider\u00a0the inevitable crash landings.\n\tThe remote-control system works via IR commands sent from the bundled Flight Deck transmitter. The Flight Deck comes with flexible legs that clip firmly onto your smartphone or tablet and plug into the headphone port. Like its predecessor, the HELO TC Assault requires full volume output, and according to Griffin, it will not work properly with some devices purchased from regions with volume limitations that cannot be turned off or if you\u00a0mute your smartphone. The actual flight-control interface app can be downloaded for free\u00a0from either the\u00a0iTunes\u00a0App Store or Google Play.\n\tWhen starting up the HELO TC Assault for the first time, the powerful whine of the blades as it powers up to full speed immediately grabs your attention. A fixed 150mAh poly-lithium battery drives the twin blades to deliver the requisite lift. And though Griffin\u00a0says the HELO TC controls are \u201ceasy to learn,\u201d they are\u00a0designed in the context of helicopter navigation systems, which\u00a0are far trickier than the controls of a remote-controlled car, for example.\n\tI made the mistake of\u00a0launching the gadget for the first time\u00a0in my cramped study, which is cluttered with various \u201chazards," and then in another room with the ceiling fan switched on. \u00a0The multiple crashes quickly amassed a large\u00a0number of nicks on the chopper's\u00a0blades, which affected overall performance and made it more difficult to\u00a0control the gadget.\n\tOn this note, I recommend using\u00a0the HELO TC Assault in an uncluttered, open\u00a0space that's sheltered from drafts. It's also smart\u00a0to familiarize yourself with the \u201cTrim\u201d controls before trying to liftoff and\u00a0also remember to keep the Flight Deck pointed in the general direction of the HELO TC Assault.\n\tWith the included USB-based charger, it takes about 35 minutes to recharge the\u00a0chopper and\u00a0you get about 10 minutes of flight time. You can expect to go through at least two or three battery\u00a0cycles before getting the hang of things; office dominion probably won't come within the first hour of ripping open your HELO TC Assault kit.\n\tThe gadget's two spring-loaded missiles can be fired individually by tapping on the appropriate icon in the smartphone control app.\u00a0And the projectiles\u00a0pack a punch; they easily shot 10 feet or more in my tests. Obviously, firing them from greater heights bolsters their reach, but\u00a0height also\u00a0generally decreases accuracy.\n\tOverall, I found the HELO TC Assault to be\u00a0a ton of\u00a0fun.\u00a0My one complaint is that the device is rather pricey, and the\u00a0$59.99 package\u00a0comes with\u00a0only one top rotor blade, one bottom rotor blade, and a few other user replacement parts. Of course, Griffin sells a HELO TC Assault Parts Kit for an additional $9.99, and\u00a0it comes with two top rotor blades, two bottom rotor blades, a replacement balance bar, tail rotor and two replacement landing struts. But I wish you didn't have to pay extra for these components. And the Flight Deck requires\u00a0four AAA batteries to power the IR transmitter, which are not included in the package.\n\tI definitely recommend purchasing the replacement kit together with your HELO TC Assault, since you will very likely need the spare parts.\n\tCheck out the video below featuring the HELO TC Assault from Griffin. \n\tHELO TC Assault: Ready for take-off.\n\tThe IR receiver is located on the bottom of the HELO TC Assault, next to the proprietary charging port and on\/off switch.\n\tA close up of the battle scars\u00a0from crashing it into furniture and gadgets around the house.\n\tReplaceable parts are all secured by Philliips-head screws\n\tThe Flight Deck (attached to my iPhone 4S) requires 4x AAA batteries, which are not included in the package.