The Skyrider 111 follows Arctic's typical clean white/grey/black color scheme. Decals decorate the white polyfoam, and the flexible thin plastic wings carry a neat feathery design. The bird is impressively lightweight, and the polyfoam, which we've seen on a number of flying toys, is fantastically resilient. The bird is actually too light to be at risk of being damaged. Even with the hardest impact we could try to muster, the bird bounces innocently. We've tested other R/C flying toys which use flapping wings for propulsion, but almost every other one uses a much larger wing. Larger wings for flapping birds generally make for a more stable flying machine, so we're a bit nervous about how it will fly.
The electronics are tucked neatly in the foam body, and the flapping rods and servo horns are identical to ones we've seen before. They're exceptionally light and surprisingly rigid. The tail has a small prop used to turn the bird, and it is tucked in between the tail "feathers." A small "dragger" keeps the prop off the ground during a crash, landing, or when it flies very low to the ground. The tails also have pre-cut slits to be used as elevators to help guide the bird into pre-determined climbs or t turns. A very tiny gauge antenna wire hangs off the back fo the Skyrider 111, and the on/off switch and charging part is revealed on the belly. The beak has a hard plastic cap to keep pieces of the nose from chipping or scraping off during landings on rough surfaces.
The plastic used for the wings is durable and very puncture-resistant. The top and bottom wings flap in an "X" pattern, when one is going up the other is going down, which doubles the lift and thrust provides in such a small wingspan. This action also helps the bird remain stable. The tail is made of a traditional styrofoam, and it has adhesive stickers on the top and bottom to help prevent cracking, and it's still very flexible without being in danger of snapping.
The remote is made entirely of plastic, and feels quite cheap, as most budget R/C toys' remotes do, but is also very sturdy. The left slider provides a throttle input, and the right slider is directional input. The antenna extends about 2 feet, and the power switch is located in teh center near the top of the remote. The bird charges in a very unique fashion. Most ultra-light R/C toys charge via a small 2-pin cable which comes from the remote. The Skyrider 111, on the other hand, actually fits onto the controller for charging, which also makes a nice stand for the bird. A blinking LED will go solid when the bird is done charging.