You cool with the idea of flying a big-assed “stealth” helicopter around inside your house? Want one that can do more than just fly around too? Then you want Swann’s Black Swann.

The box is display-worthy, but take the Swann out and ready the remote (which you’ve fed batteries) so you can take her up. Because this beastie is a good 12-inches long and over 6-inches high (from base to rotor blades), you need some space she can settle on — you can use the box or any flat surface and yeah, that includes a rug. Now get this into your head — the controller, looking like a Genesis game pad on steroids, uses a radio-frequency (RF) signal so there’s no line-of-sight infrared crap. Yo want to use it indoors — go ahead. And if you’re feeling cocky and the wind isn’t giving you grief and there’s nothing around the ‘chopper can get tangled on, flying it outdoors isn’t verboten. You’ve got some 100 feet of distance before the Swann forgets what you’re telling it to do and falls back to Earth. Of course that isn’t good — ‘choppers are like rocks when they’re not flying right — so maybe that’s why Swann includes spare parts and rotor blades. But if you’re careful, they won’t be needed and you’ll never have to do anything since it comes fully assembled from the get-go.

Controlling the Black Swann once you got her raised off the ground does require some concentration — even though it’s built with a gyroscopic design to aid in your flying it. So expect to spend some time manipulating the two joysticks (for up/down and left/right/forward/backwards),  There’s also a trim control that you’ll need to get familiar with by using as she flies and of course the High/Low speed button is obvious. As is the Lights button which can let you play at high-speed car chase in the dark (in SoCal this is the equivalent of a “snow” day). You’ll see in a sec why having lights is good.

Once you’ve gotten the flying down, you’ll know when it’s time to start the video recording — yep, there’s a built in video camera working that you can remotely activate. The vid is saved to a micro-SD card you’ve supplied and you can record as much or as little as you want during the 6-8 minutes of flying time (the built in battery charges up in a little more than an hour). Pop the card in your computer afterwards and enjoy the view. This is about as close to flying a drone as a civilian is going to get.

Oh, it costs under a $100 bucks too, so compared to those smaller IR jobs, you’re getting a lot more than you’re paying for.

Swann Black Swann/retail $99

http://www.swann.com/helicopters