Flying paper airplanes has never been this fun. PowerUp Toys’ latest product lets you add a new element of interactivity to the old-fashioned paper airplane by attaching a battery-powered propeller and rudder, which can be controlled using an iPhone app via Bluetooth. The PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane Kit, currently being funded via a Kickstarter campaign, is due to hit the market in May for $50.
The PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane Kit is the company’s third generation of this device; previous models lacked an accompanying app. The way it works is pretty simple: First, fold a paper airplane using the template provided. Next, attach the PowerUp module to the plane, and pair it with your phone. Then, it’s off into the wild blue yonder!
The battery inside the PowerUp 3.0 will provide about 10 minutes of flying time, and recharges via microUSB in about 15 minutes. The app itself is pretty ingenious. Would-be pilots steer the airplane by tilting the iPhone left or right, and a gimbal shows you how level the plane is relative to the horizon. A throttle in the middle lets you adjust the speed of the propeller, and three gauges show the power output, battery life remaining, and signal strength between the plane and your phone.
In our brief hands-on time, the plane was very zippy; it flew past us in the blink of an eye. PowerUp says you’ll be able to control the plane to a range of about 60 yards. When it’s released in May, we’re certainly looking forward to taking it for a flight or two.