Smartphone Powered Paper Airplane

powerup 3.0Paper airplanes are fun, but they’re not fun for long.  You spend a lot of time designing them and folding them and making them look good and making sure that they’re aerodynamically sound, and then…

…you throw it in the air and it crashes about ten feet later.

That wasn’t much fun, was it?  That’s where the Powerup 3.0 powered paper airplane can make a huge difference.

The Powerup 3.0 is a device that attaches to a paper airplane and provides both a power source (a propeller) and a method of navigation ( a Bluetooth-enabled rudder) that allows you to actually fly a paper airplane, rather than just throw one.

When you buy the Powerup 3.0, you’ll get the power source, the app that controls it (compatible with most iPhone and Android models) and some templates to help you build some flying paper airplanes that actually fly.

After you fold your plane to perfection, you add the easily-attached power source, take it to a place where you’ve got room to stretch out, and let it fly.   A single ten minute charge will give you up to 20 minutes of flying time.  Range is about 60 feet, so you don’t want to get too far away from your plane or boat.

If you’re out of power, you can recharge it using a mini-USB cable.

The Powerup 3.0 originated as a Kickstarter project, and you never really know how those are going to go.  I’ve seen some terrific Kickstarter ideas flounder, and I’ve seen some lousy ones make fat bank.  The Powerup 3.0 did surprisingly well, and brought in more than $1.2 million in funding.

Now that it’s on the market, they’re branching out.  You can buy a pair of planes, sold as a “dogfight bundle.”  You can also buy a powered boat.

The company also sells accessories, including extra propellers and extra batteries, just in case you need extra power or need to repair a broken plan.

The basic Powerup 3.0 kit sell for about $50 and you can find it at Amazon and a number of other retailers.  I have to admit that this does not exactly fall under the “I gotta have that” category, but it’s still a pretty cool idea.  I’ve built a lot of paper airplanes over the years, but I haven’t built any lately.

The reason for that is that your typical paper airplane just isn’t a lot of fun, and unless you’re flying it indoors, you’re going to be at the mercy of the elements.  That’s not the case here, and unless you’re flying in a tornado, you should be able to have a fair amount of outdoor fun with the Powerup.