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Powerup Toys has been making kits that add a battery powered propeller to paper airplanes. In this new 3.0 version, they have added the ability to control the plane with a smartphone!
Just about any regular paper will work – I followed some instructional videos on Powerup’s YouTube page and built myself the ‘invader’ from standard copy paper. The engine clips on to the paper airplane and very quickly paired with my phone.
Powerup includes a 1200 mah lithium ion battery pack that can charge the plane’s motor in the field. It’ll also plug directly into a computer for charging.
Controlling the plane takes some practice but I was able to keep my plane aloft for a significant amount of time. The Bluetooth range is limited but this isn’t something you’re going to fly for long distances. I do recommend flying in fairly large open spaces with minimal wind.
What I like most about this is the experimentation that can come from the very open nature of the product. Tweaking different paper airplane designs will result in different flight behaviors. The fast charge time makes it possible to do a lot of trial and error to find the perfect design. Great for kids to learn about the physics of flight.
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