The paper planes of my youth were usually somewhat disappointing.
I was no child engineer, I’ll admit, but I always found the planes I created were more fun to build than to fly. Powerup Toys wants to turn that state of affairs on its head, however, with its range of motorized paper plane accessories — and particularly its latest addition, the Powerup Dart.
The Powerup Dart allows paper planes to do cool airshow tricks like barrel rolls, loops, spins and wingovers. All of this is controllable via an Android and iOS flying app, paired through Bluetooth. Best of all, you can enjoy flying your plane without any of the obnoxious rules in place for some recreational drone users, since it’s too light to run into regulatory issues.
The Powerup Dart is made out of lightweight carbon fiber and nylon-reinforced plastic with a rubber tip guarding the gadget against damage from crash landings. At the head of the device, which goes at the tip of the plane, there’s the computing elements and battery (as well as a microUSB port for charging), connected by a thin bar to a propeller and rudder. In the middle is a stabilizing crossbar.
Powerup promises the Dart will ship to Kickstarter backers for the holiday season. A solo ‘barebone’ Dart with no landing gear costs $37 CAD and comes with the module plus two paper plane templates. A standard Dart kit costs $45 CAD and includes the aforementioned module and templates, as well as landing gear (little wheels), five ‘Japanese Aerobatic Papers’ and racing stickers.
Who doesn’t love airshows? Even if it’s on a miniature scale, I’m impressed when anything flips in the air mid-flight. Plus, if you gather enough of these modules together — and the price is reasonable enough that it’s not impossible — you and your friends can choreograph or have dogfights.
Seems like a perfect activity for a sunny Autumn day in the park.