PowerUp 3.0 lets you control a paper airplane with your smartphone
By Ben Coxworth
February 12, 2013
About a year and a half ago, we took a look at something called the PowerUp. It’s a capacitor joined to a propeller by a carbon fiber shaft, that can be used to power a user-supplied paper airplane. At the time, we suggested that it would be good if the user could actually steer the PowerUp-powered plane by remote control. With the soon-to-be-released PowerUp 3.0, it turns out, that’s just what they’ll be able to do.
As with Tailor Toys’ original PowerUp, the 3.0 is attached laterally to any folded paper airplane, made from regular A4 or 8.5 x 11-inch copier paper. However, whereas planes equipped with the original simply flew in a straight line, planes sporting the latest version can be controlled via the company’s flight control app – a Bluetooth 4.0-equipped smartphone is required.
Not many details (including images) are available regarding PowerUp 3.0, but if it’s like the first version, it requires a 20-second charge from an included three-AA-battery-powered charger. That gave the original a flight time of 90 seconds – the company claims flight times of up to 10 minutes for the 3.0, although that may be allowing for the option of gliding between boosts from the propeller.
We asked the company how the device is actually able to control the airplane’s path of flight (does it have its own little ailerons?), but have yet to hear back. In any case, it’s scheduled for release this August, at a price of US$49.99. It can be seen in action in the video below.