Every child who has ever folded and launched a paper airplane has wished that he or she could have pilot that paper airplane. Today, we have RC planes and drones with prices that are well within reach of most people but there is something about designing, building and flying your own plane that you cannot replace with flying is ready built model airplane.
The original PowerUp Paper Airplane kit caught the attention of many when it was first launched as a crowdsourcing campaign. It was basically an add-on kit that turns any paper airplane into one that is powered by a motor. A couple of iterations later, PowerUp 3.0 added the ability to turn your paper airplane into a drone using your smartphone as a controller. Now, the PowerUp FPV takes this a step further by letting you pilot your paper airplane from its cockpit!
With the new PowerUp FPV, you are no longer just a remote pilot piloting your creation from afar. The kit now includes a camera that gives you a first person view from the airplane as you fly. Because the kit is now heavier with the inclusion of extra electronics, the paper airplane needs to be larger as well and it is folded using an A3 sized piece of paper. Several sheets of paper are included with the kit including instructions on how to fold your airplane. Of course, part of the fun for any wanna-be aviation expert is to try your own designs.
As expected, flying a PowerUp paper airplane requires more work than a normal drone. After folding your airplane, you are recommended to try it out without the kit to make sure it flies as straight as possible. Once you are happy with your airplane, you can strap on the kit. Like a normal paper airplane, you need to launch your airplane by throwing it as it can’t fly off the ground like a drone. Once it is in the air, the motors kick in automatically to power your plane.
You can control your airplane using a downloadable app. Controls on the touchscreen let you control and maneuver your plane. You get a live view from the plane’s cockpit on your phone. To get really immersive, you can choose to strap your phone into the included Google Cardboard like VR headgear and mount it over your head. Instead of using touchscreen controls, you now control your plane by tilting your head up and down or left and right. It may not be the easiest or the most intuitive way to pilot a plane but it is quite an experience.
The PowerUp FPV is powered by rechargeable batteries and you can get about 6 minutes of non-stop flight. For longer flight times, you can buy additional batteries. It uses the same batteries as the ones used by Parrot Minidrones so you can easily find extras or replacements.
Buy from Amazon