3rd Gen Paper Airplane: Powered And Controlled
Two years of research and 57 prototypes have led to a prototype smartphone-controllable paper airplane now seeking to become available on multiple platforms with the help of a Kickstarter.com campaign. Inventor, pilot and aviation enthusiast Shai Goitein’s third-generation product includes a tiny electric motor, a battery that lasts up to 10 minutes in flight, a control unit, and an integrated controllable rudder (the rudder is new with version 3.0). Aspiring paper airplane pilots attach the unit, called the PowerUp 3.0 Smart Module, to a paper airplane of their own design and control it via bluetooth and a smartphone app. The project’s Kickstarter campaign page includes videos that show off the aircraft’s controllability. It also shows Goitein has already well exceeded his pledge goal.
According to the project’s Kickstarter page, design of the iOS app is complete but development of an Android app is under way and, so, that app’s performance is still an unknown. Goitein’s page states that development of the product began when he “volunteered to teach aerodynamics to underprivileged kids,” in 2008. It says the experience led him to develop a free-flight version of his product in 2009 and that he was later challenged to produce a version that would allow for more dynamic control. He claims the latest version will fly for 10 minutes on a single charge and should have a controllable range of approximately 180 feet.