PowerUp 4.0 Motorized Paper Airplane Kit Is the Ultimate Childhood Throwback

I can still remember the first day I learned to make a paper airplane. The moment I released it from my tiny five-year-old hands and saw it float through the air is probably the reason I wanted to be a pilot once I grew up.
PowerUp 4.0 Paper Airplane Motorized Kit 9 photos
Photo: PowerUp Toys
PowerUp 4.0 Paper Airplane Motorized Kit AppPowerUp 4.0 Paper Airplane Motorized KitPowerUp 4.0 Paper Airplane Motorized Kit PartsPowerUp 4.0 Paper Airplane Motorized KitPowerUp 4.0 Paper Airplane Motorized KitPowerUp 4.0 Paper Airplane Motorized KitPowerUp 4.0 Paper Airplane Motorized KitPowerUp 4.0 Paper Airplane Motorized Kit
These days, paper airplanes are still a childhood favorite, but it would seem that they now have been upgraded. From the mind of a creator named Shai Goitein, what you’re witnessing is the very first smartphone-controlled, paper airplane boosting kit.

It’s called the PowerUp 4.0 and is simply a device that you can attach to a number of paper airplane designs with the sole purpose of taking them to the next level. How? By turning your classic makeshift plane into an RC-controlled motorized beast.

That’s right people. If you feel like bringing back a bit of your childhood, and then take the whole experience a bit further, this is the $70 (€60 at current exchange rates) kit for you. Yup, just 70 bucks. Honestly, I've already added this kit to my Amazon cart. What, I'm a kid at heart.

So how does it all work? Well, when you purchase this kit, you’ll receive everything you need to strap a dual motor to your airplane, but you’ll also receive a USB charger, spare propellers, and four templates for the Invader model airplane you see in the images.

PowerUp 4\.0 Paper Airplane Motorized Kit
Photo: PowerUp Toys / YouTube Screenshot
The most important feature in this whole gimmick is the motor. This dual motor setup includes a Bluetooth module that keeps a connection with your phone, can fly up to a range of 230 feet (70 meters), and guess what, your paper airplane will be blasting around at speed of 20 mph (32 kph). 20 mph! I'm sorry for my excitement, but I did mention I'm a kid in an adult's body?

As it stands, the entire setup isn’t very heavy, as it shouldn’t be, after all, you’re strapping a 19-gram motor to a sheet of folded paper. There are two separate thrust modes that allow for different speeds, increased maneuverability, and just all-around more fun.

One feature of this trinket is that of being considered “smart.” What this means is that the motor’s onboard computer includes a friggin autopilot feature. What the exact flight pattern may be isn’t specified, but the addition of a gyro accelerometer will help reduce choppiness and prevent nosedives.

If anything like a nosedive or any other sort of accident does happen, you shouldn’t worry too much as the 4.0’s construction is made of carbon fiber and includes a nylon reinforced nose and motor mount; it is designed to withstand impacts and still keep going. That doesn’t mean to fly it into your little brother’s head, however.

PowerUp 4\.0 Paper Airplane Motorized Kit
Photo: PowerUp Toys / YouTube Screenshot
To fly your plane, you will need to use a designated app. While some app experiences may seem useless, for the 4.0, the app allows you to do barrel rolls, loops, and hammerhead flight patterns. Oh, this app also stores data from previous flights and sends you detailed recommendations on how to fly based on past experiences.

Currently, the 4.0 battery only offers a maximum flight time of about ten minutes. While that may seem like a downside, once drained, the battery will be up and running in around 30 minutes. Heck, want to keep flying nonstop? Just pick up three to four kits, and always have one recharged and ready to go; it should cost you $300 tops.

This is one of the beautiful things behind technology. As advancements are made, some of them trickle down into unrelated industries, in the process, breathing new life into childhood activities. Way to go tech, way to go.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
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A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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