PowerUP 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane

This is a fun Christmas gift for the hobbyist in your life. The PowerUP 3.0 kit will allow you to take paper airplanes to a whole new level!

This project started out on KickStarter several years ago. The inventor is a pilot. It was originally iPhone only, which is limiting for some people, but now there is an app for Android. Some Android users report having issues with app connectivity on Android. The box says it works for iPhone 4S or newer, iPad 3rd Gen or newer and iPad Mini. Android version 4.3 or newer with Bluetooth 4.0 devices are supposed to be what works for those phones. If you have issues connecting, it is suggested to turn off Wi-Fi on your phone.

With the app on your smartphone, you can control the rudder by simply moving your phone from side to side. You can also control the throttle on the app by sliding it up and down.

Now the plane won’t fly with a propeller and rudder alone. You have to make sure that you make a good paper airplane, of course. Just in case you are a visual learner, there are YouTube videos on how to make the planes.


Each kit comes with

  • The PowerUP 3.0 smart module
  • 4 printed templates(including the Cardinal template as shown above)
  • Instructions for 2 airplane designs
  • Spare propeller
  • Spare rudder
  • Quick start guide
  • Micro USB charging cable

You can also download airplane designs for free on the PowerUp Toys website.

The battery life lasts up to 10 minutes per charge, and you can control it to around 200 feet. It’s carbon fiber body is sturdy and made to withstand some crashes, but you can buy replacement parts for $10. Also available for purchase are waterproof templates- which can be useful if you live in a humid area.

The basic kits are $50. For $20 more, you can get another kit for dogfights. People may balk at the $50 price tag, but for this novelty item, it may be worth it if you are looking for something more than a drone.

Thanks to PowerUP for sending us a kit for review. Our reviews are not influenced by the companies we review for.

Paper airplanes get a smartphone treatment with PowerUp 3.0

paper airplaneI don’t know about you, but I always liked paper airplanes. I got pretty bored with them, because as good as a paper airplane is, it will never be like a real airplane.

Now here comes the PowerUp 3.0. It has a device with a Smart Module, which has a small propeller and rudder that you can put on your plane for some extra oomph in your flight. Now I don’t know whether or not this can make a paper airplane fly like a toy model airplane, but it certainly sounds better than a good throwing arm, my Source does say that the plane can keep going for about 10 minutes, provided the Smart Module is fully charged.

The Smart Module works via Bluetooth, and you can control the paper airplane via iOS app. According to my Source, there is all kinds of cool controls like those of a real airplane like “a thrust indicator, range indicator, magnetic compass, artificial horizon, and a lever for ascending and descending. Tilting your iOS device to the right or left controls the steering”.

This PowerUp 3.0 was apparently a crowdfunded project that recently met its $50,000 funding goal. It is now available for about $40.