Smartphone-Powered Paper Plane Makes Debut

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Joining the performance planes, antique fighters and hundreds of pilots at one of the world's largest airshows in Wisconsin is a different kind of a plane: this one made out of paper.

"Essentially what we are doing, we are connecting smart technology, a smart module to a homemade paper airplane," says Shai Goitein (GOY'-teyn), inventor and owner of PowerUp.

The device is attached to a paper airplane made from standard letter paper.

"When you are tilting the phone the smart module actually automatically thrusts to keep the airplane aloft and automatically correct your rudder torque. So what it means is that it just makes flying really easy," says Goitein.

Hugh Hunton is pilot who bought a PowerUp3.

"You can control a paper airplane with your cell phone? That was pretty cool. And it's pretty inexpensive and I don't know it just looks like fun," Hunton says.

Goitein says it's made from fiber carbon material and nylon and has a rubber tip so it's durable for crashes.

They got the money to launch the plane through the crowdfunding website KickStarter. They originally only wanted $50,000 but it was so popular that they raised more than $1.2 million.

"We were extremely surprised at how well it went," said Goitein. "Within eight hours we reached our goal."

Nora Repucci (re-POO'-chee) bought the smart phone version of the plane for her husband who is a pilot and a simpler version that doesn't connect to a smartphone for her 5-year-old son Turner who loves planes.

"My favorite thing I think about it, hmmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm. That it can fly," said Turner Repucci.

Paper airplanes will never be ordinary again.

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