• 08.04.11

A $20 Kit Lends Any Paper Plane An Electric Motor

A power module converts your paper-crafted glider into a supercharged flying machine.

A $20 Kit Lends Any Paper Plane An Electric Motor

The only thing better than a perfectly made paper airplane arcing through the air is that same airplane refusing to land because it’s got an electric motor.


And all you need is Power Up, a kit that allows you to mount an electric propeller to a standard paper plane. The invention of Shai Goitein, an Israeli industrial designer, Power Up consists of a lightweight supercapacitor attached to a rear propeller via a carbon-fiber shaft. Simply clip the module onto the plane’s nose with the propeller at the rear, charge it for 20 seconds using the separate battery pack, and let her rip! Goitein recommends doing so in a large, open field. One charge provides enough juice for 90 seconds of flight, which is probably more than you need, since you’ll have to retrieve it afterward.

The biggest challenge, the designer says, was figuring out a system that works with many different kinds of airplanes. Because the module rests in the plane’s crease ” a structural feature of all such gliders ‘ the center of gravity is maintained regardless of the model. ?As long as it maintains the basic stability factors,’ Goitein says, ?it can really fly.”

Power Up is available for $19.99 from Think Geek. Batteries sold separately.


[Top image courtesy Think Geek]

About the author

Belinda Lanks is the editorial director of Co.Design. Before joining, she was the managing editor of Metropolis.