The Power Up 3.0 was the first paper airplane that actually let you steer and fly your folded creation like an RC toy, but in terms of durability it was still just made of paper. With the Carbon Flyer you lose the ability to fold your own craft, but since it's made from incredibly strong and lightweight carbon fiber, crashes will never put your plane out of commission.
The Carbon Flyer also uses a pair of propellers powered by electric motors to make it easier to steer the craft by simply varying their speeds. But they also provide more propulsion and lift than the Power Up 3.0 kit, and combined with the use of lightweight carbon fiber it means the Carbon Flyer can also carry an on-board video camera.Like with many RC toys on the market these days, the Carbon Flyer is piloted using a smartphone or tablet app that talks to the craft over Bluetooth, and with a wireless range of about the length of a football field it should be more than adequate for an amateur pilot's needs. And while the tiny onboard camera's 640x480 resolution can't compare to what many camera-equipped drones can capture, it still adds some fun novelty to this toy.
It almost sounds too good to be true, and in a way it might be. You can't actually buy the Carbon Flyer just yet because its creators have turned to Indiegogo to help fund the production of the toy. They're trying to raise $50,000, and with a donation of $90 you can claim one for yourself if and when everything goes as planned. But an RC paper airplane with
an onboard camera is a lot to promise, especially given the size and weight of the battery has to be limited to keep the whole thing in the air. Video of of the Carbon Flyer prototypes actually flying is certainly reassuring, and the promise of what looks like the world's first stealth paper airplane is certainly hard to resist.