In the last decade, we’ve seen paper products replaced by a great number of technological advancements. Emails have replaced letters. Tablets have done away with magazines. E-readers have replaced books. And now, because of Trident Design and their use of carbon fiber, yet another pulp-made product, the paper airplane, might be going the way of toys like the pet rock and stick-made slingshots.
It’s called the Carbon Flyer, named after the über-durable, lightweight material used to construct its handmade frame and the Carbon Nanotube Impregnated Epoxy, developed with the help of OCSiAI — a carbon nanotech firm — that bonds the wings to its fuselage with welds “stronger than steel” in order to make it “crash proof.”
Staking claim to the “world’s first mainstream product to utilize this amazing material technology,” the Carbon Flyer also comes equipped with a pair of dual, high-power motors with differential thrust that help to steer a specialized body.
“The stiffness, lightness, and toughness of the carbon fiber allowed us to create a very low-drag delta wing body,”
states the product page on the plane’s official Indiegogo site.
“This allows for high speeds (640kph scale equivalent) for a plane so small, as well as providing a forgiving user experience fun for all ages and skill levels.”
Each of its motors is affixed with an LED light, one red, the other green, in order to locate either side of the plane while flying in low-light conditions.
Speaking of which, the predominate draw for this tech-filled toy — apart from its carbon fiber composition, of course — is the ability to navigate its flight via an app on your smartphone.
Utilizing Bluetooth 4.0 technology, one can fly the aircraft with their iPhone or Android device, tilting it right or left for turns, or sending it skyward with a flick of the onscreen throttle, up to 80 yards by line of sight.
There’s also a small camera mounted to the underside of the plane that records in 480p standard definition — or 720p HD if you’d like to purchase the upgrade. It doesn’t stream the video however, it only downloads it to an onboard SD card for later viewing. (Which Trident Design admits is due to cost, weight, power and the fact that watching a video of the plane’s point-of-view is quite hazardous to the plane itself, which one should be watching while flying it.)
Power is provided by a rechargeable and swappable 1S 3.7V 150mAh 25C lithium polymer battery that is said to work for up to 3 minutes of flight time. So, if you’d like to fly it for more than the time it takes to put on your shoes to go outside, you’ll definitely need to buy in bulk. (An extra pack of five batteries is currently priced at $25 and a “frequent flyer pack,” which includes three batteries, a USB charger and four extra propellers is set at $29.)
With so much machinery attached to this aeronautical knickknack — including plastic side casings and a nose cone for increased impact resistance — it’s really no wonder why Trident Design went with our fun and functional friend, carbon fiber, in order to ensure that its flight would be smooth and unencumbered.
In fact, their featured deal — currently priced at $189 — comes with two Carbon Flyers paired with four free carbon fiber coasters. (Which we can only assume was done to emphasize the importance of the magnificent material and showcase its stylishness, which it has plenty of.)
If you happen to be Amish, or afraid of technology, you can also opt for the CF Free Flight, which is a non-motorized, camera-free version of the same product. (See below.)
Here’s to the modern day paper airplane, one that we all hope will fly farther than half a classroom and won’t go down in a sad, pathetic display after two barrel rolls and a single loop-de-loop.
For more on the Carbon Flyer, including the story of its inception, a timeline of its creation, updates and additional specifications, you can visit the product’s official Indiegogo site or you can watch the item’s pitch video below.