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Power Up 4.0 RC Airplane Kit As Rated By An 8-Year-Old


  • 1 – Absolute Hot Waste
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not the best in its class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: 69.99

A paper airplane connected to an RC drone
Josh Hendrickson

The Power Up 4.0 RC Airplane Kit promises to fly so easy that anyone can do it. you just attach a paper airplane and you’re off. To test that theory, I had my eight-year-old son pilot the plane and write a review about it. Spoiler alert: he loves it.

This is what we like

  • Does not break easily
  • Goes far and high
  • Pretty easy to fly
  • Walk-the-loops!

And what we don’t do

  • bit expensive
  • Missing “autopilot” mode

Now for clarity, what follows are my son’s words – more or less. I wrote the headlines you’ll see to guide him and help him sort his thoughts. And then he wrote his review on paper, and I transcribed it for all of you to read. But for the sake of readability, I’ve changed the spelling and grammar, and in some cases I’ve replaced repeated uses of “het” with better proper names and the like. If he got stuck, I would occasionally ask questions to help him through, but I did my best not to influence his thoughts. External changes to make this review readable to all, these are all my son’s thoughts.


To merge

It was almost put together. All we had to do was attach the wing bar, fold a paper airplane and then secure it with tape. Dad then used a card to fold the flaps on the back of the plane to just the right height. Then we plugged it in.

How it works

A paper airplane tethered to an RC airplane-like drone.
Josh Hendrickson

The remote control airplane consists of two parts: the remote control body and the paper airplane. The body supports the paper airplane and where all the electronics go. The front “cockpit” houses the electronics, a soft puffy nose to protect it when it hits the ground, the power switch, antennas and clips to hold the paper airplane, and charging port. The crossbars are plastic and the rear has two red propellers.

First, you download a free app (on iOS and Android), and after charging is complete, head out. You connect the app to the remote-controlled aircraft. You press a button to spin the propellers. When the speed reaches 60%, throw the plane.

To go up and down, drag the speed button up and down on the screen. Faster goes higher, slower goes lower. If you go fast enough, you can do a loop-de-loop! You steer by tilting the phone back and forth.

Was it hard to fly?

An RC airplane with flap like wings.
Josh Hendrickson

The app looks the same on iPhone and Android, but flew better on iPhone at first. Steering was very difficult on Android. But on the iPhone it was easier. After a while, an update fixed Android, and now it flies fine. If you tilt a little, it spins a little. If you tilt all the way to the right, it will steer all the way to the right.

There is an acrobat mode; it’s a bit difficult. It makes the plane circle and turn. Acrobat mode makes it easier to do tricks. But harder to fly than in normal mode.

Dad showed me a commercial that said, This is so easy to fly, you can use lettuce instead of a paper airplane. We tried that, but it didn’t really work. Tape did not stick to the lettuce. We threw the plane and it crashed almost immediately. The lettuce ripped away from the crossbar. Duct tape was too heavy. But plasters almost worked!

It started to rise in the air for a second or two, then crashed. In the commercial, I noticed that the aircraft hardware is different. It had two crossbars to fix the lettuce! The Power Up 4.0 aircraft only comes with one crossbar. That feels like cheating. Oh, and the commercial promised an auto-loop mode that would fly the plane for you! I wanted to try that, but it’s not in the app. That’s sad, that would be super cool to push a button and just watch the plane fly. But it doesn’t.

Is it going far or high or fast?

An RC paper airplane far in the distance in a field.
Prepare to walk a lot to pick up your plane. josh Hendrickson

The remote-controlled plane goes far and high. We went to a park. The trees were very far away and we still had him stuck in a tree. The motor helps the paper airplane move forward. And just as wind helps an ordinary paper airplane go further, it helps this one go even further. It’s much more than just throwing a paper airplane. When it lands you usually have to run to get the plane unless you are a bad pilot and let it go back to you.

It’s going pretty high. We were almost stuck with a house. You need a lot, I mean A LOT, of space. Here’s a list to make sure you’ve picked a good spot.

  1. Are there any obstacles that the aircraft can run into?
  2. Is there no wind?
  3. Is there tall grass you could lose your plane in?

If you can say no to those three questions, you’ve picked a good place.

Does it break easily?

A series of dense branches with a red area in the middle.
The plane got stuck in trees several times. Look closely at the center and you will see that it is stuck more than 6 meters high in this tree. Josh Hendrickson

The Power Up hardware does not just break. We got it stuck in a tree (daddy’s comment: Four times and counting), and we had to throw balls at it to get the plane down. The plane was stuck very high and it was difficult to get it down. We hit it a few times with a soccer ball and it fell a long way. It bumped into branches and got stuck again. So we hit it with more footballs and it fell again. But it survived! It has a soft, spongy nose when going for a dive that protects the electronics.

You know how little RC drones break like ten minutes after you fly them? Surprisingly, the propellers and even the paper airplane never broke after months. Sometimes the propellers pop off, but you can just push them back on. I think it will take a long time.

Do I like it?

An RC Paper plane flying high in the sky towards power lines.
Josh Hendrickson

Yes, I think it’s fun. Because it’s easy to fly and you can do tricks. You can also buy an expansion pack that adds wheels! Then you can fly it without throwing the plane! It starts with the help of the wheels. Playing with friends is also fun, but weird.

You have to pass your phone from friend to friend. Only one phone can connect to the plane at a time and it feels weird giving your phone to other people. But it’s fun to spend time with friends and see what tricks you can do. I love doing loop-the-loops!

The RC plane lasts about 10 to 15 minutes on a charge, and then you have to plug it in for 30 minutes. I think that’s a pretty good amount, and when it died I was like, “Okay, I’d stop soon anyway.”

Would you buy it?

The Power Up 4.0 RC Paper Airplane kit costs $69.99 and I think it’s worth it. It’s so good, I’d save my pocket money to buy this. I already have the LEGO Super Mario starter kit which costs $59.99. But if I had to choose what to save my allowance for, I would choose the Paper Airplane kit.

I prefer the RC Paper Airplane kit because it flies, can do loop-the-loops and you can play with it outside. Plus, you can fold paper airplanes! I like it a lot.

Rating: 8/10

Price: 69.99

This is what we like

  • Does not break easily
  • Goes far and high
  • Pretty easy to fly
  • Walk-the-loops!

And what we don’t do

  • bit expensive
  • Missing “autopilot” mode

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