had enough of iPhone-controlled vertical take-off aircraft? how about a change from that and go for a smartphone-controlled airplane instead? though the company behind this slow flyer, Germany-based TobyRich, claimed the SmartPlane as the world’s first smartphone-controlled airplane, it is technically not the first smartphone-controlled toy aircraft to take to the sky. but it is the first with a complete package that doesn’t requires you to fold your own paper plane. it comes as a ready-to-fly kit; all you have to do is download and launch the app, and you are all set in tilt-controlling an airplane – a bi-plane in this case.

the plane itself is made of expanded polypropylene (EPP) which makes it durable and lightweight, and boast a lithium polymer battery that tips the scale at a mere 1 gram (!?). but the lack of density doesn’t necessarily means lack of performance; this li-po battery pack is capable of up to 30 minutes of flight time on a single charge. though that extended flight time requires some soaring and gliding in the mix to prolong the battery life, else if full throttle madness is what you are after, expect around 5 minutes of that adrenalin charged moment. after which, it would requires around 15 minutes to get the li-po to full charge again. control is via a free app using tilt motion for maneuvering and a touchscreen slider control for throttle.

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the plane may appear “run-of-the-mill”, but on contrary, it packs some real technology to be worthy to be called ‘smart’ and that includes a 256-level proportional rudder with logarithmic correction, which the firm said is the “most advanced in its class,” allowing your hand movements to be translated to very natural turn angles. there is also a FlightAssist built-in for easier flying too, so virtually anyone can fly this little guy. it connects to your iOS device via Bluetooth Smart (i.e. Bluetooth low energy), which affords a range of up to 60 meters (200 feet). all told, the SmartPlane is a culmination of technology, both aerodynamic and electronic, to result in a slow flyer (aka ‘park flyer’) that eliminates the need for “laser-sharp reflexes”, thus allowing you to fly even in the confine of small indoor spaces.

the SmartPlane is available now, but (unfortunately) only to Germany, Switzerland and the U.K., for €69 a pop (about US$94). so i guess, it is time to muster up your contacts in these countries if you really want one. hit the jump for a few more images and also catch a video of the SmartPlane in action.

SmartPlane via Gizmag

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.