Learning how to keep an RC plane in the air may take a while, especially if you haven’t handled such toys in the past. However, this is not the case with SmartPlane, an RC toy that does most of the flying.
The iPhone-controlled RC SmartPlane relies on a secret when it comes to staying in the air longer than its competitors. Behind all that magic lies a special software that adjusts the SmartPlane’s settings so that it stays above a certain altitude.
Another aspect that makes the SmartPlane a one-of-a-kind RC toy is its rechargeable battery. Not only does this battery weigh 1 gram (yes, ONE gram), but it also ensures a 5-minute flight on a 15-minute charge. TobyRich, the German toy manufacturer that designed the SmartPlane, claims that this is the world’s first smartphone-piloted plane. This might as well be true, since the most smartphone-controlled RC toys we’ve seen till now were quadrocopters.
Another great thing about the SmartPlane is that it is crash-proof. RC toy enthusiasts no longer have to fear that their precious plane would smash into a wall. This is explained by the plane’s small dimensions, a unique design and high-quality materials. In addition to that, the SmartPlane is very easy to control, as users only have to tilt their iPhone. On the display they’ll see a virtual horizon that helps them keep the plane parallel to the ground.
Some think that at $94 or €69, this plane is on the expensive side of RC toys. Others pointed out that certain NitroPlanes cost several times that, so there’s always room for more expensive items. The only downside that I see is that there is no Android version available, especially since the manufacturer is German and Google’s OS reigns supreme in Europe.
The following video features footage of the SmartPlane at Bremen Airport, where its manufacturer gained permission to do a test flight.
The app needed for controlling the SmartPlane is available as a free download on the iTunes Store. Once the app is installed, the SmartPlane will connect automatically to the iPhone, so that users can enjoy countless hours of flying. Since the SmartPlane connects via Bluetooth Smart, it has a limited range of 60 meters. Given its small dimensions, a range larger than that would cause people to lose it from their sight.