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Volta Flyer: An Expensive DIY Solar Powered Plane For Kids Seeking Funding On Kickstarter

If you were seeking an expensive, inefficient, uncontrollable and environment friendly alternative to the smartphone controlled paper plane from 2013 you finally have an answer. The Volta Flyer claims to be the world’s first solar powered DIY airplane for kids. The company behind this project, Toy Labs had launched a solar powered DIY toy car for kids called the Volta Racer two years ago and it has based the Volta Flyer on similar principles. Since the Volta Flyer is a DIY (do-it-yourself) project they will ship you the components that include a thin-film flexible amorphous silicon solar panel, a fuselage with wing receiver and embedded electronics, two sets of wings and vertical stabilizers, a set of wing joiners, and a set of decals for customisation.

Volta Flyer 2

Since the Volta Flyer has been aimed at kids they have avoided use of glues or any special tools during the assembly process. If the user follows the in-box instructions or online tutorials properly he/she would be able to assemble the Volta Flyer within 20 minutes. Since the Volta Flyer is devoid of any on-board stored power source you have to charge up the plane by pointing up the solar panel towards the sun for 90 seconds. After the wait, you have to flip a switch to give extra propulsion while you hand launch it into air.

Volta Flyer 1

The cons list of the Volta Flyer begins once you launch it into the air. After a charging time of 90 seconds the Volta Flyer can fly for less than a minute in the air. Since it cannot be remote controlled you have to preset the flight path by making alterations to the ailerons. The sourest part of the Volta Flyer is the price which begins at $40 for early backers of the project on Kickstarter. The PowerUp 3.0 Smart Module is ten dollars cheaper and offers flight time of 10 minutes with app based remote control mechanism. The makers of the Volta Flyer however say that since the product will help kids learn STEM concepts in an exciting manner it’s a small price to pay.

Volta Flyer 3

Source: Volta Flyer [Kickstarter] via Gizmag
TCurley
TCurley • Nov 17, 2015
Hello Satya, Thank You for covering the Volta Flyer Solar Airplane Project. Durable, lightweight, thin-film solar technology is still a bit on the expensive side today. The robustan thin-film amorphous silicon solar panel we use on the Volta Flyer retails for about US $19 per unit (the bulk of the cost of the Volta Flyer). ToyLabs is the first company to evolve a Solar Powered Airplane STEM project for kids. It's more than just Airplane - it's a really solid education experience for kids. Just by building the Volta Flyer - kids will learn about the challenges of renewable energy while learning some basics about electronics, aeronautics and mechanical engineering. Great value at $40.
Thank you for @TCurley for clearing certain aspects of the product. We hope that your Kickstarter campaign is a success.
The idea behind the product seems to be good for learning aero concepts for kids level.

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