I hope the designer of this paper airplane conversion kit wins every toy award in existence this year. The idea is so simple, and so cool. Basically, this kit is made up of a propeller mounted on a pager motor. A shaft connects the motor to the body of the plane and to a capacitor -- its power source -- at the opposite end.
Here's the drill: make a paper airplane (and do a nice job of this time, please), attach the motor to the plane, charge the capacitor and get the motor up to speed, then throw it! The capacitor will power the motor for up to 90 seconds. That's a good flight for a paper airplane!
Here's what the kit looks like installed in a paper airplane:
The green block in the child's right hand is the charger, which holds 3 AA batteries (not included). The beauty of this kit is that you can crash your plane without worrying about destroying some of those pesky vital components such as wings. Just make a new plane! You can experiment endlessly with different plane designs. If you run out of ideas there are innumerable books with paper airplane designs.
It's a great idea, creative, economical, largely recyclable, probably educational, and just plane (ahem...excuse me) plain fun. Here is where you can get the paper airplane electric motor conversion kit.
[ Thanks Aaron! ]