- Warning: Not suitable for children under 36 months
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Science Museum Paper Plane Launcher
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- Discover how spinning motors and plastic discs are used to launch a paper plane at up to 50km/h
- Experiment with different plane designs
- Amazing fun and a great experiment
- Suitable for children aged fourteen and over
- From the Science Museum range of products
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This product is subject to specific safety warnings
This great plane launcher will provide hours of fun and entertainment.
Amazing Kit, Launches Planes at 50KM/H
Assemble the kit to produce a powerful launcher for paper aircraft
Try out different plane designs to find which can gly fastest and furthest.
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Top Customer Reviews
The launcher is powered by AA batteries (not included) and demonstrates principles of energy transfer and aerodynamics. It is mounted on a plastic board that is held steady by suction cups. The front suction cup can be mounted in different positions to alter the launch angle. The launcher consists of two small motors that turn rubber discs that are aligned such that you can just fit the fuselage of a paper plane between them. As you push the plane through, the rubber discs grip and shoot the plane off the front at high speed.
Not all designs of paper plane work with this launcher - they need a fuselage that extends beneath the wings to engage the discs. It'd be worth preparing for using the launcher, either by buying a book on paper aircraft design, or by looking at some of the many websites devoted to the subject.
The kids loved playing with this, and came back to it repeatedly over the weekend. I'm sure we will use it again. Unlike some science toys, it would be tricky to make a homemade version of this, unless you had a bit of know-how, and parts from a specialist store.
So far, so good. However, I felt that the toy was let down by attention to detail. The suction cups weren't very good, and had to be attached to an exceptionally smooth surface (we used a glass chopping board).Read more ›
Man am I glad that we did! Not only did the product require building therefore keeping the husband and both children happy, it was simple and easy to use! Husband managed to build it quite well in spite of him being (by his own admission) a klutz at DIY: indeed, so inspired was my darling hero that he fixed the curtain rail in number one sons room and put up the new tie backs in the kitchen! Job sorted.
However, I digress, having opened the box and sighed at the building job after two cups of tea and a little bit of swearing the job was done. Then began the full afternoon of paper aeroplane folding! Excellent fun and lots of modifications were made to otherwise unassuming aircraft.
If you have children and a willing partner this is hours of fun for all (and if you are the wife of said family you can manage to sort out the Sunday roast).
Can't say any more.
At first he found it interesting to put together, he loved connecting all the parts, however the drawings were somewhat inaccurate which led to total confusion (the pulleys do not look as drawn when made) so it managed to fox me (44) and much more technically adept husband (57)for quite some time. Lots of to-ing and fro-ing and reconsidering how we'd done it. Very frustrating.
As a launcher it was somewhat lacking too. The suction cups only stick to certain surfaces - a tiled floor worked for us - but no table would hold it. A major design flaw - the front 'foot' is bolted through the front of the launcher plate and sits right in the path of a plane! We couldn't really get it to launch anything further than a couple of feet! Easier just to use your hands!
As it was so frustrating to put together, it wasn't really educationally doing much for any of us, so the fact that it then didn't really launch planes well either, was a shame. Glad we didn't pay money for it, but feel bad for the gift-giver who did.
The instructions for assembling the launcher were pretty poor. They instructed you to attach parts which were not included and left out instructions for important parts that were included. However, it's not that difficult to work it out yourself so my dad didn't have much trouble putting it all together.
At first we, like some other reviewers, thought that it didn't work at all as the planes would just get stuck in the spinners. There is also an unfortunate design flaw as there is a screw just in front of the plane which will stop it before it launches unless you angle the plane carefully to avoid it. However, all you need to do is adjust the gap between the spinners (which is easy to do, they are designed to be adjustable) and the planes fly through them as intended.
Overall, it was exactly what you'd expect, just a bit of fun which provided a couple of hours of entertainment. Once my dad had worked out how to use it, he had plenty of fun shooting planes at us! It's more of a novelty toy than anything. If you want to use different planes in it you have to adjust the spinners each time, which does get a little frustrating, so the fun wears off quickly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very easy to put together. The thing that took longest was trying to work out what the screwdriver was in the tools supplied!! I thought it was a "spare" part! Read morePublished 13 days ago by Mr. V. C. Jordan
You need more (and better quality) tools than the supplied weak screwdriver which looks to be pressed out of cooking foil. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Aytee
Quite fiddly to assemble and launches the planes very quickly. Definitely not a toy, and meant for older childrenPublished 6 months ago by Roberto
Would not recommend any one buy as the item is poor quality and doesn't work, my son was very upset as this was a birthday presentPublished 7 months ago by sam trewin
Not powerful enough to launch and fly the power up device plus you need two people to operate it proudlyPublished 11 months ago by Alex Massey