This year’s AERO Global Show for General Aviation held in Friedrichshafen, Germany has witnessed the launching of the world’s fastest solar-driven two-seater aircraft – the Sunseeker Duo. The Solar Flight-designed plane is a refresh of 1990’s Sunseeker I which was aimed at cross-country flights.
The Sunseeker Duo does not use conventional fuel by relies on solar cells which compared to the previous model are about 50% more potent, ensuring that the plane is able to climb continuously while running on just battery power for about 25 minutes.
The plane’s wings span almost 80 feet but due to their foldable nature, the aircraft can fit in conventional-sized hangars. The aircraft can also be easily taken apart for easy transport by trailer.
The Solar Flight team, led by Eric Raymond and Irena Raymond would be taking the plane for more test flights in Italy after the German unveiling. No doubt the success of the design depended much on the vast solar flight experience of Solar Flight founder Eric Raymond who has contributed to solar-driven aircraft such as the Lockheed HALE-D airship and the Solar Impulse airplane which is currently being tested in California.
Solar Flight has been exploring solar-driven aircraft since its establishment in 1986, with a number of such aircraft to its name, but the Sunseeker Duo ranks as the best performing Sunseeker to date. Capable of long hours of flight under direct sunlight and being able to climb for a maximum 25 minutes solely on battery power, the Sunseeker Duo is a real step forward in the solar-powered aircraft industry.