PHOTO CAPTION: Sunseeker Duo uses 25kW electric motor, lithium batteries and 1,510 solar cells to fly on sunlight.

Sunseeker Duo Solar-Powered Plane Takes Wing

Eric Raymond and his team in Italy test fly the successor to the Sunseeker II, a solar-powered twin-seat aircraft that can cruise for up to 12-hours.

Published: 25-Apr-2014

For all the advancements made in solar power technology, developing an airplane that could harvest enough of the sun's energy to not only be flown for extended periods, but take another person along for the ride has proven a difficult task. The team at Solar Flight recently took on this challenge, unveiling its plans for what would be the world's first two-seater solar aircraft, the Sunseeker Duo. Today, the company announced that it has spent the last few months testing the plane's flight performance and the results hold some promise for helping achieve its lofty ambitions.

Solar Flight's latest endeavor first caught our attention back in October 2012, when project leader Eric Raymond announced plans to manufacture a solar airplane powerful and aerodynamic enough to carry two people. A successful Kickstarter campaign has brought Raymond one step closer to fulfilling this vision, completing construction and taking flight with the Sunseeker Duo on December 17, 2013.


RX1E Ruixiang two-seater developed by Liaoning General Aviation Academy

RX1E Ruixiang two-seater is capable of some 40-minutes of flight and costs about 80 cents to recharge, a fraction of the cost of gasoline-fueled trainers.

Silent Falcon depicted in flight over White Sands, New Mexico.

25 lb. Silent Falcon UAS has 6 to 12 hour flight endurance using advanced solar power and energy storage system.

Light sport aircraft like this Pipistrel Alpha would be impacted by proposed FAA order.

Draft order would impose restrictions on several class of general aviation aircraft, including electric-powered models, restricting the areas they could operate.


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