Solar Flight has just unveiled the world’s fastest two-seater solar-powered plane at the AERO Global Show for General Aviation in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The Sunseeker Duo continues the company’s exploration of solar-powered flight which started with their first Sunseeker I model designed back in 1990. The new fuel-free plane features solar cells 50 percent more powerful than those used by the previous models; this allows the plane to climb for up to 25 minutes running solely on batteries. After leaving Germany, the team led by Eric and Irena Raymond will transport the Sunseeker Duo to Italy for further test flights.
The Sunseeker Duo features a wingspan of nearly 80 feet, but can be stored in an average-sized hangar thanks to its foldable wings. It can be quickly disassembled and packed into a trailer. One of the creators of the plane, Eric Raymond, is highly experienced in the field of solar-powered flight. His expertise was used in the design of the solar-powered Lockheed HALE-D airship, as well as Solar Impulse’s aircraft which is now making test flights in California. He founded Solar Flight back in 1986 and has since developed several solar-powered aircrafts.
The newest addition to the Solar Flight’s fleet is the highest performing Sunseeker ever built; it can climb for around 25 minutes at full power using stored energy in the batteries. When exposed to direct sunlight, the Sunseeker Duo can fly for hours. The team plans to transport the plane to Italy after the AERO Show and prepare it for a series of test flights.