The only manned solar-powered aircraft in the world, the Sunseeker II is slated to take off on a European flying tour after the popular e-flight expo on April 5th. Following the success of the Sunseeker I (the 2.5-horsepower predecessor that crossed the U.S. in 21 flights, with 121 hours in the air, in 1990), almost everything has been improved in both form and function, including wing modifications, an increase in surface area for solar cells, and lithium polymer batteries to improve performance.
Designed by aircraft mastermind Eric Raymond, the Sunseeker II relies on batteries for the takeoff and solar power to operate and glide during flight. The journey will fly over eight countries: Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Slovenia. Emitting zero carbon emissions, the environmental impact that Sunseeker II will have on the future of aviation is monumental.