The fuel-free lightweight Sunseeker Duo aircraft is now airborne! After it was unveiled at the AERO Global Show for General Aviation in Friedrichshafen, Germany in April, the world’s fastest two-seater solar-powered plane was transported to Italy where it has successfully completed a total of seven test flights.
The Sunseeker Duo took off at daybreak from the team’s facility in Voghera, Italy, and completed its flights, confirming that its airframe, control systems and landing gear were rigged correctly.
Eric Raymond said, “Everything worked well, the airplane handled beautifully. One of the major things that needed to be confirmed is that the angle of the wing compared to the angle of the landing gear is correct so that the main wheels touch down first, without striking the tail or the nose wheel first – and it appears to be perfect.”
The latest solar-powered aircraft by Solar Flight, led by Irena and Eric Raymond, can climb for up to 25 minutes running solely on batteries. Also, it can fly for hours when exposed to direct sunlight. The newest aircraft model in the Solar Flight’s fleet has a wingspan of nearly 80 feet but can be stored in an average-sized hangar thanks to its foldable wings.
The airplane is still going through a series of improvements. The propeller and the integration of the battery packs and control electronics need adjusting but don’t interfere significantly with the plane’s ability to fly, said Eric Raymond.