Solar powered airplane „Sunseeker II“

Solar powered airplane „Sunseeker II“

Instead of weighing tons, the exhibit weighs 115 kg, instead of engine capacity, kilowatts are the decisive factor, and instead of kerosene, solar energy is used for take off. We are talking about the Sunseeker II - a solar airplane that successfully crossed the United States for the first time.

From 1986 to 1989 Eric Raymond of Solar Flight worked on his project. He was inspired by the glider pilot Günter Rochelt's single-seat muscle-powered plane "Musculair II". Eric explains his aircraft the Sunseeker as an ansolar-powered version of the Musculair. With the white plane, he realized the idea of an electrically powered glider. The solar power should be sufficient for a horizontal flight, as batteries store the energy. The wings, which have a span of about 16 metres, are covered with solar cells. "This plane flies completely by itself. Eric explains the special feature of his design to neither need fuel nor muscle power or even a tow plane.

In 1990 the time had come: In 21 days he flew with the Sunseeker from California to North Carolina. Under average conditions, he could stay in the air for up to eight hours - with an average speed of 55 km/h. He then set about modernising the aircraft: the nickel batteries were replaced with the latest lithium-polymer batteries, wider wings were fitted and improved solar cells with an increased cell efficiency from 3% to 15%. In 2006 the aircraft was fitted with an engine twice as powerful, with a 5.5 kW powerplant. Award-winning flights in Japan and Europe followed.
His main job was working on a much larger project - the Solar Impulse of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg: the first airplane powered only by the sun that circumnavigated the world. The exciting story about this aircraft and the history of electricity is told in the documentary "Planet Power" at the IMAX 3D Cinema in Sinsheim.

At the beginning of the 2000s Eric visited our museum in Sinsheim and was already convinced that his solar airplane would be in good hands here with us. 2020 is the time. Now the ultra-light construction is hanging in Hall 2 of the Technik Museum Sinsheim and only gives an idea of possibilities of flying in the near future. Eric and Irene are already working on it: a solar-powered aircraft for up to six people.

The aviator couple Irena and Eric Raymond brought the solar airplane to Sinsheim in person.
After a few simple steps and a few corrections, the new museum exhibit was hung up in Hall 2 of the Technik Museum Sinsheim.