Sunseeker Duo Plays Among the Alps

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Eric and Irena Raymond took a lovely Sunseeker Duo flight over the Italian alps near their home in Voghera and edited it all into a video.  They designed and built their own solar-powered airplane – Eric’s third.  He flew Sunseeker 1 across the US in 1990 in 21 hops.  A big press conference scheduled for his last landing at Kitty Hawk, NC was a big disappointment since the US invaded Kuwait that day. Six Minutes of Great Beauty Their airplane has solar cells arrayed across the wing and horizontal tail, a small battery pack that gets recharged while flying in the sun, and a 22 kilowatt (30 hp) motor on the tail.  Turning off the motor they can soar on …

72 Hours of Flight, Exercise, Rest, and Hypnosis

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The first Solar Impulse airplane, HB-SIA, has demonstrated repeatedly that it can stay up all day and all night.  The idea of perpetual flight has enticed designers for years, but the idea of a perpetual pilot has not – until the space age.  Charles Lindbergh had a restless night before his May 20, 1927 takeoff for Europe and spent much of the 33-1/2 hour flight battling his nearly overwhelming need for sleep.  A solar-powered flight will be considerably slower, and thus longer in duration, than Lindbergh’s epic voyage, however. With planned flights for HB-SIB, the second Solar Impulse craft, anticipated to span continents and oceans, the need for maintaining pilot health and alertness becomes imperative. As the team explains, “Over …