This July, PC Aero’s single-seater solar-electric Elektra One Solar airplane got some media attention by flying across the Alps in both directions within one trip. Starting in 2009, however, Solar Flight president Eric Raymond took his solar-electric Sunseeker II over the mountain range a number of times. This August, he did his own over-and-back trip … although this time he flew his two-seater Sunseeker Duo, which allowed him to bring his wife Irena along as a second pilot.
What is it about the single-seater Sunseeker II that drew a steady stream of visitors to the solar-powered airplane on display at the Green Air Show in Paris recently? Could it be the bluish flash of solar cells on its huge wings, or the inviting open cockpit, or maybe even the teetering propeller to the rear? Perhaps it's a delightful combination of gorgeous form and emission-free function that turned all those heads. With a two-pilot version coming soon, Gizmag took the opportunity to have a closer look.