icaré 2 is one of the world's most advanced gliders. Not only does it fly without the use of any fossil fuel, its self-generated solar power allows it to take off on its own with no winch or other assistance. icaré 2 brings the goal of energy-free flight an important step closer.
As part of its Clean Energy program, SEIKO is proud to sponsor icaré 2, its pilot, Klaus Ohlmann, and its developers, a team led by Prof. Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann at Stuttgart University.
The super light-weight design incorporates the lightest materials, the largest possible solar panel surface, the best aerodynamics and optimum efficiency to allow the aircraft to take off, soar and return to Earth using only the power of the sun.
icaré 2 is the latest development in a project that goes back to 1996, when Stuttgart University was awarded the Berblinger Prize for developing the first aircraft to take off and stay aloft using only its solar panels for power. In 2003, it flew uninterrupted for 350km. In September of this year, Ohlmann set two new records in one attempt, taking off and flying more than 370km in the Hautes-Alpes in Southern France.
Ohlmann is planning to build on this solid base with a significantly longer flight planned across Southern Europe, in which he hopes to break his own records of 2010 and even establish a couple more. Among the categories in his sights are flight duration and the daunting altitude challenge.
If anyone can do this, it is Klaus Ohlmann. He currently holds more FAI records than any other glider pilot, and, with more than 30 World Airsports Federation (FAI) records to his name throughout his career, there’s little reason to believe that 2011 will not see yet more records, especially in an aircraft as sophisticated as icaré 2.