Eric Scott Raymond
Eric Raymond’s career in flying began at an early age with model airplanes. Working with Paul Mac Cready, he flew the MPA Bionic Bat. Then he was invited to fly Gunther Rochelt’s human powered Musculair 2 and with Rochelt’s help he formulated the concept for the Sunseeker. The Sunseeker went on to break all previous records for solar powered aircraft. Raymond studied photography at Rochester Institute of Technology and aeronautical engineering at University of California San Diego. From 2003 – 2007 he worked with AeroVironment on classified projects building unmanned aircraft.
Aviation is a life long passion of Irena’s. She was born in the foothills of the Julian Alps, near the Lesce airfield, and spent her childhood visiting the airfield often to watch airplanes fly. She earned her Glider Pilot License when she was only 16. For a long time she was working as a project manager and head of raw materials procurement at Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires, in 2009 she joined Solar Flight Team. In 2005 Irena was selected as the President of the Slovenian Women Pilots Association, an organization dedicated to encouraging women’s participation in aviation in Slovenia and around the World.
Irena also owns an Airplane Private Pilot License as she is the second pilot of the Sunseeker Duo.
The pilot of Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross for the record breaking man powered flights on the late 1970’s, Bryan is also a hang glider and ultralight pilot, and helped develop and fly Bill Watson’s White Dwarf human powered blimp. He has a strong passion for airships, and all forms of electric and man powered aircraft.
A designer and builder with a long history of unique aircraft. Bill Watson is an expert in the field of airship design and construction. He served as the chief construction engineer for the Icarus HPA-1 and Gossamer Albatross human powered aircraft. He also designed and built the human powered airship White Dwarf, which set a distance record for its class with Bryan Allen as pilot and motor. He has consulted extensively with numerous companies including Boeing in the development of their own airship projects.
“RC” Dave Freund
RC is a designer and builder of light-weight aircraft structures. In addition to working as a shop manager at AeroVironment, Freund worked extensively with Eric Raymond and Bill Watson on the development of the Sunseeker from the initial concept through its flight testing. He was also a member of the team of pilots who flew Alan Cocconi’s solar-powered SoLong UAV for its 48 hour record, the first airplane to complete an autonomous day-night cycle.
Floyd has been involved with aeronautics for most of his life. He is the machinist who made both tooling and hardware for Sunseeker I and II. His company, Aeolus Machine, has worked on diverse aircraft from the Basic Ultralight Glider series to the Lighthawk microlift sailplane in addition to projects with Solar Flight. Floyd is an experienced pilot with many hours spent flying hang gliders and unique ultralight aircraft including Solar Flight’s Edelweiss sailplane. He was also a crewmember for the 2009 European Tour with the Sunseeker II.
Mechanic, engineer, German; Karl Kaeser specialized in aircraft design, lightweight structures, and fluid dynamics at the University of Stuttgart. His vast experience encompasses some of the most innovative aircraft companies in the world, including Stemme AG, Rupert Composites, Yuneec and Solar Impulse. Karl led the design effort for the fuselage center section of Sunseeker Duo. He is also responsible for the development of a safety feature that could benefit all electric aircraft. His mechanism provides a soft-start for the motor and stops the propellor immediately if it encounters any obstacles, protecting bystanders. The Sunseeker Duo will be the first airplane to implement this feature.
While touring the factory of the small Silicon Valley startup Tesla Motors, Eric asked, “What can people do to help?” “Go work for an electric car company.” Was the reply from Tesla’s founder. Rather than take the advice, Eric found Solar Flight and two months later moved to San Diego to work with E. Raymond. A pilot since age 14, He is the only person other than E. Raymond to have flown all of Solar Flight’s designs. Eric, Ambassador of Solar Flight, is also a member of the US Unlimited Glider Aerobatic Team.
A designer, builder, and pilot, Klaus Savier is the president of Light Speed Engineering based in Santa Paula, California. Their main focus is to help develop general aviation as a safe, economical and feasible mode of personal transportation. This includes the production of composite parts aimed to improve aircraft stability, speed, and efficiency as well as electronic ignition conversions that improve engine performance. Klaus is an expert in the field of propeller design. He designs and builds composite propellers for light aircraft and is responsible for the remarkably light folding propeller on the Sunseeker.
His company website: http://www.lightspeedengineering.com/
Roman Susnik is an expert glider pilot, who has developed his own electric motors for aircraft. See http://www.enstroj.si/ to see his electric Apis, and other projects. Roman has developed a new 20 kW direct drive motor and controller for theSunseeker Duo.