LogoSolair II - Layout

The general layout of the Solair II is roughly similar to contemporary composite gliders which are characterized by a streamlines fuse and a high aspect ratio. One distinctive feature of the Solair II is the wing layout - with its forward swept inner and backward swept outer wing portion which greatly improves side and downward visibility for the pilot. To facilitate optimum coverage with solar cell panels, both inner and outer wings have a rectangular planform. The plug-in wingtips organically taper to and end with up and back swept winglets.

Another characteristic feature is the V tail which houses the electric motors in its tips. There are two counter-rotating variable pitch propellers which automatically fold back when the motors are cut for a glide. This propulsion layout makes for minimal disturbance of the airflow to and from the propellers, thus resulting in high efficiency and also a high level of pilot comfort for both powered and unpowered flight.

In order to allow self starting operation without the need for a helping hand to keep the wings level, the main gear is 1.2 meters wide. The gear strut and wheel pants assembly presents an aerodynamically and visually pleasing solution eliminating the need for retractable gears. Two additional supporting wheels - integrated into the fuse lines below the cockpit and the tail section - allow both grass and concrete runway operation.

3 side view

3 side view of the Solair II

Another interesting detail: the Solair II can be reconfigured to a "Sol-Racer" by plugging the wing tips directly to the inner wings, leaving out the outer panels. This results in a small and agile powered glider with a reduced wing span of 14.1 meters:


The Sol-Racer which stands a safe 6 g.

Homepage | Previous | Next | DEUTSCH    (Hannes Delago - Jan 19, 1997)