Jump directly to the page contents

The Solair 1 was one of the first aircraft that flies with solar energy.

It was developed and built by Günter Rochelt (1939-1998) at his own expense. On August 21, 1983, Rochelt set an unofficial long-term flight record for solar aircraft with the aircraft of five hours and 41 minutes. The history of manned solar flight began in Germany with the Solair 1. As a basis, Rochelt used the "canard design" Canard 2 FL glider from Farner. The wing surface was covered with 2500 solar cells, which were embedded in silicone and then covered with a polyester film. The industrial designer Rochelt was a self-taught specialist in extreme lightweight construction. He also built muscle powered aircraft, such as the Musculair 2, which is on display in the Flugerft Schleißheim museum.

Technical specifications:

  • Manufacturer: Günter Rochelt, München, 1980
  • Wingspan: 16.0 m
  • Length: 5.4 m
  • Wing area: 22.3 m²
  • Empty weight: 120 kg
  • Max. speed: 90 km/h
  • Glide ratio: 26
  • Min. sink rate: 0.42 m/s at 40 km/h
  • Powered by solar energy: 2499 solar cells
  • Power:  2.2 kW
  • Battery: 88 V, 8 Ah, 750 Wh