When aviation pioneer Albrecht Berblinger, the famous tailor of Ulm, tried in 1811 his courageous crossing of the Danube river, he fell into the water.
Despite his failure he became the inspiration for many later developers and pilots and his home town Ulm dedicated since 1986 a competition aiming at aviation innovations to his honour.
When in 1996 building a practical solar aircraft became the topic, soon a team formed around Prof. Voit-Nitschmann at the aerospace engineering at University Stuttgart, to create a regarding competition aircraft.
At the same time it resulted starting from 1995 on into an opportunity for more than 40 students to develop a very special aircraft and to take it into the air.
The called the project “icaré”, a combination of the name of Icarus, the hero of the Greek mythology and Re, the Egypt sun god.
Also after winning the first prize in Ulm, icaré 2 was constantly improved, including even (not yet realized) concepts to get a propulsion system based on a hydrogen powered fuel cell.
After the first large solar distance flight over more than 350 km to Jena by Prof. Voit-Nitschmann, record pilot Klaus Ohlmann became aware of the project.
He started from 2011 on to make record flights from his home airfield in Serres in the “solar powered” class and from that time on watch-manufacturer Seiko is supporting the operation and record attempts as main sponsor.