In 1992, Tamiya releases an RC model never seen before in the RC world. The solar Eagle SCR-6000 (item: 56101) is the 1:10 replica of a solar vehicle.
In the 90’s, the first races with solar vehicles were organized while the first applications for solar use became available for the general public.
The specifications were simple: only the solar energy was allowed to run the cars.
Engineers developed vehicles capable of using the sun to power the car. At the same time, they focused their researches on aerodynamics and weight reduction.
Tamiya chose this technology to release the Solar Eagle. Sold at about 500€, the high price was probably due to the cost of the solar cells. To date, this model still remains unique.
The chassis is a three wheels platform, like a tricycle, with the two front wheels for steering and a rear wheel drive.
The set is made of two lexan parts:
The upper part holds the solar panels and a level meter, mechanics and electronics being attached underneath.
The lower shell holds the upper shell with scratch tape to protect the mechanics. Only the wheels and access to the switch are visible.
There are three solar panels, each panel hosting ten cells. Each panel provides a voltage of 2.5 volts. The three panels are connected in series to deliver 7.5 volts for a current of 800mA.
Electronics are borrowed from 1:16 Tamtech cars and suffice to run the 280 type engine. Tamiya provides a receiver battery box to test the operation during installation. You can keep it or not for running.
To start the model, just expose it at the sun and watch the level meter go from 0 to 100% charge. During these few seconds, the solar energy is stored into 3 capacitors hidden under the solar panels. They are used as a buffers and to release the energy when the exposure to the sun light becomes too weak.
High speed is not a goal to achieve: at full speed and maximum exposure to the sun, the Solar Eagle runs close to the human walk speed. The Solar Eagle runs in silent and is very manageable since its turning circle is very sharp. One more funny detail: when clouds hide the sun, the vehicle immediately goes slower.
Today, this model is very rare and very difficult to find. This is a masterpiece for any collector since the Solar Eagle is and will ever remain an UFO in the RC world.