Solar Ship, a solar-powered airship, completed the first in a series of flights to develop a fossil fuel free transport and logistics system for Canada’s North. Solar Ship is working with Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) as part of project to support the Department of National Defence.
The project is being funded by the Federal Government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) to work with DRDC to demonstrate the capabilities of a new transport system able to service Canada’s far North without using fossil fuel. The aircraft will be tested for a number of capabilities including cargo, long endurance surveillance and reconnaissance, and low speed search and rescue.
DRDC’s Vaughn Cosman was on site to witness the flight. He said “We knew Solar Ship’s hybrid aircraft platform has the potential to lift a great deal of cargo. Today I saw an extremely well trained team fly a stable, controllable aircraft. I have many years of experience flying in Canada’s north and I’m excited to work with Solar Ship to create a robust, fossil fuel free transport and logistics platform that will change the way we connect our north.”
Solar Ship’s CEO, Jay Godsall said: “We agreed to celebrate Canada’s 150th with DRDC early by showing what the Wolverine aircraft platform can do for connecting Canada’s north. DRDC has been a fantastic partner helping us define what we need to do to create a robust platform for the north. Fossil fuels are an economic and environmental trap for the north. They can be replaced. A new generation of northern people can make this shift. We need to demonstrate these systems are robust enough for the north and DRDC is the ideal partner to accomplish this.”
This milestone marks the first demonstration flight for Solar Ship’s Wolverine line of aircraft, which will feature amphibious capabilities and the ability to transport cargo loads that bush planes cannot carry.