Electric bush plane: combined project of Zenair and Solar Ship combines rugged short landings with green technology

Two aircraft companies from Ontario have recently combined efforts in a unique project as part of their ongoing partnership. Brantford-based Solar Ship Inc., which builds solar-powered cargo planes, and Midland’s aircraft kit manufacturer, Zenair Ltd., have maintained an ongoing partnership over the past six years.

In 2011, Zenair developed a fuselage for Solar Ship’s Zenship 11, an aircraft with the capability to take off and land in small areas without a runway. The ability to do take off and land so abruptly and with limited space is essential for delivering cargo intended for disaster relief and other emergency situations.

 

In a joint project of Zenair and Solar Ship, the light weight CH750 short takeoff kit airplane will be converted to electric for bush use in rugged areas.

 

The two companies collaborated to convert Zenair’s STOL CH750 aircraft into an electric air craft that will be available as a bush plane or an amphibious craft.

The zero-emission STOL CH750 will be capable of extremely short take-off and landing. Solar Ship’s CEO, Jay Godsall, stated that “the Zenair bush planes are part of Solar Ship’s self-reliant infrastructure package to support critical cargo and air ambulance service in remote areas.”

He also discussed the aircrafts’ network of low-cost solar hangars, which will provide battery swap stations in remote areas. “Once you buy this aircraft, you break free from the shackles of oil, and you never need to refuel again. It is complete self-reliance.”

The Zenith CH 750 will be converted to electric power. The Zenith was chosen due to its unique ability to land on dirt and short spaces:

 

 

Solar Ship builds planes called solarships, from a combination of aerodynamics and buoyant gas in order to gain lift. They also receive their power from onboard solar panels. They are able to land in a number of places, including fields, grass, dirt, mud, and water. This allows emergency cargo, medical supplies, and support to reach remote areas that may be in need within a significantly shorter amount of time than is typical.

The partner on the project, Solar Ship Inc. specialize in hybrid aircraft for remote areas to bring medicines and vital cargos to inaccessible area. Their solar ship concept carries 30 tonnes or cargo with no fuel:

 

In fact, two of Solar Ship’s aircraft are currently being used to ship supplies to remote communities in central Africa as part of their partnership with Manaf Freighters. Manaf first approached Solar Ship in 2014, discussing a joint venture to develop the type of aircraft needed to access areas where there is no infrastructure, assist people in their daily lives, and provide support where needed. Continued partnerships such as these have the potential to tremendously impact the world, especially in poorer areas and those which are disaster-ridden, and each aircraft is designed to the specifications of the mission for which it is built.

 

 

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Wind farm opponents' complaint lacked proof: judge
  • Siemens Canada, Manitoba Hydro sign $800 million contract
  • Commodities firm sues Shell, BP, Statoil for price fixing
  • Canadian cleantech sector strong in research, innovation, but weak in commercialization
  • Ontario to be hub for Toyota SUV production
  • GM restructuring goes forward with agressive job cuts in Ontario designed to save billions of dollars — at the same time they recruit new hires?
  • GPS III set to launch December 18: U.S. Air Force to launch via Space X Falcon 9 paylod; will be harder to jam, more secure and accurate
  • Manufacturing sales up in December but down for the year on weak energy sector
  • Aerospace in Ontario: More than 200 aerospace companies, 21,000 skilled employees and half of the top 25 global firms
  • Ford investment in Oakville gets auto industry "on the move again"
  • Saudis will no longer provide "insurance policy" for high-cost oil producers
  • Terraton Initiative: "Carbon Negative": an innovative solution could remove 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from atmosphere
  • Manufacturing up in December amid uncertainty about future US-Canada relations
  • Space X's Falcon Heavy could explode with the force of a nuclear weapon; over 1400 airline flights delayed by space launches in 2018
  • Magellan gets $110 million contract for Canadian satellite program
  • Ontario to invest $900 million in energy-saving retrofits in social housing, rental stock
  • Andritz to manufacture stator coils for NA hydropower market in Peterborough
  • Vanadium dioxide (VO2) metal conducts electricity — with ten times less heat
  • India interested in oil and gas as well as uranium from Canada
  • Electro Water Separation (EWS) or Electro Coagulation: Treatment system uses electricity to clean contaminated water
Scroll to Top