Canadian airship company Solar Ship inks deal for African disaster relief
Sept 21, 2016: Canadian airship manufacturer Solar Ship will sell four aircraft to Manaf Freighters for disaster relief in Africa. Manaf Freighters and Solar Ship will join hands on the Peace & Freedom Services project, which will offer basic necessities, such as food, clothing and medical supplies, in remote areas in East and Central Africa. Solar Ship will supply two Caracal airships, which are short takeoff and landing aircraft, and two Wolverine aircraft, which can carry a 20-foot shipping container with a minimum payload of five tonnes. Solar Ship said it had been working with Manaf since 2014 to develop the right aircraft for their needs. “The goal of our platform is to access areas where there is no infrastructure so we can help people in their daily lives and unleash their economic potential,” Solar Ship’s director of Africa operations, Michel Rugema, said in a release. “Both sides of the partnership know the Great Lakes region of Africa well. Manaf has vast experience and an established network— Solar Ship is ready to start deploying with them in Africa in 2017.” Solar Ship has operations in Brantford, Ont.; Cape Town, South Africa; Lusaka, Zambia; Kampala, Uganda; and Shenzhen, China. Its aircraft uses two forms of lift: static lift, generated by buoyant gas like an airship, combined with the aerodynamic lift of a wing. This creates the capacity to fly large loads into areas without infrastructure and it enables the aircraft to fly without the use of fossil fuels.