Solar Ship hybrid aircraft company lands government contract

The Department of National Defence (via the Royal Canadian Air Force) will work with Solar Ship to test and evaluate the capabilities of innovative aircraft designed to transport critical cargo during disaster relief missions. Solar Ship Photo
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The government of Canada has established a contract with Solar Ship Inc. to help expand Canada’s future capabilities in peacekeeping, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
Through the federal government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), the Department of National Defence (via the Royal Canadian Air Force) will work with Solar Ship to test and evaluate the capabilities of innovative aircraft designed to transport critical cargo during disaster relief missions. 
The aircraft will be tested for additional applications relevant to the Royal Canadian Air Force’s support of humanitarian assistance missions, as determined by the government of Canada.
“We’ve been working with former RCAF pilots, engineers and operations personnel since 2009, preparing our capabilities to help with their missions to save lives,” said Solar Ship CEO and founder, Jay Godsall. 
“It is a great honour for us to officially be working with the RCAF. We have followed the guidance of retired RCAF commander, general Andre Deschamps, to recruit and hire top level retired talent from the RCAF to collaborate more formally with what is often called the greatest flying organization in the world.”
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Retired lieutenant-colonel Tim Shopa, former lead operational test and evaluation officer for the RCAF’s CF-188 fleet, said: “Solar Ship has proven some core capabilities in conducting difficult missions when it demonstrated the ability to takeoff and land from a soccer field with a mass of 1.8 tonnes using solar electric power. Now we must further demonstrate that a number of key performance parameters can be met to enable disaster relief missions in regions such as Africa where there is little or no infrastructural support. 
“This is an important step for both Solar Ship and the RCAF. Once the technology’s capabilities are confirmed it will change the possibilities associated with all humanitarian assistance missions. This is an exciting time to be Canadian and involved in this aerospace achievement.”

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