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Toronto start-up designs solar-powered hybrid aircraft

Toronto company Solar Ship has designed a brand new and potentially game-changing type of aircraft: one that can travel up to 1,000 kilometres and carry up to 1,000 kilograms of cargo, powered exclusively by sunlight. The "Solar Ship"—described by the Toronto Star as a hybrid of an airship and an airplane—is scheduled to take its first test flight in late 2012. 
"Not quite an airship, not quite an airplane, the solar ship is a hybrid of both. The delta-shaped aircraft will be filled with helium, but slightly less than what’s required to lift it off the ground."
"Solar panels across the top of its body, likely backed up by a lithium-ion battery system, will supply enough electricity to drive it forward and into the air. In this way, the design achieves just the right balance of static lift (like a blimp) and aerodynamic lift (like a plane)."
"Jay Godsall, founder and chief executive of Solar Ship, says his aircraft will be able to go where no roads are built, where landing locations are too small or have been destroyed, and where existing airplanes and helicopters can’t reach on a single tank of fuel."

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original source Toronto Star

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