Exactly 30 years ago, the idea for a solarship, which can be used to deliver critical supply to remote areas, emerged. It was supposed to take off in Cape Town and reach Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria.
With the help of various partners from across eastern and southern Africa, Madagascar and northern Canada, the first prototype was finally built in 2009, and three additional prototypes are constructed to date.
The ship is a hybrid aircraft– partly bush plane, partly airship, which is powered by the sun and assisted by helium. Because it is sustainably powered, it can operate in areas with no roads or fuel stations, and it requires a space as small as a soccer field to land.
Regular flights are operating since 2010. The take off from Cape Town and deliver supplies to remote villages along the way reaching the Great Lakes region of Africa.
The Solar Ship won a grant to construct a next generation model, which can be used to bring supplies to First Nation communities, but this is only for North America. In Africa, there are no secured funds.
IndieGoGo is conducting a fund rising to help African communities. If you are interested and would like to contribute to this innovative and life-saving project, please follow the link for more instructions. IndieGoGo guarantees that everything raised will be spent on covering all needed expenses. The aim is to collect $1 million by the Fall of year 2014.