Highlight Week 37: Sky Shuttle Plane

At Kameleon Solar we regularly have the privilege to to get a sneak-peak of the future. Inventors, innovators, scientists, and researchers contact us to brainstorm how best to integrate solar energy with their inventions.

This week Ab van Helden visited us. He is the founder and the brain behind SSP, the Sky Shuttle Plane.

So what is the SSP?

The Sky Shuttle Plane, SSP, is a hybrid aircraft: an aircraft that flies using a combination of:

Aerostatic lift, similar to a blimp, hot air balloon or generally lighter-than-air vehicle
Aerodynamic lift, just like an ordinary airplane
So it is not an airship, nor is it an airplane. The SSP is a hybrid of the two.

The SSP doesn’t use any type of fossil fuel. Its propulsion is completely based on a pollution-free electric engine and solar energy.

The potential applications of the SSP are almost too many to mention, from cargo and passenger transport to firefighting.

5 questions about the Sky Shuttle Plane

1. Why is it shaped like an octagon?

One of the most ground-breaking aspects of the SSP’s design is that it’s based on a modular architecture. Five types of modules of different shapes will be used for building the different SSP versions.

2. How big is the SSP?

The easiest way to measure the SSP is to measure it as a square, not an octagon. The edge of this square will initially measure between 30 and 100 meters. Following developments are expected to bring this dimension to an order of 200 meters or even larger.

3. What is the SSP’s payload?

The payload of a SSP will vary according to the versions around 3 and 50 tons.

4. Helium was used in Zeppelins. Is helium safe?

Helium is extremely safe. It’s unfortunate that so many remember with justified horror the disaster of the airship the Hindenburg on may 6 1937. However, many forget that this accident was largely related to the fact that this airship was filled not with helium but with the highly flammable hydrogen.

5. Why solar panels on the SSP?

The Solar panels feed the electric motors, ensuring the SSP’s propulsion. These solar panels need to meet specific requirements: they must be lightweight, highly efficient and be able to function under different climatic conditions.

We have spoken with Ab van Helden about various solutions.

Let’s see what the future brings with this great project.

Do you want to find out more about the Sky Shuttle Plane then please visit their website.

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