Watch: World’s First Hybrid Industrial Ship With Airplane-Like Wings

Canopee, the world’s first hybrid industrial ship powered by wind, is all set to commence commercial operations for the Ariane Program of the European Space Agency. The French freighter ship has collapsible wing sails, and the 5500 DWT RORO has also completed its sea trials. It is now going to begin its service with transatlantic crossings.

The ship is operated by Alizes, a joint venture between Zéphyr & Borée and Jifmar Offshore Services. She has signed a 15-year contract to transport the parts needed for the Ariane 6 space program of the European Space Agency. She will embark on 12 crossings annually for the same.

This challenging project took almost 6 years, and the vessel is designed to meet the requirements of the ArianeGroup, which is going ahead with the space program. It also has to face the challenges at the site in the Pariacabo port in French Guiana.

Canopee was made to operate in shallow waters and the narrow Kourou River while shipping its cargo.

Canopee was built by Poland’s Neptune Shipyard and undertook its first trials in Dec 2022. Her test voyage began from Bremen, Rotterdam, Le Harve and Bordeaux to the South American Launch site on 27th Dec 2022.

The sails fitted in July are more than 120 ft high, covering 363 square metres. Developed by AYRO, they have two flaps, one forward and the other aft, with a unique and functional design allowing the adjustment of the wings’ angle of incidence. They can turn 360 degrees with respect to the wind, and the rear flap can pivot around the secondary mast to form a camber in relation to the flap at the front.

Per AYRO, the wings can generate more power than conventional sails. The ship can sail at a speed of up to 16 knots, and the proportion of wind power use will vary from 15-40%, depending on the needed speed and prevailing wind conditions. It also has 2 diesel engines with a power of 3840 kW. This ship, with 4 wings, decreases fuel consumption by 30%.

References: American Journal of Transportation, Project Cargo Journal, SatNews

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