The flying ambulance hybrid could be realized through a partnership between Urban Aeronautics aircraft manufacturing company and Hatzolah Air, a nonprofit, emergency air rescue organization in New York.
Urban Aeronautics Ltd. announced last December that it would make four CityHawk VTOLs available to the rescue organization. Hatzolah Air will also be the distributor of the rescue CityHawk aircraft to other rescue organizations around the world. CityHawk is thus a VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing), a technology described in more detail in the article below. In short, VTOL now seems to be the future of aircraft development, made possible in part by the development of hydrogen-based fuel cell technology and in part by the development of drone technology. Alternatively, the self-steering and multi-vertical propeller-free, drive-free lift-drive combination also makes this device safe.
The CityHawk will run on pure hydrogen, and an important difference from other similar devices is that it has neither wings nor exposed “protruding” rotors. The propellers are built into the body of the vehicle (the company’s own technology called ‘Fancraft’). According to the company, the machine has a top speed of 270 km / h, and up to six people can travel with it at a distance of up to 150 kilometers at a time. Thanks to the Fancraft solution, the machine is in principle able to land anywhere, in any terrain and weather conditions. The military prototype of the Cormorant, an unmanned aircraft, is already past 300 successful autonomous flight tests, according to the company’s website. Due to its capabilities, the plane can also be used on a busy, big city street, which makes it especially suitable for the rescue role.
From the above, it may already be clear how CityHawk, modified for rescue tasks, differs from a rescue helicopter: it is easier to land with it, quieter, and takes up less space after landing. In addition, the cabin itself is 20 to 30 percent larger than a rescue helicopter, so it can accommodate a pilot, a patient and an escort, a two-person rescue crew, and all the medical equipment you might need in an ambulance. Currently, engineers from both organizations are working to make the “flying ambulance” a reality. Hatzolah Air estimates that at least 800 ambulances could be sucked in by various rescue organizations around the world. Hatzolah Air, by the way, as a non-profit organization, is not making a profit from the development and distribution of the ambulance. It is planned that the development could be completed within 3-5 years, and the U.S. Aviation Administration, the FAA, could also allow the aircraft to be used in emergencies. During this time, production of the device may also begin. In the case of an air rescue vehicle, four main factors come into play in the case of an air rescue device: speed, range, and the nature of the landing and take-off conditions.