SkyAngels Air Ambulance operates emergency ambulances – now the fleet has been expanded with a Dutch air ambulance converted for rescue purposes.
- Here is the (almost) flying car !
- They can test the first real flying car on European roads
- More news on European flying car licensing
Marketed as the world’s first flying car, the Liberty was developed as an early prototype by Dutch company PAL-V back in 2012, and soon afterwards they started designing a commercial vehicle. And two years ago, the vehicle was granted a road licence in Europe, but this was only for the car mode of the vehicle – simply put, rolling.
And the latest news is that the Dutch company has announced a partnership with SkyAngels Air Ambulance, a UK organisation that operates emergency ambulances,” says the press release. As David Polo Marks, head of SkyAngels, commented:
“Range, payload and practicality are all key factors when choosing a flying car for our air ambulance service. The PAL-V Liberty is not just an aircraft, and not just a car – it’s both. The fact that it can also fly on roads as an aircraft means it is not limited by weather conditions, and it is a car that can also fly, so it doesn’t need roads, making it an ideal solution for our emergency needs, especially in areas where ground infrastructure is limited.”
In addition to the UK, the operation of a flying ambulance has also been discussed in New York in the US in the past, raising the question of what key parameters would be looked at for an air ambulance (in addition to cabin size, ride characteristics and other essential aspects that would make it suitable). Four main factors are said to come into play for a flying ambulance: speed, range and the quality of landing and take-off conditions.
However, the Liberty will be different from the New York CityHawk in that it will not be a patient transport vehicle, but rather a ‘first/fast response’ vehicle, which will be designed to allow a highly trained rescue team to arrive at the scene as quickly as possible to begin treatment and then rendezvous with a slower arriving vehicle, which will be able to transport patients, in a ‘Rendezvous System’. This system is like the way ambulance officers operate on motorcycles – only instead of an ambulance motorcycle, think Liberty in this case.
Accordingly, in the UK, the Liberty can be used for short flights over natural obstacles such as the Isle of Wight or the Isle of Man. But it can also be used as a fast shuttle vehicle off major motorways and congested roads.
The press conference also reveals that the partnership just announced is the first of a possible major order for the UK. As Robert Dingemanse, CEO of PAL-V, said: in addition to disaster relief, it is also a vehicle that can be used for coast guarding, border patrol, law enforcement and many other applications.