German emergency response organization orders Volocopter air ambulances

The German emergency response organization ADAC Luftrettung has placed an order for two electrically powered VoloCity air taxis with Volocopter. These are two-person aircraft that can take off and land vertically, just like a helicopter or drone. The first test flights are planned for 2023. The air ambulances are expected to be operational from 2025 onwards.

German emergency relief organization orders two electric air ambulances

Provide help faster

The VoloCity is probably one of the first electrically powered multi-rotors for passenger transport to be launched in . An application for type approval is currently pending at the European aviation organization, after which the aircraft can be put into use for test purposes and pilot projects. Autonomous flying is not yet an option: in the beginning, there will have to be a pilot on board.

The aircraft can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and has a flight range (one way) of approximately 35 km. Although that range is far below the final desired 150 kilometers, ADAC Luftrettung believes it can still be useful to use the aircraft to transport doctors in case of an emergency. There is room for two people on board, including the pilot.

Across , the average arrival time by emergency services has increased by nearly 40% in the last 20 years, due to lack of resources and poor accessibility in rural areas. Extensive research has shown that multi-rotors have the potential to provide assistance faster. A condition is that the range increases and the weight of the required instruments must also be reduced.

Fine-meshed network

The aim is not to replace the helicopters and ambulances that the ADAC Luftrettung now uses, but to build a more dense network so that urgent patients can be reached faster. To achieve this, some 250 base stations would need to be spread across Germany.

The aim is to start using the air ambulances by 2025. During the test period that precedes this, experiments are carried out with landing on sloping surfaces and flying in fog and in bad weather.

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This article first appeared on dronewatch.nul and is written by Wiebe de Jager who is also a DroneXL contributor.

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Wiebe de Jager
Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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