The Ambulance of the Future Will Be Able to Fly

Israel’s Urban Aeronautics is developing the CityHawk flying emergency response vehicle.

Oct 9, 2020

(Gualberto Becerra / Shutterstock.com)

If you are a fan of medical dramas then you know there are emergency helicopter services that will take critically injured patients to hospitals long distances away. You probably also know that in these dramas most ambulances are on wheels and traverse city streets that are far freer of gridlock than in real life. 

But now, a partnership between Urban Aeronautics that makes hydrogen-powered flying vehicles and an EMS service is working to make flying ambulances a reality.

Israel’s Urban Aeronautics, announced in a company press release that it signed an agreement to work with Us based Hatzolah Air to produce and develop its CityHawk aircraft as an emergency medical service otherwise known as a flying ambulance.

The CityHawk is a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) that is compact and has what the company calls, “fly anywhere, land anywhere” capabilities that makes it uniquely capable for working in cities above the gridlock. It has no external wings or rotors and can work even in adverse weather conditions.

“We are excited to partner with Hatzolah Air on the development of our CityHawk EMS vehicle,” said Rafi Yoeli, CEO of Urban Aeronautics in the press release. “Its compact size will enable it to land in the middle of a busy city street, making it a perfect fit for medical evacuation missions by dramatically decreasing the time it takes to arrive on-scene, treat and transport sick or injured patients to appropriate medical facilities.”

Hatzolah Air is the aviation division of Hatzolah, a volunteer EMS organization with divisions in multiple countries including the US and Israel. The aviation department was announced in 2019 at the organizations 50th year International conference that was held in Jerusalem. The air division provides national and international transportation for disaster relief as well as humanitarian and medical needs.

“One of Hatzolah’s most important goals is [to] be somewhere within minutes. Unlike helicopters, we can land anywhere within minutes,” Yoeli told  No More Camels. “We fit like a glove in their vision of being minutes away to improve the care of patients. They want to be equipped with the best aircrafts.”

Hatzolah Air’s president Eli Rowe said that he foresees the potential for 800 CityHawks since it is a six-passenger vehicle that can carry a pilot, patient and team of EMS professionals for his organization and other EMS organizations.

Urban Aeronautics is working on certification from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) for emergency use of its CityHawk aircraft in the US. The development of the flying ambulance is expected to take up to five years but a prototype will be ready sooner. A flying ambulance may be coming to a city near you soon.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.