The emergency medical service (EMS) applications seem to be ideal applications for VTOL flying vehicles like Urban Aeronautics’ hydrogen-powered CityHawk VTOL aircraft. The rapid response or delays due to traffic jams can actually be the difference between life and death for the injured person.
Back in August 2020, Urban Aeronautics – an Israeli aerospace company – signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with US-based Hatzolah Air to offer a fast-response emergency medical service (EMS) version of its planned CityHawk VTOL aircraft. The charitable medical transport organization has now ordered four of the emergency response flying vehicles. Besides, Hatzolah Air will become the official sales representative of Urban Aeronautics and distribution channel for other EMS and rescue organizations worldwide.
CityHawk is a lightweight twin-engine VTOL (vertical take-off and landing aircraft) with a uniquely compact footprint that can be optimized for urban transportation or emergency response. The CityHawk’s main passenger cabin will be adapted to accommodate six passengers, including a pilot, a patient, another companion, two EMT personnel, and life support equipment.
The aircraft will be powered by Urban Aeronautics’ internal rotor Fancraft technology developed for the company’s existing Cormorant unmanned aircraft, which is intended for missions such as cargo transportation. The technology utilizes powerful ducted fans combined with advanced aerodynamic technologies that result in superior control, stability, speed, safety, noise reduction, and sustainability.
Urban Aeronautics said its jets also have 20 to 30% larger cabins and are much quieter than comparable helicopters. The company plans to complete the development and FAA certification of an initial hybrid aircraft within three to five years, with a hydrogen-powered version set to enter service after 2028.
“We are excited to become not just the worldwide distributor of Urban Aeronautics Air Ambulance CityHawk, but its first customer as well,” said Eli Rowe, President of Hatzolah Air. “Hatzolah’s mission is always about patient care, and adding the VTOL CityHawk has the potential to save many thousands of lives every year.“
Emergency response is just one of the applications that Urban Aeronautics envisioned for its CityHawk aircraft. Other variants are planned for use as air taxis as well as corporate and personal transportation.