On The Radar
German air rescue service ADAC Luftrettung says that piloted multicopters have the potential to improve the effectiveness of emergency support flights. This is the headline conclusion from the results of a feasibility study that the not-for-profit operator conducted with eVTOL aircraft developer Volocopter.
In a 130-page report on the study published on October 14, ADAC concludes that multicopters like Volocopter’s two-seat VoloCity aircraft could complement the role of existing helicopters, rather than replacing them. After almost 18 months of research, the study determines that electric multicopters operating over a radius of up to around 20 miles would deliver improvements in emergency care.
The report says that the aircraft would need to be able to fly at just over 90 mph and have a range of 90 miles. It envisages that emergency support applications for multicopters will be feasible in around four years from now. Initially, they would not be used to transport patients but would carry doctors and other first responders to the scene of accidents.
The study was conducted in two regions of Germany: Ansbach-Dinkelsbuhl in the southern state of Bavaria and Idar-Oberstein in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It was based in part on computer simulations conducted by the Munich-based emergency medical specialist Institut fur Notfallmedizin und Medizinmanagement. Researchers evaluated simulations of more than 26,000 real emergency operations.
According to ADAC, in rural areas, multicopters could get first responders to the scene of an accident twice as fast as a ground-based ambulance. They would also reach around two or three times as many patients and remedy the growing time it takes to get first responders to accident sites, which in Germany is reported to have increased by 40 percent over the last 20 years.
ADAC plans to start trial operations with the VoloCopter during 2023, and these will be conducted in the same regions of Germany. The organization currently operates more than 50 helicopters and plans to establish a base for multicopter aircraft in Idar-Oberstein.