ADAC air rescue testing manned multicopters in emergency medical services

ADAC Luftrettung is the first air rescue organization in the world to test the use of manned multicopters in emergency medical services — both in theory and in practice. The charitable company from Munich has started a feasibility study for the groundbreaking pilot project, supported by the ADAC foundation. For this purpose, two model regions have been selected in Germany: the emergency service area of Ansbach with the Dinkelsbühl HEMS base in Bavaria, and the State of Rhineland Palatinate.

ADAC plans to trial Volocopter's electric VTOL aircraft as air shuttles for emergency doctors.
ADAC plans to trial Volocopter’s electric VTOL aircraft as air shuttles for emergency doctors. Volocopter Photo
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Starting in the spring of 2019, the Institut für Notfallmedizin und Medizinmanagement (INM, Institute for Emergency Medicine and Medical Management) at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich will computer-simulate aeromedical missions using Volocopters for both regions. Volocopters, manufactured by the company of the same name in Bruchsal/Germany, are novel vertical take-off and landing craft which are based on drone technology and electric-powered. Within the framework of the pilot project, they will be specifically adapted for emergency services and used as air shuttles for emergency doctors. The object is to get the physician to the patient faster than rapid response vehicles can to provide better care.

Initial research flights will be carried out in just a few months’ time. The first results showing the potential usability and the cost-effectiveness of such aircraft in emergency medical services are planned for the autumn/winter of 2019.

“The Volocopter is based on a technical platform permitting its diverse and reliable use as an air taxi, heavy lifting drone, or in rescue missions,” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “I firmly believe in the Volocopter’s potential for large-scale use as an air shuttle for emergency doctors, and I look forward to our joint systematic validation with ADAC air rescue.”

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Frédéric Bruder, managing director of ADAC air rescue, regards this study as the dawn of a new age in air rescue. “Fifty years ago, ADAC was among the first in Germany to field test the use of rescue helicopters. Consequently, it is only logical for us to be the first to lead German air rescue into the future with new technologies.”

Scheduled for 1.5 years, the feasibility study will cost approximately €500,000. The charitable ADAC foundation is supporting the study in connection with its funding priority of rescue in life-threatening situations. “Our goal in supporting this project is to improve emergency medical care, thereby making an important contribution to the future of the EMS system,” explains Dr. Andrea David, managing director of the ADAC foundation. Scientific support for the project comes from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) with whom ADAC air rescue has already cooperated in research and development.

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