CityHawk VTOL to be developed as an aerial EMS vehicle
Although "air ambulance" helicopters certainly are life-savers, the things typically can't land in the middle of crowded city streets. The CityHawk aircraft conceivably could, though, which is why it's now being developed with emergency medical response (EMS) in mind.
The latter already exists in functioning prototype form, utilizing internal rotor blades to move vertically. This means that unlike the case with a helicopter, there's no chance of the ends of those blades whacking against things like buildings, cars or people while the aircraft takes off and lands in confined spaces. A pair of shrouded propellers in the rear move the Cormorant forward, once it's reached cruising altitude.
The CityHawk variant – which has yet to reach the prototype phase – does away with the rear props. Instead, it features two turboshaft-powered horizontal fans located in the front and rear of the aircraft. Utilizing tiltable vanes on the inlet and outlet sides, these will move it both vertically and horizontally.
Plans call for the CityHawk to weigh 1,170 kg (2,580 lb), be capable of carrying up to 760 kg (1,670 lb), have a maximum speed of 270 km/h (168 mph) and a fuel range of 150 km (93 mi) if carrying a pilot and four passengers – that climbs to 360 km (224 mi) for a pilot-only flight.
Earlier this year, Urban Aeronautics revealed that it was developing a longer-range, hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered version of the vehicle. This week, though, it was additionally announced that the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with EMS aviation firm Hatzolah Air to develop, produce, and market the aircraft for emergency medical service usage.
This doesn't come as a huge surprise, since right from the inception of the CityHawk, one of its proposed uses was medical evacuation. The new deal will focus attention on that application, although the aircraft should also still see use as an air taxi or private "flying car." That said, the EMS version could certainly prove to be a popular model.
"Based on our initial estimates, we foresee a potential market of at least 800 CityHawks for Hatzolah and other EMS operators, with the possibility to save thousands of lives every year," says Hatzolah Air president Eli Rowe.
Source: Urban Aeronautics