Air ambulance service partners with aeronautics company to produce compact medical aircraft
The CityHawk EMS vehicle will be designed to easily navigate and land in busy cities
By Laura French
NEW YORK — A U.S. air ambulance company has partnered with an Israeli aeronautics company to produce a compact medical aircraft designed to navigate and land in busy cities.
New York-based Hatzolah Air signed a memorandum of understanding with Urban Aeronautics to help develop, produce and market Urban Aeronautics' CityHawk aircraft for EMS applications, according to a press release.
The CityHawk is a compact vertical takeoff and landing aircraft with an internal rotor and no external wings or rotors. A previous military-use prototype of the internal rotor design has completed more than 300 successful unmanned test flights, according to Urban Aeronautics.
"We are excited to partner with Hatzolah Air on the development of our CityHawk EMS vehicle," said Urban Aeronautics CEO Rafi Yoeli in a statement. "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."
The CityHawk will accommodate a pilot, two EMS providers, a patient and companion, and a complete package of life support equipment, according to the press release. Engineers will work closely with Hatzolah Air to tailor the aircraft to the ambulance service's needs.
"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," said Hatzolah Air President Eli Rowe in a statement.
Urban Aeronautics estimates the CityHawk will be ready for production after completing its development and FAA certification within three to five years.