The promise of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) was that they would unlock the skies to bring high-speed, traffic-free transportation to the public. But now it seems flying taxis could be a valuable asset for emergency air rescue services.
In a recent feasibility study modeled on Volocopter’s VoloCity multirotor electric air taxi, researchers determined that eVTOLs could benefit emergency air rescue services, with field tests for air rescue operations due to begin in 2023.
As described in New Atlas, researchers from the Institute for Emergency Medicine and Medical Management of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich used historical data from the Rescue Coordination Center to create computer simulations of 26,000 emergency operations using air taxis in the German regions of Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate. What they concluded was that eVTOLs in air rescue scenarios could lead to notable improvements in emergency care over an operating radius of 25 to 30 km (11.5-18.6 mi), based on multicopters with a minimum range of 150 km (over 90 mi) and capable of optimal flight speeds in the 100-150 km/h (62-93 mph) ballpark.
In comparison to ground-based vehicles, eVTOLS could get to an emergency twice as fast. On top of that, they could serve two to three times as many patients over a larger service area.
Though intended to work alongside existing fleets of air rescue helicopters, electric multirotor flyers could lead to more efficient use of helicopters in the future. They could, for example, be used to transport emergency doctors for on-site treatment in the majority of cases, while helicopters could be reserved for patient transport and only deployed if needed.