First Use of Manned Multicopter in Rescue Operations Staged
September 26, 2019|

  • The mission: getting emergency doctors to patients as fast as possible

  • ADAC Luftrettung feasibility study

  • Current computer simulations for model regions to yield results in 2020

26 September 2019, Munich/Bruchsal - Just science fiction, or soon a reality in rescuing human lives? In a feasibility study launched by ADAC Luftrettung (air rescue) at the end of 2018 and supported by the charitable ADAC foundation, a multicopter was used for the first time in a staged rescue operation. Covering everything from the alert at the ADAC Luftrettung HEMS base to the emergency treatment of the patient on the scene, a real-life operation was staged. Publication of the findings of the research project is scheduled for next year. From then on, the theoretical and practical experiences gained could be applied in a real-life pilot project. The researchers are using a Volocopter from the company of the same name based in Bruchsal/Germany for the study.

This makes the charitable ADAC Luftrettung the first air rescue organisation in the world to test a manned multicopter in aeromedical missions. Multicopters are novel vertical take-off aircraft propelled by several electrically powered rotors. The study focuses on the question whether this type of aircraft provides a tactical advantage in emergency rescue missions.

For the purpose of this feasibility study, model regions were selected in two German states: the emergency service area of Ansbach with the Dinkelsbühl HEMS base in Bavaria, as well as Mainz-Rheinhessen and Bad Kreuznach in Rhineland Palatinate.

Aeromedical missions using Volocopters are currently being computer-simulated for both regions by the Institut für Notfallmedizin und Medizinmanagement (INM, Institute for Emergency Medicine and Medical Management) at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. The research project in cooperation with Volocopter aims at getting physicians to patients faster than by ground ambulance so as to further improve medical care and save lives.

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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About ADAC Luftrettung gGmbH

Operating 50 rescue helicopters out of 36 bases, the charitable ADAC air rescue service is one of the major HEMS organisations in Europe. The ADAC rescue helicopters are part of the German EMS system. If need be, they are dispatched by public-safety answering points after a 112 emergency call and deployed to rescue injured or ill persons. “Racing against time and for life” is the motto of ADAC Luftrettung gGmbH. One rule applies especially in the case of serious injuries or illness: the faster the patients are taken to an adequate hospital for treatment or attended to by an emergency doctor on site, the better are their chances of survival or convalescence. ADAC HEMS has been a subsidiary of the ADAC foundation since 2017.

About ADAC Stiftung: The charitable ADAC foundation promotes research and education to prevent accidents, aiming to increase road safety by applying scientific findings. Moreover, the ADAC foundation works to raise awareness in children and teenagers of the dangers of road traffic. By promoting mobility research, the foundation contributes to furthering the sustainable development of road traffic. Moreover, the ADAC foundation contributes substantially to more safety and innovation in non-professional motor sport. The foundation also provides relief for persons in need after an accident, helping to restore some of their mobility. In connection with its funding priority of rescue in life-threatening situations, the ADAC foundation supports national and international air rescue and improvements in the acute and emergency care of accident victims. ADAC Luftrettung gGmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of ADAC foundation, is one of the major civilian HEMS organisations in Europe.

About Volocopter GmbH

The pioneer in the development of electrical air taxis that take off and land vertically (eVTOLs), Volocopter builds aircraft that are based on drone technology and carry two people. The company will establish Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in addition to current transportation options in megacities.  The aim is to offer affordable on-demand air taxi services and save people time by flying them safely to their destination.  Volocopter cooperates with leading partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the air taxi infrastructure necessary to bring Urban Air Mobility to life. In 2011 Volocopter performed the first-ever manned flight of a purely electrical multicopter and has since showcased numerous public flights with its full-scale, two-seat aircraft, most notably the autonomous flight in Dubai in cooperation with the local Road and Transport Administration (RTA) in 2017.   Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, Volocopter has more than 150 employees in offices in Bruchsal, Munich and Singapore.  The company is managed by CEO Florian Reuter, CTO Jan-Hendrik Boelens, and CFO Rene Griemens, and has raised a total of EUR 85 million. Volocopter investors include Daimler, Geely, and Intel.

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