Air rescue with manned multicopters is possible, sensible and improves the emergency medical care of the population, according to the feasibility study on the use of manned multicopters in the rescue service. The roughly 130-page study was initiated at the end of 2018 by ADAC Luftrettung. The focus of the research project was the question: Can the rescue service system be improved and set up to be future-proof with the use of multicopters as a fast emergency doctor delivery service? The multicopter is expressly not intended to replace the rescue helicopter, but rather to supplement rapid help from the air. Patient transport is not initially planned.
Significant improvements for emergency care
Multicopters are vertical take-off aircraft with multiple electrically powered rotors. So far, the aircraft have primarily been developed as air taxis in the civilian sector. After almost one and a half years of research, the potential tactical advantage of multicopters as a rescue service can now be theoretically proven for the first time: According to the study, significant improvements for emergency care result from multicopters in an operational radius of 25 to 30 kms. In this case, the optimal flight speed of the multicopter should be 100 to 150 km/h. The study foresees these ideal conditions being technically possible in about four years.
With the appropriate multicopters, emergency doctors can not only be on scene faster, but also reach significantly more patients in a larger area. This makes the work of doctors more effective, and the multicopter an effective weapon in the fight against the shortage of emergency doctors that is prevalent in many places.
A solution for the shortage of emergency doctors
The rescue helicopter could also be used more effectively, since in around 60 per cent of cases, it now functions purely as an emergency doctor delivery service. Instead, it can exploit its potential as a means of transport to specialist clinics further away from the scene of an accident.
Dr Andrea David, Chairman of the ADAC Foundation, said: “The increasing shortage of emergency doctors is a major challenge for the emergency medical care of the population – especially in rural areas. That is why the ADAC Foundation supported this innovative research project conceptually and financially from the start.
“We are now looking forward to the practical test with excitement. Because the results of the scientific study make it clear that manned multicopters, as fast emergency doctor deliverers, can help to solve this serious problem in the near future.”
Multicopters are also seen as a solution for more sustainable flight, with new designs being tested to address climate concerns in the aviation industry.