Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with New York-based Hatzolah Air in August 2020, the non-profit medical transport organization has now pre-ordered four of the aircraft to be used in emergency medical service (EMS) applications.
With a compact footprint comparable to a large car and its ducted fan design housing the rotor blades internally so they don’t pose a risk to people and property like a traditional helicopter’s, it’s envisioned the CityHawk could safely land on city streets – something Hatzolah’s fixed-wing aircraft obviously can’t do. Urban Aeronautics says its jet-propelled aircraft is also quieter and boasts 20 to 30 percent more cabin space than a helicopter.
Emergency response in urban areas would appear to be an ideal application for VTOL aircraft like the CityHawk, where a prompt response or a delay due to traffic congestion can literally be the difference between life and death for injured parties.
“Hatzolah’s pre-order of four air ambulance CityHawks is an amazing show of confidence in our program and in our company,” says Nimrod Golan-Yanay, CEO of Urban Aeronautics. “We look forward to delivering on our promise to revolutionize urban air mobility and the emergency response capabilities of major cities across the world.”
Capabilities are one thing, but regulations may be a bigger hurdle to clear. However, Urban Aeronautics is aiming to receive FAA certification of the CityHawk for EMS use and be ready to go into production within three to five years.
The Israeli aerospace company will work with Hatzolah to tailor the aircraft for EMS use. The CityHawk will accommodate a pilot, patient and companion, two EMS personnel, and a full suite of onboard life support equipment
The freshly inked agreement will also see Hatzolah Air become the official sales representative and distribution channel for the CityHawk to other EMS and rescue organizations around the world.
“We are excited to become not just the worldwide distributor of Urban Aeronautics Air Ambulance CityHawk, but its first customer as well” said Eli Rowe, President of Hatzolah Air.“Hatzolah’s mission is always about patient care and adding the VTOL CityHawk has the potential to save many thousands of lives every year.”
Other variants are planned for use as air taxis and corporate and personal transport.