The Flying Ambulance
26 January 2010 , 13:47
The Air-Mule Ambulance . Photo: Bamahane
The Air-Mule UAV, which assists in medical operations, is currently being tested for functionality.

Bamahane

Rescue without human touch: The Air-Mule UAV which assists in medical evacuation has recently passed its initial flight tests. The new UAV, which weighs a ton, will be able to carry equipment and fly into complicated places, such as in urban areas and crevices. In addition to that, the Air-Mule takes off vertically, similar to a helicopter, and its stability will be guaranteed by a unique flight supervision system.

Urban Aeronautics, the company producing the UAV, is one of the world's leading companies in the development of propellers which are installed inside the aircraft instead of outside. The advantage of this location of the propeller is that it allows the aircraft to carry out a wider range of operations in narrow places as well – as opposed to conventional airplanes and helicopters which can only operate in open areas.

"The number one cause of aerial accidents is damage caused to the rotor, and we managed to overcome this obstacle," says the CEO of Urban Aeronautics, Dr. Rafi Yoeli.

The technologic devices included in the Air-Mule also give it additional abilities: Two laser sensors indicate the flight altitude, and a modern technology allows the operators to receive real time information on the motor activity of the aircraft. In addition, the secondary technology of the Air-Mule includes a communication device facilitating contact between the aircraft and its operators on the ground.

During the tests, the Air-Mule succeeded in overcoming difficult weather conditions, and the test team was very satisfied with its flight abilities during a storm that occurred at the test area. The Air-Mule is currently undergoing additional tests further examining its stability and its ability to fly between two previously defined locations.