Air rescue with manned multicopters


Air rescue with manned multi-purpose aircraft is possible, makes sense and improves emergency medical care for the population: this is the conclusion of the first feasibility study worldwide on the use of manned multi-purpose aircraft in rescue services.

Multicopters are new vertical take-off aircraft with several electrically driven rotors. Up to now, the aircraft have been developed primarily as air taxis in the civil sector. After almost one and a half years of research work, it is now possible for the first time to theoretically prove the operational-tactical advantage of multicopters in rescue services: According to a study, significant improvements in emergency care can be seen from an operational radius of 25 to 30 kilometres. In this case, the optimum flight speed of the multi-copter should be between 100 and 150 km/h, the minimum range around 150 kilometres. These ideal conditions would be technically possible in about four years.

For the study, the internationally renowned Institute for Emergency Medicine and Medical Management at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (INM) conducted a macro-analysis for the states of Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate to determine the deployment potential of the multicopter and a micro-analysis for two model regions – based on historical control centre data – to simulate more than 26,000 emergency operations with multicopters on the computer. The multi-copter is expressly not intended to replace the rescue helicopter, but to complement the rapid assistance from the air. Patient transport is not initially planned.

A positive side effect is that the rescue helicopter can also be used even more effectively, as it now functions purely as an emergency ambulance in around 60 percent of cases. Instead, it can exploit its potential as a means of transport to (specialist) clinics further away. This also improves emergency care for people.

Test operations are scheduled to begin in 2023 and will take place in the two existing model regions: in Bavaria at the Ansbach rescue service area at the ADAC air rescue station in Dinkelsbühl, and in Rhineland-Palatinate at a new, purely multi-copter site in the Idar-Oberstein region.