These Futuristic Flying Ambulances May Soon Be Zooming Around New York

By Vanessa Bates Ramirez 

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Ambulance use surged in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, even as emergency medical service providers struggled due to the revenue hit they took from delayed and canceled elective procedures. While we’re fervently hoping that far fewer people will need ambulances this year, there may soon be a whole new means of emergency transportation, at least in New York: flying ambulances.

Israeli aerospace company Urban Aeronautics announced this week that it sold its first four vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft to Hatzolah Air, a nonprofit emergency medical air transport provider based in New York. The organization already operates fixed-wing aircraft (meaning propeller-driven or powered by a jet engine, with wings that don’t move) as part of its emergency missions.

To that end, “flying ambulances” isn’t a new concept; they’ve existed for a long time in the form of helicopters and planes. In fact, the Association of Air Medical Services estimates that around 550,000 people get medevaced in the US each year.

But Urban Aeronautics’ Cormorant CityHawk, as the aircraft is called, will bring some functional new features to the skies. Though it’s lightweight and has a compact footprint, its interior cabin is 20 to 30 percent larger than that of a helicopter, meaning it will be able to fit two EMTs, the patient plus a companion, and medical equipment (plus the pilot) without things getting too cramped.

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NASA Air Taxi Partnership Takes Autonomous Flight Sky-high


David Mantey
 Dec 09, 2020 

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Nasa AirTaxi

There’s nothing more exciting than the thought of being ferried around in an autonomous flying taxi, unless you’re a risk averse person… in which case, there is probably nothing LESS exciting than the thought of a self-flying air taxi.

But regardless of your personal inclinations, there are some exciting developments being made as it relates to autonomous passenger flight, and it involves the biggest name is aerospace: NASA.

NASA has announced that it has established a partnership with Wisk, the urban air mobility company behind the world’s first first autonomous, all-electric air taxi featuring vertical takeoff and landing. 

Wisk’s craft, called Cora, has undertaken more than a thousand test flights since taking to the air in 2017 and the company hopes that by teaming up with NASA, the two organizations can help build a framework for autonomous passenger flight on a national scale.

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Arriving soon: Electric aviation for passengers

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Drone pilots don’t need to be told about the wonders of electric flight. But Scientific American believes electric aviation for passengers may be here sooner than we think as the industry struggles to decarbonize.

It’s one of the top ten emerging technologies the magazine highlights in its most recent issue.

In an article co-written by Katherine Hamilton and Tammy Ma, the authors point out that air travel accounted for 2.5 percent of global carbon emissions in 2019. And that number could triple by 2050. Electric airplanes could be one solution.

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By 2024, 5G could be beamed to your phone using huge, hydrogen-powered aircraft

 

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A Stratospheric Platforms antenna, inside a testing chamber

In the near future, your phone may take its 5G signal from the sky instead of a nearby mast on the ground. It’s an innovative way to solve the problem of increasing connectivity without relying on thousands of terrestrial cell towers. The concept is known as a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS), and it essentially takes the cell tower from the ground and puts it in the sky.

The latest HAPS project to be unveiled is from Stratospheric Platforms and Cambridge Consultants. Today, the pair revealed the core of its efforts, a special antenna and unmanned aircraft, which it has been working on confidentially for the last four years.

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The cabin of the Bell 525 Relentless helicopter will make the best of the private jets look bland

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In 2012, Bell Helicopter launched its newest offering that was something radically different and its most ambitious project in years. Dubbed the ‘Bell 525 Relentless’, the “super-medium” twin-engine helicopter is to be the first commercial helicopter to incorporate fly-by-wire flight controls and also the company’s largest civil helicopter ever. Initially designed to meet the grueling demands of offshore oil operations, the company will also offer the helicopter with a variety of luxurious cabin interiors. For the first time, Bell has given a peek inside the cabin that shows a sample of VIP interior options, including oversize swivel seating, conference layouts, and a mini galley.

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This $500,000 motorcycle transforms into a flying quadcopter in just 60 seconds

 

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For decades, we have been waiting for a fully-functional flying car – an idea mostly made popular by sci-fi movies. However, it still remains to be an unrealized dream. But, guess what? It turns out that someone has been successful in building a motorcycle, instead of a car, that can fly! A French company called Lazareth recently demonstrated a futuristic-looking motorcycle, which looks like it came straight out of the sets of Transformers, and it can actually transform into a flying hoverbike in just 60 seconds. Called the Lazareth LMV 496, the flying motorcycle is being hailed as “the very first motorcycle in the world that can be transformed into a quadricopter.” Affectionately dubbed La Moto Volante, it’s the brainchild of designer Ludovic Lazareth and his team. The company even published a video of the motorcycle showcasing its capabilities.

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UK ambulance services are testing a rescue jet suit

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Gravity Industries’ suit could quickly get a medic to a remote casualty site.

The “Iron Man” jet suit we first saw back in 2017 might be less crazy than we first thought. Inventor Richard Browning and his company Gravity Industries have demonstrated that it may be a viable option to quickly get medical help to victims in remote areas. Working with the UK’s Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), Browning flew to a simulated casualty on a remote mountainous site in just 90 seconds, a fraction of the time it would take to walk there.

The sooner a paramedic can get to a victim, the sooner they can stabilize them and call for a helicopter or other support. “We think this technology could enable our team to reach some patients much quicker than ever before,” said GNAAS director of operations Andy Mawson. “In many cases this would ease the patient’s suffering. In some cases, it would save their lives.”

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World’s first hydrogen-electric passenger flight brings us ‘one step closer’ to zero -emissions air travel

‘The size of this commercially available aircraft shows that paying passengers could be boarding a truly zero-emission flight very soon,’ says ZeroAvia CEO

The world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger flight was successfully completed on 24 September, potentially bringing the aviation industry a step closer to zero-emissions air travel.

The six-seater aircraft did a taxi, takeoff, full pattern circuit and landing at an airfield in Cranfield, England.

ZeroAvia, the company behind the plane, said it was the first ever hydrogen fuel cell-powered flight using a commercial-grade aircraft.

The brand’s retrofitted Piper M-class is now the largest hydrogen-powered aircraft in the world.

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Anduril’s new drone offers to inject more AI into warfare

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A swarm of Ghost 4s, controlled by a single person on the ground, can perform reconnaissance missions like searching for enemy weapons or soldiers.

Anduril’s Ghost 4 drone can carry systems capable of jamming enemy communications or an infrared laser to direct weapons at a target.

THIS SPRING, A team of small drones, each resembling a small, sensor-laden helicopter, scoured a lush stretch of wilderness near Irvine, California. They spent hours circling the sky, seeking, among other things, surface-to-air missile launchers lurking in the brush.

The missiles they found weren’t enemy ones. They were props for early test flights of a prototype military drone stuffed with artificial intelligence—the latest product from Anduril, a defense-tech startup founded by Palmer Luckey, the creator of Oculus Rift.

The new drone, the Ghost 4, shows the potential for AI in military systems. Luckey says it is the first generation that can perform various reconnaissance missions, including searching an area for enemy hardware or soldiers, under the control of a single person on the ground. The vehicle uses machine learning (the method behind most modern AI) to analyze imagery and identify targets, but it also relies on more conventional rules-based software for critical control and decisionmaking among swarm teammates.

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Futuristic ‘Flying-V’ airplane makes successful maiden flight

(CNN) — Researchers have conducted a successful maiden flight of the Flying-V, a futuristic and fuel efficient airplane that could one day carry passengers in its wings.

The Flying-V’s unique design places the passenger cabin, the cargo hold and the fuel tanks in the wings, and experts hope that the plane’s aerodynamic shape will cut fuel consumption by 20% compared to today’s aircrafts.

Experts tested a 22.5 kg and 3-meter scale model of the futuristic airplane, developed by researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and partner Dutch airline KLM, to take the highly anticipated aircraft along its next developmental steps.

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Amazon wins FAA approval for Prime Air drone delivery fleet

 

KEY POINTS

  • Amazon on Monday received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate its fleet of Prime Air delivery drones.
  • The approval will give Amazon broad privileges to “safely and efficiently deliver packages to customers,” the FAA said.
  • Amazon joins UPS and Alphabet-owned Wing, who previously won FAA approval for their drone delivery operations.

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