- The drone ambulance prototype will be tested this month.
- It has a load capability of 600 lbs.
- It could be in mass production in 2021.
The number of coronavirus infected has surpassed one million around the world. Meanwhile, the Russian company Hoversurf is working on a flying drone ambulance. Hoversurf, is an urban air mobility technology company based in Russia. The company presented its improved hover bike model at the Dubai Air Show in 2019. One of the first Hoversurf models:
Hoversurf is using a propellant-free scheme. Instead of screws, Hooversurf uses electric fan blocks in ring fairings made using Electric Ducted Fan Technology. An Electric Ducted Fan is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s simply a fan, with multiple blades, that is mounted inside a duct or shrowd. They work by accelerating the air drawn into them creating thrust.
This solution allows you to significantly reduce the weight and complexity of the design. The main problem of the EDF fan is low efficiency. Electric ducted-fans with high power density are widely used in hybrid aircraft, electric aircraft, and VTOL vehicles.
Hoversurf is able to increase power to the level of a classic propeller; they changed the ring fairing, cutting additional air intake slots in it. Thanks to the Venturi effect, the efficiency has risen to an acceptable level. Hybrids are promising configurations to potentially handle the ambitious emission reduction targets set by the Advisory Council of Aviation Research in Europe with the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda.
Additionally, all of Hoversurf’s air motorcycles and cars take off and land in standard parking lots; there is no need to build custom take-off and landing infrastructure.
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The new air ambulance would have two pushing engines, with the speed of the cruiser reaching 250 km/h. Given the speed it would allow such an ambulance to fly from one end a city to another within five minutes with no traffic. The battery capabilities on one charge is at least three flights. Hence, one could be charging while others are ready to fly on rotation. The average charge time is four hours. The ambulance is unmanned, therefore besides the medics and patient, no pilot is needed. There is also the possibility of a super charge for one flight within 40 minutes. The charging system would be from Tesla. The universal interior of the UAV will have one seat and a stretcher and the possibility of tow stretcher cargo. The load capacity is close to 600 lbs.
The device is able to navigate in an urban environment in unmanned mode, recognizing obstacles, communicating with other aircraft and build an optimal route using artificial intelligence and 5G networks, and it can take off and land on an area the size of a standard urban parking lot.
Flights tests have already been conducted on 1:10 scale models. A full-size prototype will be tested this month.
The air ambulance could enter production by next year and be available on the market in 2021.