In an exciting partnership, ADAC Luftrettung and Volocopter have joined forces to develop and customize advanced electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) specifically for rescue services. The collaboration reached two significant milestones at the Paris Air Show, with ADAC Luftrettung signing agreements to purchase two VoloCity aircraft and expressing the intention to secure an additional 150 units of Volocopter’s eVTOLs as part of this partnership. The initial two VoloCity aircraft will begin research operations in late 2024, serving as supplementary aircraft for ADAC Luftrettung’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Germany. If successful, the additional eVTOLs may be utilized for future rescue missions.
Since 2018, ADAC Luftrettung and Volocopter have been part of a joint eVTOL feasibility study in EMS and rescue operations, sponsored by the ADAC Foundation in collaboration with the Institut für Notfallmedizin und Medizinmanagement (INM) at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. This study involved computer-simulated aeromedical missions in two regions in Germany and demonstrated the significant tactical advantages of introducing eVTOLs in life-saving situations, from technical, sustainable, and operational perspectives. Today, the partnership takes a significant leap forward, as ADAC Luftrettung proceeds with the purchase of the two reserved VoloCity aircraft from 2020 and expresses its intent to secure 150 additional eVTOL units specifically for future EMS and rescue missions.
After receiving the type certificate from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2024, the two VoloCity aircraft will commence research operations in Germany. A pilot and an emergency physician will be dispatched to incident locations, complementing rescue helicopters by providing rapid assistance from the air. Following at least a two-year research operation in the German towns of Idar-Oberstein and Dinkelsbühl, as well as their immediate regions, ADAC Luftrettung may incorporate next-generation Volocopter eVTOLs into its rescue service operations.
Frédéric Bruder, CEO of ADAC Luftrettung, expressed confidence in the transformative potential of these aircraft, stating, “From the very beginning, we have been convinced that these aircraft can also shape and improve the rescue service of the future. With higher ranges, operational speeds, and significantly more payload offered by the next generation of eVTOLs, we can effectively implement the benefits for emergency care and fulfill our statutory mission to further develop the rescue service from the air with pioneering innovations.”
Dirk Hoke, CEO of Volocopter, emphasized the importance of starting eVTOL operations by saving lives, stating, “There is no better way to start Volocopter eVTOL operations in Germany than by saving lives. ADAC Luftrettung is the leading European rescue service with highly trained pilots and successful missions who believe in us to create a better future together. We have proven the emergency rescue use case works in theory, now we are concentrating on the delivery and execution to start EMS operations in Germany in 2024.”
Compared to traditional rescue helicopters, Volocopter’s eVTOLs offer quieter operation and produce zero emissions during flight, improving sustainability and reducing the company’s CO2 footprint while saving lives. The ADAC Luftrettung feasibility study and the potential for rapid emergency care using eVTOLs have also garnered significant interest from Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, as they have joined forces with Groupe ADP to explore the implementation of ADAC Luftrettung’s multicopter operations concept for EMS in the Paris region.