19 June, 2023

ADAC Luftrettung to collaborate with Volocopter on next-gen eVTOL for emergency medical services

Today, ADAC Luftrettung and Volocopter entered a collaboration partnership to customize next-generation electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) for rescue services. Two milestone agreements were signed at the Paris Air Show: one to purchase two VoloCity aircraft, and another with the intention of securing 150 additional units of Volocopter's eVTOLs as part of this collaboration. The two VoloCity aircraft will start testing in late 2024 of to provide ADAC Luftrettung's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as supplementary aircraft in Germany. Upon successful completion of this test, the additional eVTOLs will be considered for use in future rescue missions.

Since 2018, nonprofit ADAC Luftrettung, and Volocopter, have been a part of a joint eVTOL feasibility study in EMS and rescue operations, sponsored by the ADAC Foundation with the Institut für Notfallmedizin und Medizinmanagement (INM, Institute for Emergency Medicine and Medical Management) at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. The study theoretically proved that the introduction of eVTOLs in aeromedical situations would add a significant tactical advantage. Today, the two companies cosigned two contracts: ADAC Luftrettung to purchase two VoloCity aircraft, and have the intention of securing 150 additional units of eVTOLs for its future EMS missions.

The two VoloCity aircraft are expected to go into research operations in Germany after receiving the type certificate from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2024.  A pilot and an emergency physician will be dispatched to incident locations – to supplement, not to replace – rescue helicopters in order to provide rapid assistance from the air. After the successful completion of at least a two-year research operation in the German towns and regions of Idar-Oberstein and Dinkelsbühl, ADAC Luftrettung may deploy next-generation Volocopter eVTOLs in its rescue service operations.

"From the very beginning, we have been convinced that these aircraft can also shape and improve the rescue service of the future," explained Frédéric Bruder, Chief Executive Officer of ADAC Luftrettung, and emphasized: "With higher ranges and operational speeds as well as significantly more payload of the next generation of eVTOLs, we can also put the benefits for emergency care into practice – and fulfill our statutory mission to further develop the rescue service from the air with pioneering innovations."

Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Volocopter, said: "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 test operations in Germany in 2024." 

The ADAC Luftrettung feasibility study and the opportunities for rapid emergency care using eVTOLs have also been met with great interest by the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, as they have joined forces with Groupe ADP to explore the deployment of ADAC Luftrettung's concept for multicopter operations in EMS also in the Paris region.