Falck, a global healthcare and emergency services company, has bought an option for the first commercial delivery of California-based Jump Aero’s eVTOL JA1 Pulse aircraft, designed to help pilot-paramedics rapidly fly to a heart attack or stroke victim, reports a press release.
“eVTOL aircraft technology has the potential to transform the way healthcare and emergency services are delivered, by leveraging the future capabilities of these advanced aerial vehicles,” explains the release. “Falck aims to improve response times, reach remote and hard-to-access areas and provide critical medical assistance in a more sustainable and timely manner. This is beneficial in situations where time is critical, such as natural disasters or medical emergencies.”
Falck’s purchase of the first JA1 Pulse aircraft alongside its collaboration with Jump Aero is part of the healthcare company’s various partnerships that aims to revolutionise healthcare and emergency services via harnessing the potential of AAM.
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Jakob Riis, CEO and President of Falck, commented, “For years, we have actively been exploring the potential and integration of sustainable health drones and now, with the introduction of transporting health professionals via aircraft, we will be taking another step. This partnership focuses on our ability to provide life-saving interventions, but it also contributes to reducing the carbon footprint in our operations.”
Carl Dietrich, Founder & President of Jump Aero, added, “Together, we will push the boundaries of what is possible in the industry, leveraging eVTOL aircraft technology to enhance the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare and emergency response operations.”
The release concludes, “The JA1 Pulse is designed to help medical professionals arrive at the scene of a rural emergency as fast as possible with critical life-saving equipment. It will be capable of dash speeds of 250 knots making it the fastest form of sustainable personal transportation with the goal of providing the largest coverage radius within the critical 8‑minute emergency response window.”
(Edited from www.newatlas.com)
The aircraft has what’s known as a ‘tail-sitter’ design. This means that when on the ground, it sits with the nose and eight electric-drive propellers facing upward. The craft takes off vertically like a helicopter, but tips sideways in to a horizontal orientation once cruising altitude has been achieved. Structural elements between the props then serve as biplane wings, allowing for faster, more efficient forward flight than would be possible with a helicopter or multi-rotor type design.
The single occupant (who is both the pilot and first responder) is in a standing position when the Pulse is on the ground, then in a prone position once the aircraft tips forward. In both positions, the paramedic can look forward and down through windows in the vehicle’s nose and belly.
Simplified flight controls mean that extensive training isn’t necessary, plus there is reportedly no single point on the eVTOL that will cause catastrophic failure should it malfunction. If there are any difficulties, a ballistic airframe parachute can be deployed.
The aircraft potentially has a top speed of 288 mph, a maximum pilot/equipment weight capacity of 331 lbs and can be deployed in less than 60 seconds. The craft has the ability of reaching any location within a 31 mile radius in under eight minutes.
The Pulse is able to land on slopes of up to 10 degrees and be transported on the back of a flatbed truck without any disassembly. Each of its eight motors are powered by a separate 11-kWh battery, all of which can be charged simultaneously via a single port.
As the aircraft can’t carry patients, it isn’t intended to replace traditional ambulances. Instead, when an emergency services operator receives a call in which Advanced Life Support is necessary, they will dispatch both an ambulance and a Pulse.
The aircraft should be able to reach the patient’s urban or rural location much faster, at which point the pilot paramedic will set to work with onboard lifesaving equipment such as a heart monitor, automated CPR machine and oxygen supply. When the ambulance arrives its crew will take over, freeing up the Pulse for other calls.
According to Jump Aero, Falck is the first commercial client to place an order for the aircraft. Although no details on the order have been shared at this point, Denmark-based Falck is the self-described “world’s leading international ambulance operator,” providing services to clients in 15 countries. It is unclear when the JA1 Pulse may complete full certification for paramedic use.
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(Images: Jump Aero)