Urban Aeronautics is partnering with Hatzolah Air to jointly offer an emergency medical service (EMS) version of its planned CityHawk VTOL aircraft. The company is aiming to complete certification of an initial hybrid-powered aircraft within three to five years, with a hydrogen-powered version set to enter service after 2028.
Under a memorandum of understanding signed on August 19, Hatzolah Air, which is a U.S.-based EMS operator, will help Israel-based Urban Aeronautics to develop, produce, and market the CityHawk in the emergency response market. According to Hatzolah Air president Eli Rowe, there is a potential market for 800 of the EMS version of the aircraft.
The main passenger-carrying design for the CityHawk will be adapted to accommodate a pilot, a patient plus a companion, along with two emergency medical personnel and life support equipment. The aircraft is to be powered by Urban Aeronautics’ Fancraft ducted fan technology developed for the company’s existing Cormorant unmanned aircraft, which is intended for missions such as carrying cargo. It is expected to have a range of around 125 miles, although a hybrid-powered version could extend this to 175 miles and this could be ready to fly by early 2023.
Partners in the CityHawk program include RADA Electronics Industries (navigation systems and sensors), CertCenterCanada (flight test and development work), Safran (powerplant), HyPoint (hydrogen fuel cells), and Kearfott Corp. (navigation and guidance systems). Initially, the aircraft's power will come from a pair of Safran’s Arriel 2N turboshaft engines as Urban Aeronautics, through its Metro Skyways subsidiary, continues development of the planned hydrogen propulsion system.
Hatzolah Air is the aviation division of the New York-based EMS group Hatzolah, which was founded more than 50 years ago and has operations in several dozen cities across several continents. The company currently operates various fixed-wing aircraft and will effectively act as a distributor for the EMS version of the CityHawk.
The Besadno Group, an Israeli-American investment firm that is one of the main investors in Urban Aeronautics, helped to initiate the partnership with Hatzolah.