Emergency medical services group CareFlight is to assist AMSL Aero in preparing its Vertiia eVTOL aircraft to be used for carrying patients. The Australian companies announced their partnership during this week’s Avalon Air Show near Melbourne, where they exhibited a cabin mock-up equipped for aeromedical use.
Last month, AMSL Aero achieved its first tethered hover flight with a prototype of the all-electric Vertiia vehicle. With a full payload, it is expected to have a range of up to around 250 kilometers (155 miles) on a single charge and be able to cruise at up to 300 km/h.
AMSL hopes to eventually develop a hydrogen-powered version of the Vertiia that the company says could have four times the range of the all-electric version. It is also exploring a fully autonomous version of the aircraft that would not require a pilot on board.
CareFlight, a not-for-profit organization established in 1986, operates a fleet of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, as well as road vehicles. Its medical teams treat and transfer patients from accident scenes and also carry them between hospitals.
Sydney-based AMSL Aero aims to have the single-pilot Vertiia approved to start operations in 2026. The start-up also intends the Vertiia to be used for passenger flights, carrying up to four passengers, and cargo operations with a payload of 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds).
In aeromedical use, the aircraft would carry a patient and up to three medical staff. CareFlight intends to use the eVTOL to support its regional and rural healthcare networks across Australia.
“[CareFlight] developed the rapid response helicopter service in Australia, so we are hugely grateful to them for their expertise,” commented AMSL Aero co-founder Siobhan Lyndon. “Vertiia is not only safe and quiet but it was also developed for the harsh long-distance conditions in Australia. If it can work in Australia, it can work anywhere.”
CareFlight is working with AMSL Aero’s engineering team to design a suitable aeromedical cabin interior before the design of the Vertiia is finalized. “We love the huge doors on the Vertiia,” said CareFlight CEO Mick Frewen. “The doorway is two meters wide, which is wider than on any aircraft we operate.”