Cormorant completes autonomous CASEVAC demo flight

UrbanAero’s prototype Vtol has completed a fully autonomous flight demonstration in Yavne, Israel

The ‘Cormorant’ Vtol prototype took on cargo an Megiddo airfield in Galilee and then performed a pre-planned flight to a delivery point where the cargo was offloaded. That was promptly followed by the loading and removal of a medical manikin in a casualty evacuation (CasEvac) simulation.

The Cormorant is powered by internal lift rotors to allow the aircraft to fly in obstructed areas such as mountainous, wooded or urban terrain where other rotary aircraft are unable to operate. Tactical Robotics (a subsidiary of UrbanAero) plans to utilise the aircraft on parcel-delivery, utility and disaster-response missions.

NATO recognises the unmanned aircraft as both a cargo-delivery and as an evac-qualified aircraft in military and commercial roles.

A of the flight demonstration shows the aircraft taking off and flying at a low altitude across a field, landing and having four people load the manikin before taking off and flying back to the point of origin. A monitor was supplied by the Israel Defense Forces to transmit information to crew on the ground.

UrbanAero was launched in 2007 with a funding round the same year. Whilst the funding amount was undisclosed, the lead investor on the round was Swiss venture capital firm Planven Investments.

Whilst the majority of Vtol projects are focusing on the private and commercial passenger transport and small utilities markets, only a couple of companies are promising medevac applications for their Vtols.

Among these companies is AirSpaceX. Similar to the Cormorant, the AirSpace MOBi ONE has applications in the medical, casualty and intelligence markets as well as a standard air transport. The MOBi also features fully autonomous flight capabilities.