The Chinese eVTOL developer EHang will play a significant role in two European projects that aim to demonstrate the application of urban air mobility (UAM) to emergency medical services.
The company’s Norwegian branch, EHang Scandinavia AS, has been named as a partner in AiRMOUR, a European Union (EU)-funded research and innovation project focused on advancing UAM. AiRMOUR plans to validate the use of personal air vehicles for doctors and medical supplies through simulations in Luxembourg and real-life demonstrations in Stavanger, Norway; Helsinki, Finland; and the region of Nord-Hessen, Germany. The results will inform development of a UAM “toolbox” for aviation and urban authorities, a guidebook for cities and other stakeholders, and a training program in cooperation with Eurocontrol.
EHang already has an operational permit from Norway’s Civil Aviation Authority for long-term flight testing of its two-passenger EH216 autonomous aerial vehicle. (The company has received similar approvals in Austria and Canada.)
Meanwhile, EHang is also taking part in the EU-supported SAFIR-Med project, which stands for “Safe and Flexible Integration of Advanced U-Space Services for Medical Air Mobility.” SAFIR-Med aims to show how drones can contribute to the EU healthcare system, and is planning demonstrations within two years in collaboration with hospitals and other healthcare actors in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.
As the project’s only passenger eVTOL partner, EHang plans to use its EH216 as well as its smaller Falcon drone to transport medical supplies for the demonstrations. Other participating drone developers include flyXDrive, TUDelft and MAVlab, HyFly, and Sabca. A number of U-space service and traffic management providers are also partners in SAFIR-Med, which intends to demonstrate “advanced U-space services enabling the highest possible operational safety level,” including detect-and-avoid as a service, dynamic geofencing, and air traffic prioritization rules.
EHang said its participation in the SAFIR-Med project “marks another milestone” for the company in Europe. Last month, EHang was also named as a member of the Air Mobility Urban – Large Experimental Demonstrations (AMU-LED) consortium, and was among 30 companies selected to move forward in a UAM initiative in the Paris region.
EHang is also contributing to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Ambular project to develop an eVTOL air ambulance. Last year, the company demonstrated use of its EH216 for the transport of medical supplies and personnel in Hezhou city, Guangxi province.