Cityhawk VTOL

Published on January 6th, 2021 |
by Jo Borrás

January 6th, 2021 by Jo Borrás 

Israeli tech firm Urban Aeronautics announced some encouraging news for fans of its hydrogen fuel-cell powered eVTOL “flying car” service yesterday. The company has received a pre-order for four (4) of the innovative vehicles from Hatzolah Air — a company that specializes in developing helicopters and other aircraft for fast-response emergency medical service (EMS) applications.

EMS cutaway, courtesy Urban Aeronautics.

“We are excited to partner with Hatzolah Air on the development of our CityHawk EMS vehicle,” says Rafi Yoeli, CEO of Urban Aeronautics. “Its compact size will enable it to land in the middle of a busy city street, making it a perfect fit for medical evacuation missions by dramatically decreasing the time it takes to arrive on-scene, treat and transport sick or injured patients to appropriate medical facilities.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the CityHawk, it’s much, much more than a few concept drawings. The vehicle has been in development since the company’s inception in 2001, and an unmanned version of the CityHawk has been flying successfully for at least a year.  Successfully enough, at least, to merit an agreement of, “mutual exploration by Boeing and Tactical Robotics of Autonomous Unmanned VTOL aircraft based on Urban Aeronautics … unique Fancraft™ technology.”

Unmanned CityHawk test-bed

Unmanned CityHawk test-bed, courtesy Urban Aeronautics.

As for the CityHawk itself, the company’s own materials describe the vehicle and its capabilities as follows:

CityHawk is a revolutionary VTOL with a uniquely compact footprint and no external wings or rotors, resulting in an aircraft with unparalleled “fly anywhere, land anywhere” access under almost any weather conditions. It features Urban Aeronautics’ groundbreaking internal rotor Fancraft™ technology, which utilizes powerful ducted fans in combination with innovative aerodynamic technologies that result in superior control, stability, speed, safety, noise reduction and sustainability. Cormorant, an unmanned prototype for military use, has proven the company’s groundbreaking concept with over 300 successful autonomous flight tests.

There’s more to that technology than whiz-bang cool, though. The CityHawk also represents a significant operational cost savings when compared to conventional fixed and rotor-winged aircraft. In a few years, Urban Aeronautics anticipates that its tech will help unmanned autonomous air taxi services get costs down to “as low as” $2 per mile (per the results of a study published 20MAR2020).

Fuel cell tech powers the CityHawk

Fuel cell tech powers the CityHawk, courtesy Urban Auronautics.

Urban Aeronautics’ engineers will work closely with Hatzolah’s medical transport experts to tailor the CityHawk into more of a “flying ambulance” to meet their operational needs. Once finished, it’s expected to accommodate a pilot, a patient and companion, and two EMTs (for a total of five people), plus a suite of onboard medical equipment that’s at least on par with today’s airlift helicopters. “We are excited to become not just the worldwide distributor of Urban Aeronautics Air Ambulance CityHawk, but its first customer as well,” says Eli Rowe, President of Hatzolah Air. “Hatzolah’s mission is always about patient care and adding the VTOL CityHawk has the potential to save many thousands of lives every year.”

You can learn a bit more about how Urban Aeronautics plans to market its CityHawk in the company’s promo video below. Once you’re done, scroll down to the comments and let us know what you think of this up-and-coming flying car/eVTOL taxi’s odds of success. Or, you know, just complain about FCs not being as viable as BEVs. That’s usually fun, too.  😉

Meet CityHawk Concept Video

Source | ImagesUrban Aeronautics, via New Atlas


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Tags: CityHawk, Emergency Medical Services, EMS, eVTOL, flying ambulance, flying car, Hydrogen, Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Urban Aeronautics, VTOL

About the Author

Jo Borrás I’ve been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.