SP's Airbuz - - News Briefs -

An au­ton­o­mous fly­ing am­bu­lance has suc­cess­fully com­pleted its maiden flight, of­fer­ing a po­ten­tial so­lu­tion for chal­leng­ing search and res­cue mis­sions. Com­plet­ing such mis­sions in rough ter­rain or com­bat zones can be tricky, with he­li­copters cur­rently of­fer­ing the best trans­porta­tion op­tion in most cases. How­ever, these ve­hi­cles need clear ar­eas to land and in the case of war zones, he­li­copters tend to at­tract en­emy fire. Now an Is­raeli com­pany has com­pleted the test flight for an au­to­mated fly­ing ve­hi­cle, dubbed the Cormo- rant that could one day go where he­li­copters can­not. The ve­hi­cle is de­signed to even­tu­ally carry per­son­nel or equip­ment with­out a pilot on­board. In place of pro­pel­lers or ro­tors to fly, the Cor­morant uses ducted fans that are ef­fec­tively shielded ro­tors, which means the air­craft does not need to worry about hit­ting a wall and dam­ag­ing the ro­tors. An­other set of fans pro­pels the ve­hi­cle for­ward. The ve­hi­cle is ef­fec­tively a de­ci­sion-mak­ing sys­tem that can fig­ure out what to do if there is a prob­lem in the in­puts from the sen­sors, the com­pany, Ur­ban Aero­nau­tics, said. If the Cor­morant de­tects a po­ten­tial is­sue, the drone’s ro­botic brain can de­cide whether to re­turn to base, land and wait for fur­ther in­struc­tions or try a dif­fer­ent flight path.

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