Israeli Institute Plans Battlefield Medevac UAVs

You may think someone over in Israel's Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies had been watching one too many episodes of The Jetsons, but no... this is a real project. It looks like an Israeli consortium, led by the Fisher Institute, is attempting to put together the world's first unpiloted battlefield resupply and evacuation aircraft, dubbed "MedUAV." And as the strangely 1960s sci-fi concept drawing shows, it could take the form of a ducted-fan VTOL air car.

The landing-to-evacuation time could be as short as 45 seconds, which would be good news for battlefield casualties needing attention, and for medics who'd otherwise risk coming under fire when attending the conventional way. The patient pod could even include sensors and a comms system so that doctors could interact with the patient mid-flight.

The Fisher institute is planning on achieving initial test-flights in just 24 months, which sounds like a pretty aggressive schedule, though the first model may start off as a fairly simple UAV. The vehicle would have a 4-person payload and fly up to 10,000 feet, managing speeds of 150 kts. Does that sound like a safe operational envelope given what we know can happen to UAVs? [Fisher Institute via Danger room]