First ever electric air ambulance being developed by Cranfield company

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A company has been given approval to develop a first-of-its-kind electric aircraft that can be used as an air ambulance.

ARC Aero Systems, based at Cranfield, has secured a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certification for a "gyroplane" which will support emergency rescue services.

A "gyroplane" is a class of rotorcraft that uses an unpowered rotor which must have air flowing upward across it to make the aircraft lift.

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The company has already secured 10 pre-orders of the electric aircraft through the Norwich-based charity SkyAngels Air Ambulance.

ARC Aero Systems, based at Cranfield, has secured a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certification for a "gyroplane" which will support emergency rescue services. Picture:  © Arc Aero Systems / SWNSARC Aero Systems, based at Cranfield, has secured a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certification for a "gyroplane" which will support emergency rescue services. Picture:  © Arc Aero Systems / SWNS
ARC Aero Systems, based at Cranfield, has secured a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certification for a "gyroplane" which will support emergency rescue services. Picture: © Arc Aero Systems / SWNS

It has been given an E Conditions certificate by the CAA, which means the modified Avian Pegasus model can now begin test flights.

The Avian Pegasus, a gyroplane developed in the 1960s, never entered production.

The new electric aircraft requires only a small area of level ground to land and take-off making it much more accessible in reaching remote communities.

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The self-charging hybrid-electric engine does not require e-charging facilities and does not need a runway to take off.

ARC’s founder and CEO, Dr Seyed Mohseni, said: “We are delighted to have secured the application with the CAA for E Conditions for our hybrid version of Pegasus, which enables us to conduct test flights and ultimately bring our innovative air transport solution to market.

"We are also taking a sensible, step-by-step approach to sustainability by developing a self-charging, hybrid-powered aircraft which can run on any fuel, including hydrogen, as it becomes available on the market.

“We are at an exciting stage in our development and already securing advance orders for Pegasus demonstrating the wider market confidence in our innovative proposition.

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"This current investment round offers investors an opportunity to join our journey and help drive the business forward as we prepare to enter a market that is set to increase five-fold by the end of the decade.”

ARC has launched a new round of investment looking for further funds of £1.5m from private investors and a crowd funding campaign.

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