Hospital beds in rows inside the A330 MEDEVAC conversion

Airbus, Embraer each offer medevac conversions for aircraft

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Airbus and Embraer Executive Jets have each separately unveiled their own air ambulance conversion kits, enabling operators to transform passenger aircraft to carry COVID-19 patients in intensive care.

A multi-functional team comprising Airbus Commercial Aircraft, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters proposed the Airbus medical evacuation (medevac) solution, which is based on the A330/A340 platform.

In a statement, Airbus says the French DGS (Direction Générale de la Santé) actively supported the airframer by providing all the medical specifications associated with COVID-19 patients in intensive care and low care. The work took six weeks.

“The concept has been subsequently fine-tuned and Airbus is now in a position to offer a mature solution to any customers wishing to perform medevac operations,” says the airframer.

A close up of the hospital bed aboard the converted A330 medevac aircraft

Airbus says the A330/A340 platform can be “quickly” converted for medevac usage. Image: Airbus

Many widebody aircraft, including A340-600s, have been grounded by the COVID-19 crisis. As such, there is ample capacity available for medevac solutions.

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The A330/A340 Medevac conversion time is approximately five weeks from contract signature (and provided the medical kit is supplied). Conversions will take place at Airbus’ facility in Getafe, Spain.

Embraer, meanwhile, has revealed a medevac offering for its Phenom 300 series of aircraft. Called the Phenom 300MED, the solution can be purpose built, but is also available for retrofit. It was developed through a partnership with Aerolite, which designs interior equipment, and umlaut, a provider of advisory and fulfillment services.

Embraer and umlaut are jointly developing and certifying a new supplemental type certificate (STC) utilizing Aerolite equipment, explained the Brazilian airframer in a statement.

Designed for both civil and government applications, the medevac solution will be installed exclusively by Embraer’s Services & Support organization. Image: Embraer

Over the last several months, many operators have pivoted from transporting people aboard their aircraft to instead carrying vital medical supplies and PPE by utilizing a number of creative engineering solutions to protect aircraft seats and other interior structures on board. Now, the aviation industry is stepping up again with air ambulance configurations for aircraft.

“Given the current health crisis, we are proud to be working with two world-class medevac-solutions partners, and we are primed to immediately start taking orders for this unprecedented air ambulance solution,” says Michael Amalfitano, president and CEO, Embraer Executive Jets.

Embraer and umlaut are developing a set of configuration alternatives for the Phenom 300MED, which will feature either one or two stretchers, as well as the ability to carry an incubator and additional medical equipment. Image: Embraer