Designer Invents Amphibious Ambulance Aircraft that Lands in Sparsely Populated Areas

An industrial design student at Hochschule Pforzheim University in Germany is coming to the rescue… well actually it’s his new invention that is.

Wolfram Boehm is currently designing his ALA DC 310 Amphibious Ambulance Aircraft which will rescue people in remotely populated areas.

His well-crafted invention is one that will easily fly to anywhere – on land or water  - and it will be capable of getting as close to a patient as possible.

The 2015 James Dyson Foundation: Wolfram Boehm is currently designing his ALA DC 310 Amphibious Ambulance Aircraft which will rescue people in remotely populated areas.The 2015 James Dyson Foundation: Wolfram Boehm is currently designing his ALA DC 310 Amphibious Ambulance Aircraft which will rescue people in remotely populated areas.

His new invention has been nominated by the 2015 James Dyson Award Foundation.

“I had the idea to design an amphibious plane for ambulance usage while reading an article about a pilot on the Mission Aviation Fellowship, a Christian humanitarian organization,” says Boehm.

“The pilot described an incident where he was called to rescue a young mother in the jungle of Borneo. She had lost a lot of blood during childbirth. Unfortunately, the woman's village was about 15 miles away from the next airfield. Therefore, she had to be transported on the nearest river for two days. As they arrived at the airfield where the pilot was waiting, the young woman had already died. This made me think about creating a plane that would be small enough to land as close as possible to the patient by being able to land in an open area or a near river, while also being reasonably cheap to run, fast, reliable and optimized for the usage.”

Over the last couple of years Boehm has been researching planes - land and water based - that are utilized by humanitarian organizations around the world. He discovered that at present there is no such aircraft that can successfully land close enough to a patient or they are not able to fly directly to a hospital, and most of them are not properly suited for transporting patients.

Boehm has also done extensive research at the DRF Luftrettung Helicopter Rescue Facility in Germany. There he learned about the various rescue equipment and the different kinds of helicopters used for saving patients. While helicopters have been known to save the day, they too however have limitations as to where they can land in remote areas.

ALA DC 310 Amphibious Ambulance Aircraft is intricate and impressive in design – inside and out.

The 2015 James Dyson Foundation: ALA DC 310 Amphibious Ambulance Aircraft is intricate in design – inside and out.The 2015 James Dyson Foundation: ALA DC 310 Amphibious Ambulance Aircraft is intricate in design – inside and out.

“The aircraft can land on any open area on land or on a water surface close to the destination,” says Boehm. “To make use of areas that have limited space for landings, the plane has good short takeoff and landing (STOL) abilities and the dimensions of the plane are kept as small as possible to fit into tight spaces.”

Many amphibious planes use a boat hull to detach from the water while taking off. His ALA DC 310 will instead rely on hydrofoils that will help to separate the aircraft actively from the water by generating a strong lift.

“This is a much better solution, because it keeps the fuselage in an aerodynamic shape. This extends the range of the plane and also makes it a lot faster, which is an important point in rescue operations. If you approach a shore which is lined with trees or rocks, you can fold the wings back to avoid getting them stuck on an obstacle,” he explains. “You can then open the door onto the water and extend it twice, so you can use it as a bridge to get to dry land. The doors themselves are filled with floating foam that makes them swim.”

The stretcher also consists of a floating foam shape, which can be separated into two individual stretchers, if more than one patient needs to be transported.  The top will be used to scoop a stretcher to pick up patients with injured vertebras.

The engine on his new invention will run on diesel or kerosene fuel, both of which are easier to find in remotely populated areas. Diesel or kerosene will keep fuel amounts low which is good for the environment and is also cheaper to run on, and these fuel sources will keep the plane lighter in terms of weight and will help extend the planes range and reach with ease.

The inside cabin provides space for more than one patient and has ample shelving and storage for medical equipment and supplies.

While his invention is still in the drawing stages, Boehm plans on soon assembling a team to construct his aircraft and bring it into production at some point soon.

Will the ALA DC 310 Amphibious Ambulance Aircraft be the next big breakthrough for rescue missions? It’s safe to bet that it will mark a new chapter in the aviation industry while helping save lives.

As for Boehm, he is humble with his new discovery and being an inventor is something in his blood.

“I always wanted a job where you create something new every time and you have to think a lot to get the best possible solution,” he says.