Air ambulance

A rescue aircraft (including air ambulance or air ambulance or air ambulance called ) is a specially equipped aircraft can be flown back to the injured, for example, from abroad to home country. Mainly these are operated by Road Patrol such as the ADAC or by organizations such as the German Air Rescue ( DRF), Flight Ambulance International ( FAI) or the German Red Cross (DRK ). In addition, have several air forces of corresponding aircraft.

  • 4.1 Civilian area
  • 4.2 Military area


In ambulance aircraft can be transported lying down depending on cabin size, up to six patients. Stretchers in aircraft are, the anglicized language use in aviation accordingly, also known in Germany as a stretcher. The medical equipment of the aircraft depends on the company incorporated. Always belongs to a complete standard ambulance equipment, which can be extended if necessary even by more intensive medical components, so that will also transfer intubated patient. Oxygen cylinders are carried, and a compressor for producing compressed air as operating gas for ventilation equipment is installed. Conversions of aircraft cabins must be honored to Germany from the Federal Aviation Authority.

Often specially equipped Learjet different series or for several years, larger aircraft such as the Dornier Do 328-300 (also known as Do 328Jet ) used or similar. Another frequently employed as a rescue plane pattern is the Beechcraft King Air and its larger version Super King Air and Pilatus PC -6 or PC-12, all three with turboprop engines. But there are also smaller aircraft that are used for this purpose and driven by piston engines, such as the Dornier Do 27 Dornier Do 28 PZL -104, Aero L -60 Brigadýr and the Britten- Norman BN -2 Islander.


Ambulance aircraft are operated by charities, clubs and private transport providers. An internationally known organization that operates several rescue aircraft, the Royal Flying Doctor Service ( RFDS ) in Australia, which can be used for people guaranteed medical care in the less populated areas of the country and reach any place in Australia within two hours. Even the International Red Cross (ICRC ) planes, as Douglas DC -7 or Aviation Traders ATL -98 will be leased for this purpose and temporarily set up in accordance with the intended use.

Air Force


The German Army and the Air Force maintains as part of their own medical service an Airbus A310, which can be expanded into a flying intensive care unit if necessary. There, next to the 25 strong medical crew up to 56 find some seriously and severely injured people. Of these 6 patients are in intensive care.

Other States

The air forces of various other States have fully equipped ambulance aircraft or several aircraft types at any time can equip accordingly. So has, for example, the United States Air Force (USAF ) on certain McDonnell Douglas DC - 9, to be used as ambulance aircraft under the designation C-9 Nightingale. In addition, the large four-engined transport aircraft McDonnell Douglas C -17 Globemaster III can be also expanded as needed to a flying intensive care unit.

Areas of application

Civilian area

In the civil sector medical aircraft are mostly use for Krankenrückholtransporte. They offer seriously injured or ill patients the opportunity to perform after preparation of the transportability further treatment close to home. The costs are not reflected in Germany by health insurance.

Military area

The medical aircraft of the military are primarily used in disasters (eg earthquakes) or in the case of war and conflict, often. Well as in support of allied forces or the population of friendly states

Historical rescue aircraft

Junkers Ju 52/3m as a medical aircraft of the Air Force

SAI KZ III of the Danish Air Ambulance

SAI KZ IV of the Danish Air Ambulance