Israelis develop life-saving ‘medical’ glider

The IDF Medical Corps and the Technion have developed a revolutionary method to deliver medical supplies to the battlefront, which could save the lives of many soldiers.

According to a report in Israel Hayom last week, the collaboration between the two bodies has led to the development of a “medical” glider  designed to carry up to 110 pounds of medical supplies, such as blood transfusion kits, antibiotics, and intubation kits.

The glider can cover a distance of 12 miles within eight minutes. It is 11 feet long and its wingspan stretches 13 feet.

The miniature aircraft was designed with collapsible wings so that if necessary, it can be launched from a plane. It also has relatively low production costs, which stand at tens of thousands of dollars per unit.

“The glider won’t eliminate the need to evacuate [wounded] soldiers, but it will allow us to bring the hospital to the patients and carry out evacuations in a more considered, calm manner, and deliver soldiers to the hospital in better condition,” said IDF Medical Corps Maj. Dr. Dean Nachman.

“Administrating a blood transfusion is a lifesaving measure, and troops on prolonged deployment can’t exactly carry a fridge with blood supplies with them. Also, no solution has been devised at this time for cases like mass-casualty events, where there is a shortage of equipment in the field,” he said.

Nachman added that “the understanding that we need to provide [soldiers] with the best-possible treatment, even in enemy territory, prompted us to approach the Technion and design the glider.”

Dr. Isaac Kadushin of the Technion’s Aerospace Engineering Faculty said, “I was approached by the Medical Corps with a situation where soldiers on missions can’t carry medical supplies. We chose a glider because it’s low-maintenance compared to drones and multicopters, which have engines, as well as over the fact that it’s cost-effective.”