The test flights

Learn more about the test flights from phase 1 of Medifly!

On January 5th, 2020 the project “Medifly Hamburg” conducted drone flights between the German Armed Forces Hospital in Wandsbek-Gartenstadt and Saint Mary’s Hospital in Hohenfelde. Both hospitals are roughly five kilometers (linear distance) apart from each other.

The research goal of Medifly is to find out in how far unmanned aircraft systems can be used to perform acute transports of medical samples in a safe and reliable manner.

This becomes necessary when tissue samples have to be extracted during medical surgery. The samples have to be examined by a pathologist during the surgery.

Today, the tissue samples are being transported to external labs by road with ambulance vehicles.

A total of six flights were conducted safely and reliably not only in a densely populated urban area, but also in the air traffic control zone of Hamburg’s international airport.

The flights were automated. Additional remote pilots were set up along the route, who could have intervened at any time in an emergency situation.

In this project, the specific benefit for both users and the community is clearly visible. Automated aerial vehicles will contribute significantly to the improvement of health care.

Michael Westhagemann


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