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May 12, 2017

Fixed-Wing and Rotary-Wing Air Ambulances: What’s the Difference?

Fixed-Wing and Rotary-Wing Air Ambulances: What’s the Difference?

When using the term “air ambulance” it’s important to know that it encompasses multiple types of aircraft that are used for medical purposes. A good definition is “a specially outfitted aircraft, that transports injured or sick people in a medical emergency or over distances or terrain impractical for conventional ground ambulance.” These aircraft fall into two difference categories: rotary-wing and fixed-wing.

Rotary-wing aircraft are those that are powered by rotating blades, such as helicopters. These types of air ambulances are most commonly used during emergencies, when someone needs be transported a shorter distance as quickly as possible. Their ability to land almost anywhere makes them useful in situations where it would be difficult for a ground ambulance to reach the patient.

Fixed-wing aircraft include those that are propeller driven or jet engine powered, and have wings that do not move. These are more commonly used for longer travel distances than rotary-wing aircraft cover, because they can go further before needing to refuel.

One great advantage to fixed-wing air ambulances is that they are able to fly in inclement weather, such as fog, that rotary-wing aircraft cannot. This leads to fewer delays when a patient needs to be transferred from one facility to another.

Additionally, fixed-wing air ambulances have a much more spacious interior than helicopters which allows them to have more medical equipment and staff on-board. Because they can fly at higher altitudes, they also provide patients with a less turbulent ride, and subsequently a more comfortable experience.

At Aero Med Express, our air ambulance is a fixed-wing Diamond Jet, complete with equipment to handle an array of medical situations and highly trained and experienced staff. We have all the technology needed to transport our patients to the proper facility in the shortest amount of time possible. For more information about our aircraft, or to book a flight, fill out our Get Started form today.

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