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Heavy Payload Helicoper for Last Mile Rescue

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€1 188 906
EU Contribution
€1 047 525
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Link to CORDIS

The proposal addresses the possibility for Civil Security operators to use large air transport systems for deploying heavy loads on crisis sites (last mile). It investigates in particular the deployment in civil missions of systems which are now targeted only for military use.

A broad range of European Civil Security users will be involved in developing appropriate requirements for offering transport solutions to the management of large emergencies as often encountered in Europe.

Air transport solutions potentially able to meet the requirements will be examined, together with operational issues related to vehicle certification, operation regulation and dual-use, with the aim to develop functional specifications that will be fed into identified vehicle development and/of product investment programmes. The European Future Transport Helicopter (FTH) programme will be specifically considered.

Potential solutions with large airships and transport UAS will also be examined. Business models taking into account pooling and sharing options will be proposed; feasibility, economic aspects and potential benefits will be assessed. Support to the Civil Security policies will be prepared with dissemination activities and the development of roadmaps towards effective implementation of the analysed solutions and towards a common European approach for the definition of large air transport systems.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


Defining appropriate last mile air support for an effective and enhanced disaster response

The use of air assets in environmental and man-made disasters ensures speedy deployment. An EU initiative bridged the gap between user needs and air transportation systems suitable for emergency usage and last mile rescue.

During disasters, equipment and personnel must be deployed quickly and perhaps into areas where conventional infrastructure is unavailable. Aircraft have the greatest potential, yet most aircraft are not built for and consequently not suited to emergency usage.

The EU-funded 'Heavy payload helicopter for last mile rescue' (HELI4RESCUE) project set out to advance heavy-payload aircraft for use during emergencies.

Project members investigated high-capacity vehicles for use by civilian emergency services, with special focus on feeding identified requirements into current or future aircraft development programmes.

Work began by elaborating and validating two sets of user needs. The team also listed and described current potential solutions, in addition to evaluating candidates against three crisis scenarios. Investigation of disaster management situations led to a set of civil user requirements.

Project partners presented practical solutions for specific issues concerning civil user requirements, such as interoperability, supply chains and logistics networks.

Project members investigated the use of heavy-payload and fast helicopters, large-size airships, unmanned aerial systems, and aircraft-related issues such as certification and operation regulations. They then proposed use models for the investigated aircrafts and assessed the feasibility, economic features and implementation issues of such models.

HELI4RESCUE drew up a roadmap for an effective trans-European response infrastructure. It includes solutions for the standardisation of technical equipment, procedures and communication channels, harmonisation of regulations, development of new flying technology and a common airborne European response service.

HELI4RESCUE will enable quick and reliable air support to teams on the ground during floods, earthquakes and fires anywhere in Europe.


Lead Organisation
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.v.
Organisation website
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


Technology Theme
Aircraft operations and safety
Helicopter approach operations
Development phase

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