LONDON – Vita Inclinata, a developer of precision aerospace rescue devices has seen interest rise in their new Vita Rescue System (VRS) Litter Attachment for helicopter rescue operations.
The new VRS system is potentially poised to improve both the safety and efficiency of helicopter hoist rescue operations globally.
A recent demonstration of the VRS was undertaken with the Portuguese Air Force, on the AgustaWestland AW101 (Merlin) helicopters of Squadron 751.
Previous litigation cases with traditional rescue equipment
A key factor driving the wave of interest in the new product is the large number of lawsuits which have arisen from a number of out-of-control rescue basket spins during helicopter rescue operations with standard litters.
Following the rising tide of lawsuits and injuries sustained in rescues, the main feature of the Vita Inclinata VRS system – its ability to autonomously stabilize rescue hoist spin and swing – has made it a product of interest.
The traditional problem with rescue hoist operations stems from the fact that several factors must be countered, that potentially cause a rescue litter to spin uncontrollably. Factors like the helicopter rotor wash, high winds, and other environmental conditions must be considered.
Operating benefits of the VRS system
The autonomous stabilisation of the new VRS rescue litter means that basket can be flown ‘off axis’ beneath the helicopter in order for the pilot to navigate between obstacles, or conduct precision insertion on difficult terrain.
This also means the VRS system can be operated without traditional taglines or the need for supplementary ground crews.
Overall this means reduced hover time during a rescue operation, and a reduction of pilot fatigue.
Global interest and operations in Ukraine
Vita Inclinata have already received early interest from operators worldwide. All key U.S. military branches, domestic search and rescue (SAR) responders, and organizations in Chile and Japan have so far requested demonstrations of the new system.
Caleb Carr, CEO of Vita, personally travelled to the Ukrainian war zone recently to train the country’s MEDEVAC crews in the Lviv and Kyiv region. As a result, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine has formally requested 30 VRS systems.
Most recently, Vita teams completed several sorties in different conditions, litter-basket configurations, and hoisting scenarios in Portugal, with Squadron 751 participants.
Prior to the in-air demonstration, the ‘Pumas’, as the Squadron members are known, were shown a series of VRS capabilities and were physically swung and spun in the rescue basket to experience its responsiveness.
Upon completion of the ground demonstration, members boarded an AgustaWestland AW101 (Merlin) helicopter to conduct four rescue missions along the cliffs in southern Lisbon and in the Atlantic Ocean.
“All sorties were successful with the system operating exceptionally well. The system was amazing in the face of the thunderous Merlin rotor wash coming off the cliffs,” said the crews of Squadron 751.
About Vita Inclinata
It was a friend’s death during a rescue operation—with a helicopter nearby but unable to stabilize due to weather and terrain—which became the genesis of the company Vita Inclinata.
Founded in 2015, Vita today controls chaotic swinging and spin, and adds safety and precision for rotor-wing, fixed-wing aircraft and crane applications.
Vita’s motto is “Bring them home, every time,” and the company has worked with air operators in search and rescue, military, firefighting, public safety, construction, wind energy, and oil and gas.
The company is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, with offices in Washington, DC, and Huntsville, Alabama.