Where Was The Elcopter on September 11th?

elcopter.pngOne of the more interesting inventions coming out of Israel recently is Olive Engineering’s Elcopter, which can be seen in animated action here. It’s a new contraption designed to rescue survivors who are stranded in a burning building with no way of getting rescued. The helicopter flies over the building, far enough from the flames to be safe, and lowers an elevator which victim’s climb into and escape unscathed.

The Israeli rescue solutions company was founded by Nehemia Cohen, a mechanical engineer with a master’s degree in aeronautics and previously employed at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. He invented the Elcopter a few years before the September 11th attack, but interest in the project has increased dramatically since then as governments scramble to prepare for similar attacks in the future.

The Elcopter can be used for other purposes as well such as “rescuing people trapped in ravines which are too small for the helicopter to approach and are on the verge of being flooded or enveloped by fire, or airlifting VIPs or injured people from urban areas where there is no room for the helicopter to land, with the lift serving as an airborne ambulance. It can also be used for rescue operations at sea, where if the helicopter descended too low it would create a whirlpool that could drown the survivors waiting to be rescued, and to extinguish fires and send firefighters in to rescue survivors from burning towers, or train hose pipes on the source of the blaze.”

According to Cohen Olive Engineering is initially trying to launch Elcopter (a 5-$10M add-on to a helicopter), and its smaller less expensive model The Spider (a $3M add-on), in Israel: “We’re already in negotiations with the Defense Ministry on the Spider. The aim is to spread a network of cabins like these in strategic locations, a few cabins in each city, for use by the Israel Air Force’s regular helicopters. We believe that the moment they see the helicopter on the news, orders will start coming in from all over the world. We only need a few orders to reach break-even, and at its peak, this market could reach $500 million. People will feel safe with one or two one or two helicopters like these in the country,” he concludes. “They’ll say, ‘if I get trapped, they’ll have a way of rescuing me.'”

For more info check out this long feature article from Globes.

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