Service navigation



Your cart is empty.

Rega Shop

Language navigation

Change font size


Swiss Air-Rescue Rega, to home page

Own competence center

Rega’s engineering division has two main tasks. First, it is the point of contact for complex technical matters within Rega. It advises teams, departments and project groups and conducts feasibility studies. In addition, it is involved in projects to purchase new aircraft. Second, it designs components for Rega’s aircraft. These could be new developments or modifications of existing components or systems, which the Design and Development Center can implement and certify itself thanks to its recognition by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as a so-called “Design Organisation”.


Customised solutions to improve medical assistance by air

Helmets not only serve as protection, but are also indispensable for communicating over the radio amidst the noise of the helicopter and the wind. Now, after 10–15 years in use, the helmets are reaching the end of their service life and need to be replaced. As with every procurement project, Rega is looking into what can be further improved.

Therefore, in their search for the ideal follow-on models, the engineers at the Design and Development Centre together with the crew members evaluated which technical modifications would enable the future helmets to fulfil the requirements even better than before and what could be further optimised: the hearing protection, for example, or the radio system. If a wireless solution is possible for the latter, this would give crew members even greater freedom of movement and enhanced wearing comfort when out on a mission. One particular challenge in this regard was the compatibility of the radio and communication systems that are built into the various crew helmets, which have to work together perfectly


Rega is the only air rescue organisation in Switzerland to perform special intensive care transports. It is able, for example, to transport patients who are dependent on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) equipment. With this intensive care technology, a machine assumes some or all of the patient’s respiratory and/or cardiac functions. The numerous regulations that need to be complied with present a major challenge for aircraft to be permitted to carry high-tech medical equipment such as the 12 kg ECMO machine on board. For instance, a device and its fixtures must be able to withstand a g-force of up to 20.

Rega’s engineers are currently working on optimising the existing mounts in the cabin and further improving both the handling and the space available for the crew. To do this, a design engineer first produced the components in a 3D printer and then tested them for accuracy of fit and functionality in the helicopter cabin. Finally, a modular, rotatable platform construction was created that can be anchored in the seat rail in the cabin. Thanks to these custom-made mounts, other medical devices can also be installed and secured on the platform in future. Such sophisticated constructions may seem insignificant. But by making the equipment as easy as possible to handle, the work of Rega’s engineers plays a part in allowing the medical crew to fully focus on caring for the critically ill patients on board.

Thanks to the patient isolation unit (PIU), Rega can transport highly contagious patients efficiently and safely. Drawing on the experience gained from many missions, a project team developed ideas on how the tried-and-tested protection system could be further optimised – for crews and patients alike.

The Rega engineers succeeded in making the PIU even lighter and more compact, a great advantage given the limited space available in the cabin. The dome-shaped shell, for example, now features carbon support rods, which are light yet extremely stable. The bed offers more space for patients, while the stretcher is also more lightweight and can be used by the crew in a modular fashion – in other words, also without the shell if it is not needed after all. No detail is too small for improvement: the zipper enclosing the PIU is now subjected to less resistance when pulled, which minimises the wear and tear on the material.

Another innovation opens up brand new possibilities in terms of usage. Before, the high-performance particulate filter at the foot end of the PIU converted contaminated air from inside the unit into clean air and then released it into the environment. Now a second filter is mounted at the head end. The two filters are powered by a motor that draws the air through the unit, which means that germ-free air is also guaranteed inside the PIU. As a result, in future, crews will also be able to use the PIU to transport immunocompromised persons, who are dependent on absolutely germ-free air before or after an organ transplantation.

Night vision goggles, or NVGs for short, belong to the newest generation of high-tech devices at Rega and increase safety on missions at night for crews and patients alike. The staff at the Design and Development Centre devoted a great deal of time and effort to selecting and certifying the new NVGs and their decision to go the extra mile paid off: the project has succeeded in making night missions safer.

Rega had to submit comprehensive documentation to the EASA for approval. In addition, its Design and Development Centre organised compatibility tests at an external laboratory and planned test flights with the help of in-house test pilots. A prototype of a suitable mount was also created using a 3D printer. Particular emphasis was placed on achieving the best possible ergonomic comfort, too: the additional weight of the binoculars and battery should be optimally distributed on the pilot’s helmet.

Thanks to these modifications, Rega has succeeded in increasing safety on missions performed after darkness has fallen. The field of view of the new NVGs is around 25 percent wider than before, which makes it easier to perceive the surroundings in the dark. The pilot has to turn his head less, which helps reduce fatigue. Obstacles or changes in the weather can now be detected earlier and more precisely. The filters of the new NVGs let through more light than other types of filters, which makes light sources visible to the viewer that cannot be seen with other filters.