Coronavirus: Boeing testing hand-held UV wand to sanitize cockpits, cabins

A stewardess with Singapore Airlines talks with media during a presentation of the interior of the airline’s Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner after a delivery ceremony at the Boeing South Carolina plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, US. (Reuters)

Boeing Co said on Friday it is developing a hand-held wand that emits ultraviolet light to neutralize bacteria and viruses, part of a suite of methods to disinfect flight deck surfaces and controls, as well as surfaces throughout the cabin.

Concerns by airline workers and passengers about the spread of COVID-19 has fueled a rush by companies to roll out new technology for aircraft sanitization.

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The wand would eliminate the need for using alcohol or other disinfectants that could damage sensitive electronic equipment, Rae Lutters, chief engineer for Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program, told a media briefing.

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Boeing is looking at licensing the technology and hiring third-party companies in the fall to begin manufacturing the wands for commercial use, it said.

Boeing has been working on the technology with 13 different airlines. Doug Christensen, a Boeing technical fellow leading testing of the wand prototype, cited “very strong interest” as carriers think about restoring confidence in flying as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Under heightened cleaning practices, many airlines have started using electrostatic disinfectants, which kill viruses on contact, as well as an anti-microbial spray that forms a coating for 30 days.

Boeing is also testing an anti-microbial coating for aircraft surfaces.

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Last Update: Saturday, 22 August 2020 KSA 01:33 - GMT 22:33
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