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Coming soon: Magical UV wand to zap the coronavirus on planes

Reuters/Seattle, United States
Filed on August 22, 2020 | Last updated on August 22, 2020 at 12.09 pm
boeing co, developing, hand-held, wand, emits, uv, planes, coronavirus, covid-19

(Photo: Alamy)

Concerns by airline staff and passengers about Covid-19 has prompted firms to roll out new technology for aircraft sanitisation.

Boeing Co said on Friday it is developing a hand-held wand that emits ultraviolet light to neutralise 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 fuelled a rush by companies to roll out new technology for aircraft sanitisation.

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.

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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