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Boeing tests hand-held UV lights to kill viruses

written by Hannah Dowling | August 24, 2020
ANA’s first 787 lands at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on September 27 at the end of its delivery flight from Everett. (Boeing)
ANA’s first 787 lands at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on September 27 at the end of its delivery flight from Everett. (Boeing)

Boeing has announced it is developing a hand-held ultraviolet wand as a means to neutralise any bacteria and viruses presented on flight deck surfaces and controls both in the cockpit and throughout the cabin.

The new UV wand would eliminate the need for alcohol-based or other liquid disinfectants that may cause damage to the sensitive electronic equipment used in the cockpit, according to Boeing chief engineer for the ecoDemonstrator program, Rae Lutters.

The US planemaker has developed the wand in consultation with 13 different airlines, with Boeing technical fellow Kevin Callahan noting “very strong interest” from carriers, as they attempt to restore the confidence of both staff and the public to fly.

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Currently in advance stages of testing the devices, Boeing is reportedly looking into licensing the technology, with intentions to hire third-party companies to begin manufacturing the wands for commercial use over the coming months.

Reports suggest the pricing of these UV devices will be “attractive” to airlines, however will likely prove too costly for individual travellers.

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

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