Boeing has entered into a patent and technology license with Florida-based Healthe®, under which It will manufacture an ultraviolet (UV) wand designed to sanitize airplane interiors.
Boeing designed and developed the UV wand as part of the company’s Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to support customers and enhance the safety and well-being of passengers and crews during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The UV wand is designed to be more effective than similar devices. It quickly disinfects surfaces on an aeroplane and further strengthens other layers of protection for passengers and crew,” said Mike Delaney, who leads Boeing’s CTI efforts. “Boeing spent six months transforming an idea for the wand into a working model, and Healthe will now take that prototype and make it available to the world at large.”
Healthe will produce and distribute the commercial wand, helping airlines and potentially others combat the coronavirus pandemic. The technology could be available for airlines in late fall. The device is an addition to sanitizing and protective measures already in place, which include the use of high-efficiency particulate air filters that trap more than 99.9% of particulates and prevent them from re-circulating back to the cabin.
The UV wand uses 222 nanometer UVC light. Research indicates 222 nanometer UVC inactivates pathogens effectively.
Using the self-contained apparatus that resembles a carry-on suitcase, crews can pass UV light over high-touch surfaces, sanitizing everywhere the light reaches. The UV wand is particularly effective in compact spaces and sanitizes a flight deck in less than 15 minutes.
“We are proud to be assisting Boeing as they work with their partner airlines to enhance in-cabin plane sanitisation efforts. This could also benefit schools, hospitals, offices, wherever pathogens go,” said Abe Morris, Healthe executive chairman. “As we ramp up deployment of our cutting-edge UVC and Far-UVC 222 light solutions across many sectors, this new commercial-grade wand will be another powerful tool in the sanitisation arsenal to protect passengers against the spread of harmful viruses.”
As part of CTI, Boeing solicited feedback from multiple industry sources, which aided in quickly validating this technology. Etihad Airways was the first to evaluate the device, and the UV wand was demonstrated on the Etihad 787-10 ecoDemonstrator aeroplane on Aug. 21.
The mission of Boeing’s Confident Travel Initiative is to be a leader in the global effort to provide passengers and crew a safe, healthy and efficient travel experience.