August 31 2020  |  Cabin Maintenance

​Boeing testing UV wand for disinfection

By Rick Lundstrom

Following customer feedback, the original backpack design transitioned to a roller case, which allows for ease of transport and use (Photo Courtesy Boeing)

Boeing has begun testing a new prototype ultraviolet (UV) wand that has been developed with its airline customers, to provide disinfection for aircraft flight decks and cabins.

Boeing developed the UV wand prototype for flight decks, lavatories and cabins. UV light can be scanned inches away from aircraft interior surfaces, disinfecting areas and surfaces where the light reaches. Testing is ongoing to fully validate its effectiveness and safety (for operators and materials). UV light has been shown to be effective at neutralizing pathogens. Testing against the COVID-19 virus is ongoing.

Boeing’s proposed concept in development is a mobile, hand-held UV disinfecting wand that can access compact spaces. A single operator can treat a flight deck in less than 15 minutes with a UV wand. Among the early partners is Etihad Airways.

Etihad is testing the technology and partnered with Boeing in April, providing feedback for the second-generation prototype which is now being tested on Etihad’s 787 Dreamliner ecoDemonstrator.

The UV wand is being deployed as part of Boeing’s Confident Travel Initiative, the global effort to provide passengers and crew a safe, healthy and efficient travel experience, as well as identifying the most effective methods to disinfect the interior of an aircraft. Ultraviolet technology is a promising addition to measures already in place.

The UV wand is a continuation of Boeing’s work using ultraviolet disinfection in the lavatory. Boeing is also assessing persistent UV (using a different wavelength) that disinfects continuously for potential use in flight decks, lavatories, galleys and cabins.

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