Boeing engineers have developed purple power to kill any traces of COVID-19 on aircraft.
The amazing story is told in the company’s latest issue of Boeing IQ.
Here are the first few paragraphs:
“If they could, pathogens would run and hide at the sight of the purple glow emanating from the Boeing-developed ultraviolet wand. Rapidly yet carefully created by a dedicated team to destroy germs on the inside of airplanes, the UV wand could become standard operating equipment. Teresa King, Jamie Childress and Kevin Callahan were on the front lines of this innovation. They take us inside Boeing’s Concept Center to reveal what they did and how they did it.
IQ: Begin at the beginning. Trace the genesis of the UV wand.
Childress: The story is a bit like a rock band that seems to arrive on the scene from nowhere, only for new fans to discover the band has been touring small venues for years. The UV wand was first hatched in my brain way back in 2014 when I first found out 222 nm (nanometer) UV light killed pathogens and is safe for human exposure. Back then the data for both those claims were slim but seemed compelling all the same.
At the time, I was primarily working on military projects, so my natural inclination was to apply this technology in that space. I envisioned a “disinfection Swiss Army knife” that could safely sanitize anything from pots and pans to combat wounds.
IQ: How did the idea move to the next level?
Childress: An idea is just an idea until it has a customer. My first customer was not the military. It was Teresa King. As the leader of Boeing’s Clean Cabin Program, she immediately grasped the value of 222 nm UV for commercial aircraft.
Under Teresa’s leadership, we had developed the UV lavatory, which features several clean technologies, including 222 nm UV disinfection. When COVID-19 hit, Teresa informed her management about the wand I was developing.