Italian Company Remodels Plane to Transport COVID-19 Vaccines Worldwide
Transporting COVID-19 vaccines has become easier thanks to an Italian aeronautics company.
Tecnam typically makes aircraft parts for manufacturers as well as developing its own light aircraft, now, it's created a small aircraft with the sole purpose of transporting COVID-19 vaccines.
Specially made to safely store the vaccines at their desired temperatures during the trip, as well as having the ability to land in remote areas, Tecnam's P2012 is joining the fight against COVID-19.
Tecnam has partnered up with another Italian company, Desmon, that manufactures freezers, as some COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer/BioNTech's, which require ultra-cold storage temperatures of up to -94 degrees Fahrenheit (-70 degrees Celcius).
This requirement makes some of the vaccines trickier to transport around the world, and so far, most have been flown on regular, large, aircraft. However, some remote areas only have small airports with earthy runways or sand — making transportation even trickier.
That's why Tecnam's PS2012 is ideal. It's a light airplane that can land on these types of runways, and thanks to Desmon's freezers, can transport the vaccines at the required temperatures.
The 11 passenger seats have been removed from Tecnam's small plane and replaced by freezers. It can now transport up to 115,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in one go. The freezers maintain -122 degrees Fahrenheit (-86 degrees Celcius) during travel and can maintain -85 degrees Fahrenheit (-65 degrees Celcius) for 10 to 12 hours after the system is switched off for distribution.
On top of this, distribution costs can be lowered to just $0,005 per dose, per flight hour, and the plane only needs less than a 1,850-foot (563-meter) runway — all in all speeding up the delivery of the vaccine.
"In the past months we all wished for a vaccine against COVID-19, and Pfizer/BioNTech made it possible. But, it would not be a turning point for the world pandemic without the precise, efficient, and affordable, capillary distribution chain that we are now able to provide," said the Managing Director of Tecnam Giovanni Pascale Langer.