Boeing has offered one of its largest aircraft to supply medical aid. Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, the aircraft manufacturer announced this week that it has offered the behemoth Dreamlifter to assist in cargo transportation efforts.
Using the Dreamlifter to transport medical supplies
Boeing has announced that it is offering the Dreamlifter to help transport critical and urgently needed medical supplies. The deliveries would go to healthcare professionals on the front lines against the COVID-19 pandemic. This is being done in coordination with government agencies.
Moreover, Boeing has been donating supplies itself to support these efforts. This includes tens of thousands of masks, gloves, and medical equipment to hospitals. In addition, the manufacturer is pledging engineering, manufacturing, and logistics expertise to fight against the virus.
Boeing built the Dreamlifter to help ferry 787 parts from around the world to assembly lines in the United States. The aircraft itself is a modified version of Boeing’s Queen of the Skies, the 747.
There are only four of the aircraft in existence and were modified from existing airframes that previously flew for other carriers.
Boeing pledges other resources
In addition to the Dreamlifter, Boeing is pledging to mobilize some of its 3D printing capabilities to manufacture face shields for medical use. These will go to those professionals who are on the front lines.
The initial goal is to produce 1,000 of these face shields every week. And, after that, Boeing seeks to increase production. These machines are located across the country in St. Louis, Missouri; El Segundo, California; Mesa, Arizona; Huntsville, Alabama; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These facilities are part of the initial response from Boeing. However, this will continue only as long as those facilities are in operation. The ability to continue operating depends on federal, state, and local health officials and orders.
Boeing and the coronavirus
The coronavirus has had some major implications around the world. Airlines are grounding existing aircraft, demand for new aircraft is plummeting, and infections are only growing by the day. Unfortunately, a Boeing employee in Seattle passed away from the virus recently. After this, Boeing decided to shutter production for a few weeks.
The virus has also taken its toll on Boeing’s financial state as airlines have lost nearly all interest in placing new orders for now. Recent legislation from the United States Congress, however, will likely help shore up the company in the coming days. Moreover, the manufacturer is quite important to the American economy and President Trump has indicated his willingness to help Boeing survive the crisis.
Boeing is joining the ranks of other companies and airlines around the world, stepping up to assist in global COVID-19 pandemic efforts. Part of this has Boeing’s Dreamlifter, a major cargo aircraft, helping to transport vital medical goods. Meanwhile, Boeing is mobilizing some of its facilities to build medical masks for frontline healthcare employees.
What do you think of Boeing making the Dreamlifter available? Let us know in the comments!