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enilria
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Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:44 pm

Where do you put the interiors? They have to be indoor. Why not use whatever space that would be as ICU space and save all the trouble? Is there a shortage of empty warehouses?

The group, calling themselves Caircraft, believe that big aircraft like A380s and A340s, which are grounded due to coronavirus travel restrictions, could be stripped down and refitted with ICU beds and equipment in seven to ten days.

Between 100-150 beds could fit on each aircraft depending on the size of the jet under the group's design plans, and it is now waiting for government support for funding and coordination.

Under the Caircraft plans, which the group has been working on for a week, the aircraft would first fly to the place where they were to be needed, before being fitted out. They would not move once treating patients.

"What we don't want to do is to be a flying hospital. The regulatory issues regarding that are just too great," said Dyne.

The group say the advantage of using planes is that not only are they mobile and there are plenty of them now available, but also that their filtered, one-way airflow systems mirror those of an operating theatre.


https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04 ... craft.html
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:48 pm

How do they propose getting an ICU bed through an aircraft door ? As suggested, empty out the hangars first if the need arises.
 
Lofty
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:19 pm

If the UK can create and make operational a 400 bed ICU in 2 weeks, why would you spend months converting a A380 which then would have to be certified if it was to be used as a flying hospital.
 
concordeforever
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:24 pm

Lofty wrote:
If the UK can create and make operational a 400 bed ICU in 2 weeks, why would you spend months converting a A380 which then would have to be certified if it was to be used as a flying hospital.

It specifically states that they won't be used as "Flying Hospitals". The aircraft will fly to where they are needed and then stay on the ground.

I agree though, what is the point, just use warehouses...
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:24 pm

There is no shortage of commercial opportunism or stupid at this time. I'm sure there's plenty of more accessible space in the U.K. with power, water, and HVAC.
 
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DL747400
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:45 pm

This has got to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I've seen since this crisis began, and there have been a few. This group just lost all credibility, IMO. And the NY Times, well....
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andrej
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:07 pm

Agree, that this is not the best utilization of resources. There are plenty of other options how one can create make-shift ICU units. It would much more useful to build mobile (containerized) military-style hospitals, which would be better fit for this role (and/or convert warehouses, hangars as others have pointed out). You have options to grow, it is much more controlled environment, and most likely offers variety of services offered.

HOWEVER, as this is aviation related :-) ;

If anything, I would rather convert former B747-400Ms (that are still available) or cargo other planes (AN-124 anyone?) that could be used as mobile ICUs. Infrastructure is in place (no need to enlarge doors, just use side cargo doors), and these planes could be flown to crisis areas, where needed (think not only Corona, but natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes). These planes could be used as early emergency points until more sustainable solution is available.

Then again, who will pay for this? The UN? Who would operate this? And is there a really need for it? How long will it take to convert to such mobile ICUs?

Given that several solutions are already available and military can conduct large scale medivac flights, final question remains. Is it really necessary - to act as a stationary ICU.
 
LTCM
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:27 pm

Africa is next, and they don't have the ability to quickly spin up new facilities. These aren't made to be used in developed countries.
 
peterinlisbon
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:33 pm

enilria wrote:
Where do you put the interiors? They have to be indoor. Why not use whatever space that would be as ICU space and save all the trouble? Is there a shortage of empty warehouses?

The group, calling themselves Caircraft, believe that big aircraft like A380s and A340s, which are grounded due to coronavirus travel restrictions, could be stripped down and refitted with ICU beds and equipment in seven to ten days.

Between 100-150 beds could fit on each aircraft depending on the size of the jet under the group's design plans, and it is now waiting for government support for funding and coordination.

Under the Caircraft plans, which the group has been working on for a week, the aircraft would first fly to the place where they were to be needed, before being fitted out. They would not move once treating patients.

"What we don't want to do is to be a flying hospital. The regulatory issues regarding that are just too great," said Dyne.

The group say the advantage of using planes is that not only are they mobile and there are plenty of them now available, but also that their filtered, one-way airflow systems mirror those of an operating theatre.


https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04 ... craft.html


Why would you want to spend money destroying an asset worth 200 million dollars to do what an empty warehouse or factory could do much better?
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:34 pm

So how do they plan on keeping the climate controlled in these grounded planes. Ground air condition carts are very expensive to operate and not that good at cooling large airplanes, especially in hot climates. Running the APU 24/7 would be astronomical costs.
 
IWMBH
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:38 pm

The only way I can think of that this is a good idea is if you use big freighters, load them with mobile ICU units and then fly to the Corona hotspots. This could be useful because you can fly the plane to another country when the hotspot moves to another location. A bit like the Eye hospital but then with hospital beds. But, I don't think planes are large enough to load a significant amount of ICU-units on and, if I read it correctly, this isn't the plane in the first place? This seems just weird, but there is probably an government out there that thinks ''Hey, that a great idea. I havent done enough over the last weeks and now I can boast with my bolt plane idea'' and forse a national airline to rip the interior out of one of their planes.
 
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:58 pm

DL747400 wrote:
This has got to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I've seen since this crisis began, and there have been a few. This group just lost all credibility, IMO. And the NY Times, well....


This is akin to the weekly a.net save-the-a380 threads with increasingly ludicrous suggestions.
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9w748capt
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:02 pm

In theory a great idea, if not a bit outlandish. Biggest problem is we need a government that actually cares.
 
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CarbonFibre
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:04 pm

Lofty wrote:
If the UK can create and make operational a 400 bed ICU in 2 weeks, why would you spend months converting a A380 which then would have to be certified if it was to be used as a flying hospital.


4000 bed.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:07 pm

This is what I have been proposing from the beginning.

It doesn't take long to convert an aircraft to an ICU.
Climate control through the APU is just fine, it doesn't cost that much to run the APU. Fuel is cheap anyway, GPU's can also be used.
AC power is just plug and play, can be tapped fromnthe aircraft's electrical system or wired in from airport terminals.
Aircraft cabin environmental control can provide better air filtration than any of the above mentionned facilities.

Aircraft are modular and can easily be fitted with panels for compartimentation.
Putting beds in hangars and stadiums is much more complicated than you think. It takes a lot of manpower, time and forward planning. Even simple things like seats/chairs or storage space is not easy to acquire.
Power supply, air conditioning, environmental control, lighting, water, bathrooms, compartimentation, catering, staff,
Aircraft are essentially plug and play facilities.

ICU beds fit through widebody doors, most are transported in dismantled state anyway.

Exposition centers are great too, as they have lots of these facilities, but you can't fly them around, only big metropolitan cities would have meaningful facilities. Still not easy to get them set up without a lot of forward planning.
Aircraft still win on environmental control.

I'm not sure the A380 is the best choice, haven't thought about it.

This is not expensive, it can be done easily, quickly.
Maintenance staff can be called in to prepare the aircraft, 2-3 days for basic readiness for a A330/B777 tyoe aircraft, a bit longer for full deployment perhaps.

Medevac helicopters can land next to such aircraft to bring in patients.

Plenty of space for nurses and doctors to relax and take a rest.

It's obvious.
Last edited by Waterbomber2 on Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
SwissCanuck
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:17 pm

CarbonFibre wrote:
Lofty wrote:
If the UK can create and make operational a 400 bed ICU in 2 weeks, why would you spend months converting a A380 which then would have to be certified if it was to be used as a flying hospital.


4000 bed.

No not ICU.
 
Bradin
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:26 pm

The idea won't fly. It's probably far cheaper to convert a greenspace and setup makeshift tents with generators and air conditioning with probably double or triple the space.

The time spent converting greenspace is far quicker because the conversion process does not require taking out seats and AVODs and putting everything back together again.
 
hrc773
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:31 pm

They should also bring in furloughed crewmembers to come sing for the patients. :rotfl:
[photoid][/photoid]
Last edited by hrc773 on Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:32 pm

If I remember correctly, doesn’t the 747 have a therapeutic oxygen system?
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:33 pm

hrc773 wrote:
They should also bring in furloughed crewmembers to come sing for the patients. :rotfl:

[photoid][/photoid]


They're already doing that, I don't know what's funny about it? Easyjet, Virgin Atlantic and also SAS are training volunteer cabin crew to perform basic tasks on and around patients.
 
hrc773
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:36 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
hrc773 wrote:
They should also bring in furloughed crewmembers to come sing for the patients. :rotfl:

[photoid][/photoid]


They're already doing that, I don't know what's funny about it? Easyjet, Virgin Atlantic and also SAS are training volunteer cabin crew to perform basic tasks on and around patients.


I messed up my posting. I couldn't figure out how to do an embedded picture. I tried to upload a picture of the sick girl in the movie Airplane!; the cabin crew is singing to her and they accidentally disconnect her IV. This was just a joke.
 
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:39 pm

Bradin wrote:
The idea won't fly. It's probably far cheaper to convert a greenspace and setup makeshift tents with generators and air conditioning with probably double or triple the space.

The time spent converting greenspace is far quicker because the conversion process does not require taking out seats and AVODs and putting everything back together again.


You will have many problems.
Toilets, water, power, climate and environmental control, weather, insects, logistics, fire safety (oxygen), etc...
An ICU needs to offer a protected environment where medical staff have nothing to worry about but the patients.

A tent that wobbles with the wind while moskitoes fly around and ants and rodents crawl around is not an option for an ICU.
 
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:53 pm

Is the advantage of an aircraft hospital being it can be positively pressured?
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remingtonbox
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:53 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
This is what I have been proposing from the beginning.

It doesn't take long to convert an aircraft to an ICU.
Climate control through the APU is just fine, it doesn't cost that much to run the APU. Fuel is cheap anyway, GPU's can also be used.
AC power is just plug and play, can be tapped fromnthe aircraft's electrical system or wired in from airport terminals.
Aircraft cabin environmental control can provide better air filtration than any of the above mentionned facilities.

Aircraft are modular and can easily be fitted with panels for compartimentation.
Putting beds in hangars and stadiums is much more complicated than you think. It takes a lot of manpower, time and forward planning. Even simple things like seats/chairs or storage space is not easy to acquire.
Power supply, air conditioning, environmental control, lighting, water, bathrooms, compartimentation, catering, staff,
Aircraft are essentially plug and play facilities.

ICU beds fit through widebody doors, most are transported in dismantled state anyway.

Exposition centers are great too, as they have lots of these facilities, but you can't fly them around, only big metropolitan cities would have meaningful facilities. Still not easy to get them set up without a lot of forward planning.
Aircraft still win on environmental control.

I'm not sure the A380 is the best choice, haven't thought about it.

This is not expensive, it can be done easily, quickly.
Maintenance staff can be called in to prepare the aircraft, 2-3 days for basic readiness for a A330/B777 tyoe aircraft, a bit longer for full deployment perhaps.

Medevac helicopters can land next to such aircraft to bring in patients.

Plenty of space for nurses and doctors to relax and take a rest.

It's obvious.


There has to be no way you are serious.

It's not cheap or efficient to run a GPU/APU.
It's not 2-3 days to get ready, there is no such modular system currently available that can be deployed within days. It'll probably take 6 months at best to design.

I'd wager its cheaper to convert any building out there to house ICU units than it is for the fuel alone this idea would consume.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:56 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Bradin wrote:
The idea won't fly. It's probably far cheaper to convert a greenspace and setup makeshift tents with generators and air conditioning with probably double or triple the space.

The time spent converting greenspace is far quicker because the conversion process does not require taking out seats and AVODs and putting everything back together again.


You will have many problems.
Toilets, water, power, climate and environmental control, weather, insects, logistics, fire safety (oxygen), etc...
An ICU needs to offer a protected environment where medical staff have nothing to worry about but the patients.

A tent that wobbles with the wind while moskitoes fly around and ants and rodents crawl around is not an option for an ICU.

The majority of airports that can accomodate a widebody have buildings called terminals and hangars that provide all the amenities you listed. Even developing countries in Africa or Asia have plenty of currently unused halls, hotels etc. that would be far better as an interim hospital than a cramped aircraft interior. (and if they don't, I'm quite sure that covid19 is the least of their worries)
And that's without looking at the need for trained medical personnel to operate ICU's and the cost of the ICU's themselves. Real estate is the easiest and cheapest part of medical care.
 
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:59 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
enilria wrote:
Where do you put the interiors? They have to be indoor. Why not use whatever space that would be as ICU space and save all the trouble? Is there a shortage of empty warehouses?

The group, calling themselves Caircraft, believe that big aircraft like A380s and A340s, which are grounded due to coronavirus travel restrictions, could be stripped down and refitted with ICU beds and equipment in seven to ten days.

Between 100-150 beds could fit on each aircraft depending on the size of the jet under the group's design plans, and it is now waiting for government support for funding and coordination.

Under the Caircraft plans, which the group has been working on for a week, the aircraft would first fly to the place where they were to be needed, before being fitted out. They would not move once treating patients.

"What we don't want to do is to be a flying hospital. The regulatory issues regarding that are just too great," said Dyne.

The group say the advantage of using planes is that not only are they mobile and there are plenty of them now available, but also that their filtered, one-way airflow systems mirror those of an operating theatre.


https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04 ... craft.html


Why would you want to spend money destroying an asset worth 200 million dollars to do what an empty warehouse or factory could do much better?

Yes, or an indoor sports area, conference center, or gym.
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Bradin
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:05 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Bradin wrote:
The idea won't fly. It's probably far cheaper to convert a greenspace and setup makeshift tents with generators and air conditioning with probably double or triple the space.

The time spent converting greenspace is far quicker because the conversion process does not require taking out seats and AVODs and putting everything back together again.


You will have many problems.
Toilets, water, power, climate and environmental control, weather, insects, logistics, fire safety (oxygen), etc...
An ICU needs to offer a protected environment where medical staff have nothing to worry about but the patients.

A tent that wobbles with the wind while moskitoes fly around and ants and rodents crawl around is not an option for an ICU.


Those problems have been solved long time ago. It's called army field hospitals.

We're also already seeing hospitals being built in green spaces like Central Park and in existing spaces like Convention Centers.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... 094590002/

https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus ... hotos.html
 
peterinlisbon
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:15 pm

I think everyone agrees that an empty building would be far more practical, given that there is no need at all for these medical facilities to fly around the world. A380s could be used to help deliver medical equipment, but even there I think they'd be beaten by on cost and efficiency by dedicated cargo aircraft.
 
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:15 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
This is what I have been proposing from the beginning.

It doesn't take long to convert an aircraft to an ICU.


What about medgas (compressed air, suction, 100% O2...they will need a lot of O2 for this)? Is this something that can be easily arranged in an airliner? Presumably they'd have to install oxygen concentrators. Then there is wastewater disposal. There wll be a *lot* of wastewater full of infectious virus particles from toilets, airway suction, etc. Hospitals have systems for these things.

I think that as long as nobody is using airports and other fixed buildings, many of these services can be installed into those places. That said, the A380 could be used to transport supplies, especially if they can pull the seats.

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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:17 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
Why would you want to spend money destroying an asset worth 200 million dollars to do what an empty warehouse or factory could do much better?


I was thinking the same. The world is not short of big empty indoor spaces. Even remote African cities usually have an airport with at least a couple of hangars and warehouses.

Come to think of it, most of those places that really need it probably couldn't accommodate an A340 or A380 anyway.
 
Gwened
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:26 pm

On a side note, France is moving patients between regions using special-converted high-speed trains (TGVs).
This is called Operation Chardon. In these double-deck trainsets, the lower level is for the patient beds (4 per carriage), whereas the upper level is reserved for medical staff (6 per carriage). There is also some space dedicated to tech staff (they even have an electrician on board to repair ICUs if needed). They say that these trains run more smoothly in order to reduce G forces compared to commercial operations.

https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-servi ... nt-1191859 (in French)
 
musman9853
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:42 pm

DL747400 wrote:
This has got to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I've seen since this crisis began, and there have been a few. This group just lost all credibility, IMO. And the NY Times, well....



It's not the times. It's a newswire report from Reuters
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WayexTDI
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:51 pm

Gwened wrote:
On a side note, France is moving patients between regions using special-converted high-speed trains (TGVs).
This is called Operation Chardon. In these double-deck trainsets, the lower level is for the patient beds (4 per carriage), whereas the upper level is reserved for medical staff (6 per carriage). There is also some space dedicated to tech staff (they even have an electrician on board to repair ICUs if needed). They say that these trains run more smoothly in order to reduce G forces compared to commercial operations.

https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-servi ... nt-1191859 (in French)

Yes. But the TGVs are used as "rail ambulances", not as ICUs; similar to what was done a couple of weeks ago using the A330MRTT Phenix to transport patients from the Mulhouse area to Istres.
 
Antarius
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:08 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Gwened wrote:
On a side note, France is moving patients between regions using special-converted high-speed trains (TGVs).
This is called Operation Chardon. In these double-deck trainsets, the lower level is for the patient beds (4 per carriage), whereas the upper level is reserved for medical staff (6 per carriage). There is also some space dedicated to tech staff (they even have an electrician on board to repair ICUs if needed). They say that these trains run more smoothly in order to reduce G forces compared to commercial operations.

https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-servi ... nt-1191859 (in French)

Yes. But the TGVs are used as "rail ambulances", not as ICUs; similar to what was done a couple of weeks ago using the A330MRTT Phenix to transport patients from the Mulhouse area to Istres.


This. There's a huge difference between converting aircraft and trains as transport mechanisms, and making them static hospitals. France isn't parking TGV trains at Gare de Lyon and leaving them there.
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Mortyman
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:51 pm

Why Airbus 340 and Airbus 380 ? why not Boeing 747 ?
 
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DL747400
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:13 pm

remingtonbox wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
This is what I have been proposing from the beginning.

It doesn't take long to convert an aircraft to an ICU.
Climate control through the APU is just fine, it doesn't cost that much to run the APU. Fuel is cheap anyway, GPU's can also be used.
AC power is just plug and play, can be tapped fromnthe aircraft's electrical system or wired in from airport terminals.
Aircraft cabin environmental control can provide better air filtration than any of the above mentionned facilities.

Aircraft are modular and can easily be fitted with panels for compartimentation.
Putting beds in hangars and stadiums is much more complicated than you think. It takes a lot of manpower, time and forward planning. Even simple things like seats/chairs or storage space is not easy to acquire.
Power supply, air conditioning, environmental control, lighting, water, bathrooms, compartimentation, catering, staff,
Aircraft are essentially plug and play facilities.

ICU beds fit through widebody doors, most are transported in dismantled state anyway.

Exposition centers are great too, as they have lots of these facilities, but you can't fly them around, only big metropolitan cities would have meaningful facilities. Still not easy to get them set up without a lot of forward planning.
Aircraft still win on environmental control.

I'm not sure the A380 is the best choice, haven't thought about it.

This is not expensive, it can be done easily, quickly.
Maintenance staff can be called in to prepare the aircraft, 2-3 days for basic readiness for a A330/B777 tyoe aircraft, a bit longer for full deployment perhaps.

Medevac helicopters can land next to such aircraft to bring in patients.

Plenty of space for nurses and doctors to relax and take a rest.

It's obvious.


There has to be no way you are serious.

It's not cheap or efficient to run a GPU/APU.
It's not 2-3 days to get ready, there is no such modular system currently available that can be deployed within days. It'll probably take 6 months at best to design.

I'd wager its cheaper to convert any building out there to house ICU units than it is for the fuel alone this idea would consume.


The issues you point out are just a few of many flaws and fallacies in the above post as well as the article posted by the OP. They make everything sound so simple when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Ask anyone in the medical profession about the idea and they will laugh out loud at the very notion. The world is absolutely filled with existing ground-based structures which would be infinitely more suited and could be (and already ARE being) converted to COVID hospitals much easier, much faster and at much lower cost. Logic and common sense seem to be taking an extended holiday these days.
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cpd
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:14 pm

Mortyman wrote:
Why Airbus 340 and Airbus 380 ? why not Boeing 747 ?


I’m guessing because easily accessible 747 aircraft are pretty much gone and the A380 being parked is the first thing that entered the minds of some of these types.
 
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DL747400
Posts: 931
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:04 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:18 pm

musman9853 wrote:
DL747400 wrote:
This has got to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I've seen since this crisis began, and there have been a few. This group just lost all credibility, IMO. And the NY Times, well....



It's not the times. It's a newswire report from Reuters


No difference. The NYT simply did a copy & paste and republished under their URL. Not unlike a lot of the weekly threads and other content on a.net.
From First to Worst: The history of Airliners.net.

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travelhound
Posts: 2008
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 9:13 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:26 pm

Antarius wrote:
DL747400 wrote:
This has got to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I've seen since this crisis began, and there have been a few. This group just lost all credibility, IMO. And the NY Times, well....


This is akin to the weekly a.net save-the-a380 threads with increasingly ludicrous suggestions.


For any new ICU, Air-conditioning will be the pacing item.

The air-conditioning systems in aircraft are comparable to those in operating theaters, they are available, highly mobile and will be ready for use once the plane lands in its intended destination.

I can't think of any other ICU alternative (other than mobile military hospitals, which are existing and warehoused) that could meet the immediate needs of the worldwide community.

Remember many countries are still at the start of the pandemic curve. With outbreaks in other regions (Africa), the logistics of building temporary hospital ICU's will be very challenging.

I think it is a great idea.
 
2175301
Posts: 1763
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:19 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:43 pm

It is far more effective and quicker to use military field hospital units for ICU's - even if it has to be tent based (the ICU"s are then a tent within a tent). The world militaries can deploy about 100 field hospitals with multiple ICU units world wide and have them set up and operating in a few days to a week. They already have the supplies.

I believe that these people have no idea what kind of air flow and air filtering would be required. You'd have to knock out windows (or cut holes) to provide adequte ventilation for an ICU (and likely for each or each pair of ICU beds).

People should research what it took to convert modern oil tankers into the USNS Comfort and Mercy. I think it was about a 4 year project per ship (after the design was done) and hundreds of millions of dollars per ship. Those ships have fully functional ICU units to modern standards (but only a limited number per ship - most of the 1000 beds are just hospital rooms without a view). They do have a intake screening triage unit that makes most hospital emergency room personal envious as they were designed to handle battle and war casualties with a large number of new civilian and military patients showing up with all kinds of different issues at once well beyond what most hospitals are designed for (the ER Dr i know who toured one of them was amazed at the triage unit - at the same time humbled because he realized that in certain war situations that even it would likely not be big enough - and was so thankful that the designers of those ships planned so well).

Right now most of the world is using existing buildings. That will work just fine.

Have a great day,
 
Waterbomber2
Posts: 1206
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:44 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:00 pm

DL747400 wrote:
remingtonbox wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
This is what I have been proposing from the beginning.

It doesn't take long to convert an aircraft to an ICU.
Climate control through the APU is just fine, it doesn't cost that much to run the APU. Fuel is cheap anyway, GPU's can also be used.
AC power is just plug and play, can be tapped fromnthe aircraft's electrical system or wired in from airport terminals.
Aircraft cabin environmental control can provide better air filtration than any of the above mentionned facilities.

Aircraft are modular and can easily be fitted with panels for compartimentation.
Putting beds in hangars and stadiums is much more complicated than you think. It takes a lot of manpower, time and forward planning. Even simple things like seats/chairs or storage space is not easy to acquire.
Power supply, air conditioning, environmental control, lighting, water, bathrooms, compartimentation, catering, staff,
Aircraft are essentially plug and play facilities.

ICU beds fit through widebody doors, most are transported in dismantled state anyway.

Exposition centers are great too, as they have lots of these facilities, but you can't fly them around, only big metropolitan cities would have meaningful facilities. Still not easy to get them set up without a lot of forward planning.
Aircraft still win on environmental control.

I'm not sure the A380 is the best choice, haven't thought about it.

This is not expensive, it can be done easily, quickly.
Maintenance staff can be called in to prepare the aircraft, 2-3 days for basic readiness for a A330/B777 tyoe aircraft, a bit longer for full deployment perhaps.

Medevac helicopters can land next to such aircraft to bring in patients.

Plenty of space for nurses and doctors to relax and take a rest.

It's obvious.


There has to be no way you are serious.

It's not cheap or efficient to run a GPU/APU.
It's not 2-3 days to get ready, there is no such modular system currently available that can be deployed within days. It'll probably take 6 months at best to design.

I'd wager its cheaper to convert any building out there to house ICU units than it is for the fuel alone this idea would consume.


The issues you point out are just a few of many flaws and fallacies in the above post as well as the article posted by the OP. They make everything sound so simple when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Ask anyone in the medical profession about the idea and they will laugh out loud at the very notion. The world is absolutely filled with existing ground-based structures which would be infinitely more suited and could be (and already ARE being) converted to COVID hospitals much easier, much faster and at much lower cost. Logic and common sense seem to be taking an extended holiday these days.


So why don't you list the many flaws of the idea?
All I see is empty words, no substance.

It is very simple, and I can tell you that with my aircraft maintenance certificates and experience held up high.
It takes one shift to remove the seats. Overhead bins can stay to provide lighting and air.
Seat tracks can be used to install panels very quickly to build compartments.
Air conditioning ducts can be extended to feed plastic air bubbles placed over patients' heads directly, same for air they exhale.

In some instances, business class seats can be used as-is as ICU beds considering how they fold into similar positions as ICU beds and have privacy partitions.

O2 tanks present for flight crews, the lines can be extended to feed each station, and can be refilled safely from outside instead of having loose portable bottles all over the place which present a risk.

BA is sending a bunch of B744's for retirement. They can start with those.


Running the APU is not as expensive as you imply.
It will be somewhere around 200 USD in fuel per hour, 4800 USD per day on something like a B747-400 at current fuel prices, providing both power and bleed air,
That is nothing in the current situation. I remind you that the US are distributing 2 trillion dollars.
You could run a B744 APU for 1 million years with that money or the entire global commercial fleet's APU's for a century to give you some perspective.
The governments will happily provide the fuel too.

So it looks like people are reacting here without thinking it through.

When different people come to the same conclusions, it means that there is substance to it.

On February 22nd I wrote:

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Aither wrote:
I wonder what airlines can do under such event to reduce their losses. Obviously the easy answer is stop flying & force the staff to leave/trainings/voluntary leaves....but what else ?

- Anticipated aircraft maintenance ?
- Increasing capacity to new destinations if possible ?
- Increase tag ends destinations ?
- Lease aircraft to other airlines (but who ?)
- Play with revenue management (less flights but higher fares as the ones who are traveling probably really need to travel).
- Delay aircraft deliveries and earlier phase out of older air frames ?
- Fuel hedging to partially compensate the current losses by higher profits in the future ?
- Capture transit traffic of other airlines having stopped many of their operations ?
Other things ?

Certainly after such a crisis there will be big losers but also winners. Maintaining capacity these days can make the airline go bankrupt or make it a winner when the market will be back.



Airlines in the heavily hit area's should start considering offering their assets to combat this crisis.

-Aircraft assets:
Aircraft are perfect as isolation facilities, clinical environment control can be achieved. It will be safer for medical professionals too and will reduce secondary infections.
Aircraft cabins typical suck air back out at floor level on the sidewalls, so this strongly reduces the amount of infectious air cycling around the mouth and nose level.
Remove seats and start installing walls to build compartments. It' s faster than building pseudo-hospitals wherein construction workers are exposed to possible infections and the roofs are leaking, no compartments are present.
Remaining aircraft used as charters, flying ambulances to move patients around to provincial facilities with capacity.
Hundreds, thousands of aircraft grounded = a lot of capacity.

-People assets:
Train voluntary cabin and flight crew to perform basic care duties in support of shorthanded nurses and doctors.

-Catering facilities: obviously, provide meals to the aircraft used as isolation facilities.

-Infrastructures:
Maintenance buildings: Use as area's for disinfection of crews returning from aircraft, general laundry and logistics, support base for the crews working the aircraft. They are huge, so they are convenient and allow to reduce close contact.
HQ's operate as the brains of the whole operation. Organise charter flights to move patients around to facilities where capacity is available.


What's in it for the airlines? Quicker crisis resolution and they can get paid big money by the governments plus marketing impact.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 4895
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:29 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
This is what I have been proposing from the beginning.

It doesn't take long to convert an aircraft to an ICU.
Climate control through the APU is just fine, it doesn't cost that much to run the APU. Fuel is cheap anyway, GPU's can also be used.
AC power is just plug and play, can be tapped fromnthe aircraft's electrical system or wired in from airport terminals.
Aircraft cabin environmental control can provide better air filtration than any of the above mentionned facilities.

Aircraft are modular and can easily be fitted with panels for compartimentation.
Putting beds in hangars and stadiums is much more complicated than you think. It takes a lot of manpower, time and forward planning. Even simple things like seats/chairs or storage space is not easy to acquire.
Power supply, air conditioning, environmental control, lighting, water, bathrooms, compartimentation, catering, staff,
Aircraft are essentially plug and play facilities.

ICU beds fit through widebody doors, most are transported in dismantled state anyway.

Exposition centers are great too, as they have lots of these facilities, but you can't fly them around, only big metropolitan cities would have meaningful facilities. Still not easy to get them set up without a lot of forward planning.
Aircraft still win on environmental control.

I'm not sure the A380 is the best choice, haven't thought about it.

This is not expensive, it can be done easily, quickly.
Maintenance staff can be called in to prepare the aircraft, 2-3 days for basic readiness for a A330/B777 tyoe aircraft, a bit longer for full deployment perhaps.

Medevac helicopters can land next to such aircraft to bring in patients.

Plenty of space for nurses and doctors to relax and take a rest.

It's obvious.

this looks like a save the A380 at any cost type of post. It could be done just as well and cheaper converting 747-400's to a cargo config then leaving them where they sit after positioning them. they could then build Ground based Air conditioning Units from multiple window air conditioners and power the airplane from local power routed through a converter to step up the frequency to 400Hz at 115-120 VAC. Since they're scrapping a lot of 747's anyway! and once they're in place? they could evacuate the wing tanks. remove the vertical stabilizer cut off the wings and place the fuselage permanently on steel and concrete footings then remove the landing gear after the fuselage is in place permanently. On a field the size of a football field anywhere in the world you could place at least 16 fuselages and permanently mount them there once the outer wings outboard of the #2 and #3 engines are removed with the vertical and Horizontal stabilizers and the fuselage aft of the rear pressure bulkhead . And? since the airplane is already going to be scrapped? what could anyone Lose other than the scrapper? and even they would make some money!
 
planecane
Posts: 1559
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:32 pm

c933103 wrote:
Is the advantage of an aircraft hospital being it can be positively pressured?


That would be a disadvantage. You want negative pressure to keep the microbes in.

This whole idea is stupid. The issue with an ICU is the medical equipment and personnel, not the space.
 
Bradin
Posts: 348
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:12 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:52 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
DL747400 wrote:
remingtonbox wrote:

There has to be no way you are serious.

It's not cheap or efficient to run a GPU/APU.
It's not 2-3 days to get ready, there is no such modular system currently available that can be deployed within days. It'll probably take 6 months at best to design.

I'd wager its cheaper to convert any building out there to house ICU units than it is for the fuel alone this idea would consume.


The issues you point out are just a few of many flaws and fallacies in the above post as well as the article posted by the OP. They make everything sound so simple when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Ask anyone in the medical profession about the idea and they will laugh out loud at the very notion. The world is absolutely filled with existing ground-based structures which would be infinitely more suited and could be (and already ARE being) converted to COVID hospitals much easier, much faster and at much lower cost. Logic and common sense seem to be taking an extended holiday these days.


So why don't you list the many flaws of the idea?
All I see is empty words, no substance.

It is very simple, and I can tell you that with my aircraft maintenance certificates and experience held up high.
It takes one shift to remove the seats. Overhead bins can stay to provide lighting and air.
Seat tracks can be used to install panels very quickly to build compartments.
Air conditioning ducts can be extended to feed plastic air bubbles placed over patients' heads directly, same for air they exhale.

In some instances, business class seats can be used as-is as ICU beds considering how they fold into similar positions as ICU beds and have privacy partitions.

O2 tanks present for flight crews, the lines can be extended to feed each station, and can be refilled safely from outside instead of having loose portable bottles all over the place which present a risk.

BA is sending a bunch of B744's for retirement. They can start with those.


Running the APU is not as expensive as you imply.
It will be somewhere around 200 USD in fuel per hour, 4800 USD per day on something like a B747-400 at current fuel prices, providing both power and bleed air,
That is nothing in the current situation. I remind you that the US are distributing 2 trillion dollars.
You could run a B744 APU for 1 million years with that money or the entire global commercial fleet's APU's for a century to give you some perspective.
The governments will happily provide the fuel too.

So it looks like people are reacting here without thinking it through.

When different people come to the same conclusions, it means that there is substance to it.

On February 22nd I wrote:

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Aither wrote:
I wonder what airlines can do under such event to reduce their losses. Obviously the easy answer is stop flying & force the staff to leave/trainings/voluntary leaves....but what else ?

- Anticipated aircraft maintenance ?
- Increasing capacity to new destinations if possible ?
- Increase tag ends destinations ?
- Lease aircraft to other airlines (but who ?)
- Play with revenue management (less flights but higher fares as the ones who are traveling probably really need to travel).
- Delay aircraft deliveries and earlier phase out of older air frames ?
- Fuel hedging to partially compensate the current losses by higher profits in the future ?
- Capture transit traffic of other airlines having stopped many of their operations ?
Other things ?

Certainly after such a crisis there will be big losers but also winners. Maintaining capacity these days can make the airline go bankrupt or make it a winner when the market will be back.



Airlines in the heavily hit area's should start considering offering their assets to combat this crisis.

-Aircraft assets:
Aircraft are perfect as isolation facilities, clinical environment control can be achieved. It will be safer for medical professionals too and will reduce secondary infections.
Aircraft cabins typical suck air back out at floor level on the sidewalls, so this strongly reduces the amount of infectious air cycling around the mouth and nose level.
Remove seats and start installing walls to build compartments. It' s faster than building pseudo-hospitals wherein construction workers are exposed to possible infections and the roofs are leaking, no compartments are present.
Remaining aircraft used as charters, flying ambulances to move patients around to provincial facilities with capacity.
Hundreds, thousands of aircraft grounded = a lot of capacity.

-People assets:
Train voluntary cabin and flight crew to perform basic care duties in support of shorthanded nurses and doctors.

-Catering facilities: obviously, provide meals to the aircraft used as isolation facilities.

-Infrastructures:
Maintenance buildings: Use as area's for disinfection of crews returning from aircraft, general laundry and logistics, support base for the crews working the aircraft. They are huge, so they are convenient and allow to reduce close contact.
HQ's operate as the brains of the whole operation. Organise charter flights to move patients around to facilities where capacity is available.


What's in it for the airlines? Quicker crisis resolution and they can get paid big money by the governments plus marketing impact.


<In a Dr. Leonard McCoy voice>

But Waterbomber2.... with all do respect - you're an aircraft maintenance specialist, not a doctor.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4204
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:24 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
So why don't you list the many flaws of the idea?
All I see is empty words, no substance.


I'll start:

How do you propose to get people in and out of the aircraft to begin with? Sick, bed-ridden and often unconscious patients in particular.
 
COSPN
Posts: 1801
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 6:33 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:29 pm

Never be allowed in the USA too many fire code and sanitary violations.. Mabe a good idea I’m Africa or someplace
 
Antarius
Posts: 2134
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:21 pm

travelhound wrote:
Antarius wrote:
DL747400 wrote:
This has got to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I've seen since this crisis began, and there have been a few. This group just lost all credibility, IMO. And the NY Times, well....


This is akin to the weekly a.net save-the-a380 threads with increasingly ludicrous suggestions.


For any new ICU, Air-conditioning will be the pacing item.

The air-conditioning systems in aircraft are comparable to those in operating theaters, they are available, highly mobile and will be ready for use once the plane lands in its intended destination.

I can't think of any other ICU alternative (other than mobile military hospitals, which are existing and warehoused) that could meet the immediate needs of the worldwide community.

Remember many countries are still at the start of the pandemic curve. With outbreaks in other regions (Africa), the logistics of building temporary hospital ICU's will be very challenging.

I think it is a great idea.


You just solved it with the bolded above. This a380 idea is about as convoluted as converting cruise ships and putting them on wheels.

Quads are dead.
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
Antarius
Posts: 2134
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:27 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
DL747400 wrote:
remingtonbox wrote:
So why don't you list the many flaws of the idea?
All I see is empty words, no substance.


The market has decided the a380 is dead. Airbus has agreed that the world has decided the a380 is dead. I repeat, the a380 is dead. If we had great use cases for the a380, the market and the manufacturer would not have decided to end production a sorry 13 years after EIS.

These posts remind me of the Microsoft Zune fanboys who kept claiming it is the next big thing.
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
Armodeen
Posts: 1265
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:17 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:30 pm

Generally the problem is not suitable space, but staff and equipment. At least in developed countries.
 
travelhound
Posts: 2008
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 9:13 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:26 am

Armodeen wrote:
Generally the problem is not suitable space, but staff and equipment. At least in developed countries.


....... and disease control.

Standard box air-conditioners or HVAC systems used in large commercial buildings are not suitable for ICU applications. HVAC systems for medical facilities have additional requirements to remove odors, limit cross filtration (to other areas), filter airborne micro-organisms and viruses and control humidity, heating and cooling.

Aircraft HVAC systems generally meet the above criteria in a diverse range of environments (hot and humid / cold and dry, etc.).

As aircraft are generally have enough systems in place to be self sufficient, the ease in which an aircraft can be mobilized and modified for such a role should be logistically a straight forward process.

The advantage of the A380 over other aircraft could be its double decker design. For instance the lower deck could be used as a triage, out-patient, pharmacy and the upper deck for ICU, nursing stations, morgue, etc.

The other advantage of the A380 solution could revolve around isolation of Coronavirus patients. It has been suggested Singapore's success in controlling the disease revolves around their policy to isolate all cases in hotels, regardless of the seriousness of the patients conditions or ability to self isolate. Treating patients away from major population centres (airfields) could be an additional control.

The military has a palletised hospital system that converts C130 cargo aircraft into a semi flying hospital. As such, this type of solution isn't new.

We have to remember there are a couple of stages to the Coronavirus. If health care systems are inadequate or are unable to control the spread of the disease, this could result in the proliferation of other diseases within the community.

I don't care how crazy some people think it is, I like the idea of reprioritised A380's to help fight this pandemic.

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