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2175301
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:19 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:21 am

travelhound wrote:
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.



I believe that you are very wrong on your concept that Aircraft HVAC systems generally meet the criteria for ICU air filtration. Having looked at the specifications for hospitals I cannot imagine that an aircraft has the room necessary for the high air volume HEPA and Activated Carbon filters required for ICU. I doubt that Airliners even have the level of HEPA and Activated filters I have in my house due to my pollen/mold allergy issues (and I know how big those are). What makes flying aircraft safe from me is that there is almost no atmospheric pollen & mold above 20,000 ft.

It would require for each ICU bed (or perhaps pair of beds) removal of 2 window and installing extra air movement and filtration equipment; and then powering them - along with powering all the other ICU equipment.

Now for non ICU cases... perhaps it makes sense to use a large aircraft body to set up quick space (once the seats are removed) in places with minimal buildings.

Have a great day,
 
PhilMcCrackin
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:07 am

I can't speak for the rest of the world, although I suspect it's the same in first world Europe and Asia, but the problem isn't the lack of beds or facilities - it's the lack of equipment. PPE, vents, even the pharmaceuticals used to sedate patients while they're on the vent - it's all in short supply.

And even if there were a need, it'd be much cheaper to convert a hotel ballroom or a sports arena into a mass ICU than it would be an airplane.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:37 am

PhilMcCrackin wrote:
And even if there were a need, it'd be much cheaper to convert a hotel ballroom or a sports arena into a mass ICU than it would be an airplane.

This makes more sense. But it is the shortages of medicine, doctors, nurses, oxygen systems, IVs, and health monitors (machines that go beep).

Sadly, the areas that need help need 5000+ beds, not 42 business class seats.

Lightsaber
IM messages to mods on warnings and bans will be ignored and nasty ones will result in a ban.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:51 am

It is easy to convert any hotel into a field hospital. Most hotels have either window a/c units or split a/c units, and not having central air conditioning makes it easy to make hotel rooms into isolation rooms, or even negative pressure rooms,
All posts are just opinions.
 
ABpositive
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:56 am

For a moment I thought the article was published on April 1st...
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:25 am

dtw2hyd wrote:
It is easy to convert any hotel into a field hospital. Most hotels have either window a/c units or split a/c units, and not having central air conditioning makes it easy to make hotel rooms into isolation rooms, or even negative pressure rooms,


The problem with hotels' climate control is that they are closed recirculating systems where the air is recycled.
If vents are installed, usually hidden around or into the windows, they are of the natural aspiration type, also called trickle vents, not forced circulation like on aircraft.
The only type of circulation is air sucked by the air vents in bathrooms, but they suck air from everywhere, ie from the hallways among others.
As for negative pressure, it's not possible, hotel doors are designed to fire standards and will only achieve the kind of sealing you talk about when heated. So air will come in from the hallways, but also through the windows, which are either fitted with trickle vents or leak naturally.

Aircraft environment control allows 100% of air to be circulated. Some may require light modifications for that but it will always be possible.
It's also very easy to install HEPA (carbon) filters but they are not needed if you don't recirculate because you are changing the air constantly with "RAM" air, so that's nonsense as far as filtring the virus is concerned.
Last edited by Waterbomber2 on Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
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JetBuddy
Posts: 2567
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:34 am

SAS can convert a 737-800 into a flying hospital with 12 beds in only six hours. And half the beds are intensive care beds.

Image from training last year:

Image

From Facebook Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/367990506625644/
 
2175301
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:19 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:59 am

JetBuddy wrote:
SAS can convert a 737-800 into a flying hospital with 12 beds in only six hours. And half the beds are intensive care beds.

Image from training last year:
(See Image above)
From Facebook Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/367990506625644/


That's only because they have an existing stockpile of all needed supplies to outfit 1 aircraft. Similar to how the military has field hospitals all containerized and ready to go.

There are no huge stockpile of the equipment you need to convert most aircraft (unless you have perhaps millions of dollars of such stuff stashed in a warehouse and specified to have the needed clips to clip into the aircraft floors).

Have a great day,
 
Waterbomber2
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:44 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:01 am

2175301 wrote:
travelhound wrote:
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.



I believe that you are very wrong on your concept that Aircraft HVAC systems generally meet the criteria for ICU air filtration. Having looked at the specifications for hospitals I cannot imagine that an aircraft has the room necessary for the high air volume HEPA and Activated Carbon filters required for ICU. I doubt that Airliners even have the level of HEPA and Activated filters I have in my house due to my pollen/mold allergy issues (and I know how big those are). What makes flying aircraft safe from me is that there is almost no atmospheric pollen & mold above 20,000 ft.

It would require for each ICU bed (or perhaps pair of beds) removal of 2 window and installing extra air movement and filtration equipment; and then powering them - along with powering all the other ICU equipment.

Now for non ICU cases... perhaps it makes sense to use a large aircraft body to set up quick space (once the seats are removed) in places with minimal buildings.

Have a great day,



I think that you are missing many elements in coming to your conclusion.

-You don't need a HEPA filter for pollen and mold, HEPA filters are meant for particles 0.3 microns or larger. Pollen and mold are at least 10 times larger than that. In fact, your HEPA filters will get clogged pretty easily in a pollen-rich environment, you would have to use a pollenfilter before the HEPA filter or unnecessarily huge HEPA filters. Some luxury cars hence have a pre-filter for pollen.
But hey, if you want you can change filters everyday, no problem at all.

Image

https://airqualityindoors.com/Images/particlesize.jpg

-Aircraft have very powerful air cycle machines or A/C packs, usually 2 per aircraft.
The only reason that aircraft recirculate air, is because of pressurisation at altitude. If you don't recirculate, the bleed air requirements under pressurisation would be huge and lead to increased fuel burn.

Image

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JrPLRkq8oz0/ ... 40-600.jpg

And if you don't want to use the APU, you can bring in electrical or fuel-operated compressors.
I'm not sure that air-starters are designed to provide continuous flow for days on end but it probably depends on the loads they are designed to handle.


The poster you are replying to has it right.

Aircraft also have the advantage that air is blown in from the ceiling and sucked out at cabin floor level.
This greatly reduces the risk for medical staff and improves air quality for patients as it reduces the amount of virus particles at nose and mouth level.



As for transporting patients into the aircraft, how do you think that wheelchair passengers are wheeled onto aircraft day in day out?

Image

https://img.aeroexpo.online/images_ar/p ... 438456.jpg


Come on guys, you guys are talking like people from the countryside who have never seen aircraft and airport operations.
 
Waterbomber2
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:44 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:26 am

2175301 wrote:
JetBuddy wrote:
SAS can convert a 737-800 into a flying hospital with 12 beds in only six hours. And half the beds are intensive care beds.

Image from training last year:
(See Image above)
From Facebook Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/367990506625644/


That's only because they have an existing stockpile of all needed supplies to outfit 1 aircraft. Similar to how the military has field hospitals all containerized and ready to go.

There are no huge stockpile of the equipment you need to convert most aircraft (unless you have perhaps millions of dollars of such stuff stashed in a warehouse and specified to have the needed clips to clip into the aircraft floors).

Have a great day,


You don't need huge stockpiles of anything.
Even ICU beds are not necessary as many business and first class seats (ok, the too narrow ones may not qualify) work in a similar way, the beds are already there, ready to be used.
You can also choose to use only the premium class sections for the patients, so in that regard, I can see why an A380 would be attractive, as it is often fitted with huge premium sections.

Come to think of it, this is also a huge advantage of aircraft vs expo centers and hotels.
Specialised hospital beds that fold up may also be scarce, aircraft have them standard in the premium classes.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4257
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:43 am

Waterbomber2 wrote:
As for transporting patients into the aircraft, how do you think that wheelchair passengers are wheeled onto aircraft day in day out?

Image



That's not the sort of equipment they have available at a place where this "solution" is needed.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2167
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:46 am

2175301 wrote:
travelhound wrote:
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.



I believe that you are very wrong on your concept that Aircraft HVAC systems generally meet the criteria for ICU air filtration. Having looked at the specifications for hospitals I cannot imagine that an aircraft has the room necessary for the high air volume HEPA and Activated Carbon filters required for ICU. I doubt that Airliners even have the level of HEPA and Activated filters I have in my house due to my pollen/mold allergy issues (and I know how big those are). What makes flying aircraft safe from me is that there is almost no atmospheric pollen & mold above 20,000 ft.

It would require for each ICU bed (or perhaps pair of beds) removal of 2 window and installing extra air movement and filtration equipment; and then powering them - along with powering all the other ICU equipment.

Now for non ICU cases... perhaps it makes sense to use a large aircraft body to set up quick space (once the seats are removed) in places with minimal buildings.

Have a great day,


[/quote]

I am designing some HVAC changes for an 16 year old outpatient surgery center to meet the new codes that have come into effect. The big item on this project is incorporating humidification and dehumidification that was not put in initially as the 30% to 60% RH usually doesn't require treatment outside of shutting down the economizer. Getting out of range even briefly gets written up, being out of range for a few days could result in suspension of the operating license. The requirements are many steps above normal HVAC.

Why? Controlling infections and contagion is critical for proper medicine. One can operate on a picnic table, but the infection rate will be sky high. To comply with the US regulations for an operating room the air is in specific downflow pattern over the exact table location so the air above the patient is direct and prevents air around the staff from flow toward the patient. OR's require 20 air changes per hour of which 25% is filtered outside air, the return air ducts are at the corners of the room 6" up from the floor. A 3 OR surgery center with recovery, waiting room, prep spaces, staff, linen storage, cleaning, etc takes 12,600 CFM of conditioned air, 100 kW of cooling, 150#/hr of humidifier steam, and 500#/hr dehumidifier capacity. The system must operate 24/7 at the stated design conditions except in off hours the outside air may be reduced from 4,200 CFM to only 1,800 CFM. Changing temperatures and/or humidity in the off hours may shorten the life of supplies, cause damp surfaces (anything over 60% RH is a germ farm) and most importantly violate the room differential pressures. Alarms on the doors go off if the door is open over 1 min, if positive pressure to the corridor is lost, the OR needs to be shut down and sterilized. All the OR surfaces need to be able to be sterilized in about 15 minutes between each procedure. Surfaces need to be designed to be scrubbed down constantly.

Isolation rooms for contagious diseases need 10 air changes per hour with 100% of air exhausted thru MERV14 filters (next step up is HEPA) to prevent the virus from entering the neighborhood. They require alarmed doors with specific negative pressure relative to the corridor. This covers the typical isolation room, far higher standards needed for ebola and the really nasty diseases.

The particle size of viruses makes them almost weightless. The OR requires the uniform high rate downflow to eliminate 99% of the particles after 1 hour at 20 air changes. The waiting room 6 air changes requirement gets 90% of the particles removed.

Another issue is the med gasses - flammables along with oxygen, also lots of electricity, metal, fluids, and contaminants. All must be considered. The HVAC unit filters both the outside air and return air thru MERV7 filters (standard commercial - residential varies between MERV2 and 7). The cooling coil cannot cool the air below about 56 degrees to limit the duct RH to 90%, which has to be monitored. The last step in the air handler is the MERV14 filters which cannot exceed 300 FPM so the filter bank is 8'x8' with 12" deep filters. Only ductwork, sensors and dampers are allowed downstream of the filters.

A proper ICU outside of the 3rd world takes a state of the art facility, it is far better to do the hospital tents within a warehouse or hanger than to try and do it in the confines of the airplane.

Using the old motel with exterior unit doors and below the window AC units actually does reasonably good viral isolation. Fire codes require rated walls without venting connections, so transmission between rooms is almost nil. Staff are outdoors between units so less PPE is needed.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8286
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:42 am

If you’re planning on using the aircraft’s own air conditioning system it should be emphasized modern aircraft recirculate most of the air

Definitely not what you want
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
clipperlondon
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:43 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:10 am

Who pays these daft people? Is it a full-time job, if so I volunteer?
 
bourbon
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:35 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:26 am

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.


What happens when you have a smoke odor event from the APU or when the APU does an auto shutdown and goes out of service ? Who will foot the bill to send an APU to the aircraft. A million dollar piece of equipment.
$4,800 does not include the wear and tear cost of the APU. Running an APU is extremely expensive.

Not to mention what happens when your premium seat has an actuator or electrical issue preventing recline functions.
 
afgeneral
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:43 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:45 am

bourbon wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
DL747400 wrote:

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:



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.


What happens when you have a smoke odor event from the APU or when the APU does an auto shutdown and goes out of service ? Who will foot the bill to send an APU to the aircraft. A million dollar piece of equipment.
$4,800 does not include the wear and tear cost of the APU. Running an APU is extremely expensive.

Not to mention what happens when your premium seat has an actuator or electrical issue preventing recline functions.


can APUs even run 24/7 for several months? have they ever been tested that way?
 
Waterbomber2
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:44 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:33 am

afgeneral wrote:
bourbon wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:

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:



What happens when you have a smoke odor event from the APU or when the APU does an auto shutdown and goes out of service ? Who will foot the bill to send an APU to the aircraft. A million dollar piece of equipment.
$4,800 does not include the wear and tear cost of the APU. Running an APU is extremely expensive.

Not to mention what happens when your premium seat has an actuator or electrical issue preventing recline functions.


can APUs even run 24/7 for several months? have they ever been tested that way?


APU's can run months on end for sure, they just need basic maintenance every x hundred of hours, like oil, filter changes and a visual check of the chip detectors.

What do you do when an APU shuts down?
You troubleshoot and if need be, swap it. An APU swap takes 3-6 hours, it's not a big deal.
In the meanwhile, you still have ground power and if needed for climate control, you start an engine. Remember, you still have those too. :airplane:

Fume events often happen at start-up when fuel mixture is not optimal, rarely during stable operations.

And if needed, you have hundreds of mechanics and pilots doing nothing, use them to figure it out.

I also found another advantage.
Working on aircraft will motivate more crews to help out as it's a familiar environment.
Doctors and nurses will also be less keen on walking out or calling in sick (when they re not) as it will be much more fun to work on an aircraft than in a blunt hangar or a tent.

As for the cost, grounded as they are, aircraft are now vacant real estate as any other, airlines can bill governments for the use, helping them to generate much-needed revenue in a useful way.

Security and privacy will also be guaranteed and most larger airports have mortuaries and cold rooms (for perishable cargo) on the premises.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4257
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:00 am

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Security and privacy will also be guaranteed and most larger airports have mortuaries and cold rooms (for perishable cargo) on the premises.


If it's a larger airport, they don't need this stuff to begin with! Large airports serve large cities with adequate facilities!
 
User avatar
JetBuddy
Posts: 2567
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:04 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:55 pm

2175301 wrote:
JetBuddy wrote:
SAS can convert a 737-800 into a flying hospital with 12 beds in only six hours. And half the beds are intensive care beds.

Image from training last year:
(See Image above)
From Facebook Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/367990506625644/


That's only because they have an existing stockpile of all needed supplies to outfit 1 aircraft. Similar to how the military has field hospitals all containerized and ready to go.

There are no huge stockpile of the equipment you need to convert most aircraft (unless you have perhaps millions of dollars of such stuff stashed in a warehouse and specified to have the needed clips to clip into the aircraft floors).

Have a great day,


Yes. However they don't need any specific 737-800, they can take any one of them and convert it. The equipment necessary is ready to go, and they train at doing this conversion regularly. SAS is the only airline in the world doing this. I chose to post it because there were many voices in this thread saying it's impossible. And that the beds won't even fit an A380 door. Well, all the equipment needed for an IC unit can fit through even a garden variety 737-800 door.

SAS is also training cabin crew to be health care workers to help fight the Corona pandemic.
 
Armodeen
Posts: 1265
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:17 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:05 pm

Also, aircraft seats cannot in any way be used as hospital beds for anything other than a few hrs at a time. ICU beds are complex pieces of equipment, even the mattress is specific to long term use. Not to mention the great difficulties in adequately cleaning a business class bed including the mechanisms etc.
 
Waterbomber2
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:44 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:38 pm

Armodeen wrote:
Also, aircraft seats cannot in any way be used as hospital beds for anything other than a few hrs at a time. ICU beds are complex pieces of equipment, even the mattress is specific to long term use. Not to mention the great difficulties in adequately cleaning a business class bed including the mechanisms etc.


It does not matter so much in this case as patients in ICU with Covid19 are flat on their back or on their stomach and unconscious.
You are asking for things they don't need, they don't come in with back or neck injuries from a motorcycle accident.

Once conscious, the back of premium seats can be raised for eating and drinking.

Granted, it's a bit less convenient to change incontinence products, sheets and such, but the big advantage is that they can be used readily if and when necessary and seat covers can be changed if needed.

One advantage is also that premium class seats have physical roll guards that most hotel beds do not have.
You don't want patients hooked on oxygen to fall off their beds.
It's also much easier to monitor people by walking down the aisles of an aircraft than vaster hotels where you need to go door to door, taking a lot more time and without the overview.
 
Waterbomber2
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:44 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:45 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
Security and privacy will also be guaranteed and most larger airports have mortuaries and cold rooms (for perishable cargo) on the premises.


If it's a larger airport, they don't need this stuff to begin with! Large airports serve large cities with adequate facilities!


I'm not sure if you heard, but in many cities, they are storing bodies on ice rinks, refrigerated trailers because the mortuaries are already over capacity.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4257
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:00 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
Security and privacy will also be guaranteed and most larger airports have mortuaries and cold rooms (for perishable cargo) on the premises.


If it's a larger airport, they don't need this stuff to begin with! Large airports serve large cities with adequate facilities!


I'm not sure if you heard, but in many cities, they are storing bodies on ice rinks, refrigerated trailers because the mortuaries are already over capacity.


So now you are saying we should use the A380s as mortuaries?
 
B777LRF
Posts: 2685
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:07 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.


The tone of your post may lead the uninitiated to believe this is a viable proposition, when it actual fact it's anything but.

Your first hurdle is taking the interiors out in a fashion that will ensure the seats and monuments can be used again. This is hardly a trivial task, but one that would require a dedicated team of trained mechanics to accomplish over a period of around 2 to 3 weeks. But that's the smallest of your problem.

Second hurdle is finding airworthy fittings (beds, care units, whatever else is needed), which are available in quantity and certified to be installed on the specific airframe. If that haven't stopped you yet worry not, there's more to come.

Because you're going to need oxygen. A lot of oxygen, stored in pressurised vessels which are a) allowed to be used onboard an aircraft and b) allowed to be used for patients. Not impossible, but that'll only lead you to the next step.

Certification. You need to find a regulator who has the knowhow, capacity and willingness to take on this task. Even in a world void of Wuhan Virus that would be a daunting task, but in these days it's neigh on impossible - and you may safely disregard the "neigh on" bit.

So, no, it's not obvious. On even casual observation it's anything but, and the deeper you dig the more impossible the task starts to look.

Now, if the proposal is to use these aircraft in a stationary capacity, the proposal is even more daft. As someone said up thread, aircraft makes lousy buildings.
Signature. You just read one.
 
Waterbomber2
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:44 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:28 pm

B777LRF 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.


The tone of your post may lead the uninitiated to believe this is a viable proposition, when it actual fact it's anything but.

Your first hurdle is taking the interiors out in a fashion that will ensure the seats and monuments can be used again. This is hardly a trivial task, but one that would require a dedicated team of trained mechanics to accomplish over a period of around 2 to 3 weeks. But that's the smallest of your problem.

Second hurdle is finding airworthy fittings (beds, care units, whatever else is needed), which are available in quantity and certified to be installed on the specific airframe. If that haven't stopped you yet worry not, there's more to come.

Because you're going to need oxygen. A lot of oxygen, stored in pressurised vessels which are a) allowed to be used onboard an aircraft and b) allowed to be used for patients. Not impossible, but that'll only lead you to the next step.

Certification. You need to find a regulator who has the knowhow, capacity and willingness to take on this task. Even in a world void of Wuhan Virus that would be a daunting task, but in these days it's neigh on impossible - and you may safely disregard the "neigh on" bit.

So, no, it's not obvious. On even casual observation it's anything but, and the deeper you dig the more impossible the task starts to look.

Now, if the proposal is to use these aircraft in a stationary capacity, the proposal is even more daft. As someone said up thread, aircraft makes lousy buildings.


That's just nonsense.

I don't know if you ever worked in maintenance but at the MRO where I worked, the complete interior of a narrowbody was out the 2nd day into the C-check and that includes everything in the cockpit that comes off.

Plus why would you have to remove the entire interior?
The overhead bins, the galleys, the bathrooms, the floors, the wall panels, the cockpit can stay in place.
All you need is to remove the economy class seats which can be accomplished in less than a shift.

We're not talking about converting aircraft to ICU's permanently, this is just an emergency solution for an emergency problem.

Take a look at the SK aircraft ICU conversion and stop spreading nonsense.
 
B777LRF
Posts: 2685
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:43 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
That's just nonsense.

I don't know if you ever worked in maintenance but at the MRO where I worked, the complete interior of a narrowbody was out the 2nd day into the C-check and that includes everything in the cockpit that comes off.

Plus why would you have to remove the entire interior?
The overhead bins, the galleys, the bathrooms, the floors, the wall panels, the cockpit can stay in place.
All you need is to remove the economy class seats which can be accomplished in less than a shift.

We're not talking about converting aircraft to ICU's permanently, this is just an emergency solution for an emergency problem.

Take a look at the SK aircraft ICU conversion and stop spreading nonsense.


We're not talking about a narrow-body; we're talking wide-bodies where the F and J-class seats need disassembly before they can be removed. ave you checked that the lavatories are fit for (medical) purpose? Yes, the cockpit needs to stay in place; it would be rather challenging flying the aircraft without one.

Please point me towards the SK aircraft ICU conversion. I know of only two aircraft who can function in that capacity; the Orbis DC-10 and the GAF A310 MRTT. Let us know how long it took to develop and certify the conversion of those two aircraft and, in the case of the MRTT, how long it takes to convert from pax to "flying hospital".
Signature. You just read one.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1707
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:45 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
B777LRF 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.


The tone of your post may lead the uninitiated to believe this is a viable proposition, when it actual fact it's anything but.

Your first hurdle is taking the interiors out in a fashion that will ensure the seats and monuments can be used again. This is hardly a trivial task, but one that would require a dedicated team of trained mechanics to accomplish over a period of around 2 to 3 weeks. But that's the smallest of your problem.

Second hurdle is finding airworthy fittings (beds, care units, whatever else is needed), which are available in quantity and certified to be installed on the specific airframe. If that haven't stopped you yet worry not, there's more to come.

Because you're going to need oxygen. A lot of oxygen, stored in pressurised vessels which are a) allowed to be used onboard an aircraft and b) allowed to be used for patients. Not impossible, but that'll only lead you to the next step.

Certification. You need to find a regulator who has the knowhow, capacity and willingness to take on this task. Even in a world void of Wuhan Virus that would be a daunting task, but in these days it's neigh on impossible - and you may safely disregard the "neigh on" bit.

So, no, it's not obvious. On even casual observation it's anything but, and the deeper you dig the more impossible the task starts to look.

Now, if the proposal is to use these aircraft in a stationary capacity, the proposal is even more daft. As someone said up thread, aircraft makes lousy buildings.


That's just nonsense.

I don't know if you ever worked in maintenance but at the MRO where I worked, the complete interior of a narrowbody was out the 2nd day into the C-check and that includes everything in the cockpit that comes off.

Plus why would you have to remove the entire interior?
The overhead bins, the galleys, the bathrooms, the floors, the wall panels, the cockpit can stay in place.
All you need is to remove the economy class seats which can be accomplished in less than a shift.

We're not talking about converting aircraft to ICU's permanently, this is just an emergency solution for an emergency problem.

Take a look at the SK aircraft ICU conversion and stop spreading nonsense.

The SK aircraft "conversion" appears to be more an "air ambulance" than an actual ICU; no one has proven yet that they use it as ICU.

As been said and repeated, aircraft makes lousy ICUs. Even if you don't have to worry about airworthiness, there are way too many hurdles compared to converting hangars, hotels, etc that would provide a much greater capacity quicker than converting an A380.
 
D L X
Posts: 12672
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:01 pm

Why not just use a tent?

My goodness, this would be a waste of money and effort.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2167
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:15 pm

Well there are a lot of A380's soon to be available. But what is the cost to keep say Hi-Fly's in operable condition. Assuming the aircraft can provide all the utilities needed for a month long stay in the emergency situation. Further it can only fly into 140 airports that are Code F or the 400 diversion sites in the world. Some countries in Africa have maybe 1 airport in the country that is a diversion airport. Instead, taking a B777 and do a easy conversion such that an entire field hospital kit can fit into the plane. Unload the collapsed modules, move them into a hanger, warehouse, gym or convention center if available - or outside. Bring the gensets and the HVAC modules in the kit. A 100 bed hospital with ICU, ORs, recovery, and general beds could probably fit in the 777 or set up to fly in an A400 (couple trips) or C-17.

Puerto Rico, Haiti, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malaysia, and the like are where most emergency hospitals are needed after a natural disaster. Places like SFO that will really need hospital beds after the Mag 8 earthquake are unlikely to have operational runways.

At least it will be cheap in a few years to buy the A380. They would also make great homeless shelters as well.
 
User avatar
aemoreira1981
Posts: 3538
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:28 pm

While an A380 might be useless as a flying hospital, what about a plane like an A333 or an A345 (like CS-TFX)? Remember, the former Flying Hospital L-1011 TriStar (previously P4-MED, now N910TE) is one of two preserved at MCI (the other being a ex-TP L-1011, now registered N91011 in TWA colors). The idea is that an A330/A340 returned from lease that's mid-life could be converted and be a flying hospital in a time of need...an A330/A340 that's older could sit and be based at an airport with cheap parking fees until needed.
 
ScottB
Posts: 6921
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:52 am

Waterbomber2 wrote:
It does not matter so much in this case as patients in ICU with Covid19 are flat on their back or on their stomach and unconscious.
You are asking for things they don't need, they don't come in with back or neck injuries from a motorcycle accident.

Once conscious, the back of premium seats can be raised for eating and drinking.

Granted, it's a bit less convenient to change incontinence products, sheets and such, but the big advantage is that they can be used readily if and when necessary and seat covers can be changed if needed.

One advantage is also that premium class seats have physical roll guards that most hotel beds do not have.
You don't want patients hooked on oxygen to fall off their beds.
It's also much easier to monitor people by walking down the aisles of an aircraft than vaster hotels where you need to go door to door, taking a lot more time and without the overview.


Have you ever even been in an ICU? If you're putting patients in business class seats, where do you put the ventilators, monitors, IVs, medical gas hookups, and huge amount of supplies? For sedated patients on a vent, how do you deal with all the poop and pee (OK, you can use a catheter for the pee) in the very cramped confines of a business class seat-bed? How do nurses take vitals or provide care in that cramped space? How do you get an unconscious or seriously ill patient into one of those seats?

Where do you put diagnostic equipment like, at the very least, an x-ray (necessary to see what's going on in these patients' lungs)? How do you provide proper facilities for caregivers to practice proper hygiene -- hint: an aircraft lavatory won't be adequate for proper handwashing and it's really not suitable for sick patients to use, either.

JetBuddy wrote:
SAS can convert a 737-800 into a flying hospital with 12 beds in only six hours. And half the beds are intensive care beds.


That's interesting, but it doesn't bode well for using A380 as a movable ICU facility. Scaling up to the cabin area of A380, you're probably not going to get more than maybe 75 beds -- and that's really a drop in the bucket compared to what a large city (large enough to have an airport which could accommodate an A380 on the airfield, apart from places like YQX) might need in surge capacity.

PhilMcCrackin wrote:
And even if there were a need, it'd be much cheaper to convert a hotel ballroom or a sports arena into a mass ICU than it would be an airplane.


And it really takes less time than some folks seem to think. Massachusetts converted a convention center into a temporary hospital in a week.
 
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qf789
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Re: Group Calls for A380s to Be Used as ICUs

Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:27 pm

Due to the number of personal comments in this thread the topic is now locked
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