Boeing Company

Is it time for Boeing’s UV-powered self-cleaning airplane lavatory?

Courtesy Boeing

The possibility of using ultraviolet light to kill the COVID-19 virus has been in the news.

As are the different types of UV light: UVA, UVB and UVC.

And that reminded of us the prototype self-cleaning airplane lavatory the Boeing Company announced back in 2016 that seems very promising.

As described, the self-cleaning lavatory uses a concentrated ultraviolet light (far ultraviolet C) to disinfect all surfaces of an airplane bathroom after each use.

The cleaning of the toilet seat, the sink and the countertops would be completed in just three seconds, safely, while the lavatory was unoccupied.

The system would even lift and close the toilet seat automatically, to ensure that all surfaces are exposed to the light during the cleaning cycle.

Other features of the proposed self-cleaning lavatory include hands-free faucets, soap dispensers, trash flaps, toilet lids and seat and hand dryers, some of which already exist on many airplanes.

At the time, we loved the idea because airplane lavatories are often so icky and unappealing and so generally germy.

But now that COVID-19 is here and presenting such a horrifying health risk, we like to see the self-cleaning lavatory installed on all airplanes. Wouldn’t you?

Party for Air New Zealand’s new 787-9

Air New Zealand and Boeing had a party Tuesday night at the Future of Flight in Everett, WA in advance of the official physical delivery of the first 787-9 Dreamliner, painted with a striking black livery, scheduled on Wednesday morning July 9.

Here are a few snaps from Tuesday evening’s event, which was attended by special guests and perhaps 1000 of the Boeing employees who worked on the airplane.


After speeches and gift-giving, curtains opened to reveal black T-shirt clad Boeing employees and – behind the smoke – the new airplane.


Here’s a closer look at the tail end of the new plane:


And, for country music fans, here’s a photo of the evening’s surprise entertainment: The Band Perry.


More photos tomorrow – when I get to go inside the plane.