Science | January 17, 2021 6:47 pm

Aeronautics Company Tecnam Announces Plane Designed for Vaccine Delivery

The P2012 TravelCare can carry up to 115,000 vaccine doses

Tecnam P2012
A versatile aircraft designed for vaccine distribution? There's a lot to like here.
Tecnam

The pandemic response in the United States and around the globe has entered a new phase — one that involves distributing doses of the vaccine to the people who need it most. This would be a logistical challenge under any circumstances; the fact that some COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer’s, need to be kept at dramatically low temperatures makes things even more complicated. It’s a challenge that airlines have needed to address in a host of ways — and it’s unlikely to get any easier.

For one company in the aeronautics space, the answer involved a bold decision: creating a plane dedicated to the proper conditions for vaccine transportation. At Jalopnik, Elizabeth Blackstock has details on how Tecnam came up with their own solution to a vexing problem. Based in Italy, Tecnam manufactures parts and builds their own aircraft. It’s a modified version of one of these planes, the P2012, that’s at the heart of their response.

Normally, the P2012 seats 11 people. For this new version, the P2012 TravelCare, Tecnam worked closely with Desmon, a freezer manufacturer. “The passenger seats have been removed to create a cargo version that features what it’s calling an ‘ultra-freezer,’” Blackstock writes. The result is a plane with a capacity of 115,000 doses of the vaccine.

The most appealing things about this particular airline are its size and versatility. It’s not hard to imagine this being used to deliver vaccine doses to remote or rural areas, for instance. And in a situation where time is of the essence, it’s encouraging to hear about something else that can make the process of getting the vaccine out into the world faster and more efficient.

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