Canadian aircraft manufacturer De Havilland Canada is extending support to Aero HygenX in the development and marketing of the RAY autonomous robot.

The autonomous robot is designed by Aero HygenX and will be enhanced for use on the Dash 8 Series aircraft.

RAY produces high-frequency ultraviolet-C (UVC) light that can destroy up to 99.99% of pathogens, including the Covid-19 virus.

It also minimises the need for frequent chemical-based disinfection that could affect aircraft interior surfaces and sensitive equipment.

De Havilland Canada engineering and quality vice-president Robert Mobilio said: “The cabin environmental control systems on our Dash 8 Series aircraft are highly effective in providing safe air quality for passengers during flight, and RAY will be a consistent, sustainable and chemical-free means of disinfecting the cabin air and surfaces between flights.

“Working closely with our engineers and operators of Dash 8 aircraft, Aero HygenX is quickly optimising RAY’s design to meet the specific size and operational requirements of all models of Dash 8 aircraft. We look forward to offering RAY to operators of Dash 8 aircraft soon.”

RAY modified for Dash 8 Series aircraft features compact body but delivering the required UVC dosage and 360° coverage across the cabin. It can also be used inside lavatories and crew areas.

Aero HygenX chief executive officer Arash Mahin said: “Operators of Dash 8 Series aircraft will be able to use RAY during their pre-flight disinfection procedures to manage Covid-19 risks and help rebuild passenger confidence.”

In September, De Havilland Canada’s Dash 8-400 turboprop aircraft achieved recertification for complying with ICAO Chapter 14 noise emission standards.