Tecnam has started production of protective face shields to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This initiative is the company's response to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) currently in the market, particularly during Italy's Phase 2 lockdown, where certain activities are permitted only when using adequate protective devices. Production will run in parallel with Tecnam's ongoing aircraft manufacturing activities.
For these special products, the Tecnam research and development department has channelled all its commitment and aeronautical design know-how into creating an innovative face shield with a multipurpose solution to protect the eyes and airways. The Tecnam TFS (face shield) provides eye protection against droplets and sprays of fluids containing biological agents, while also protecting the nose and mouth from direct inhalation of biological matter that may contain the coronavirus. The Tecnam TFS has been designed to fully adapt to the face. A single elastomer fascia allows the face shield to be worn comfortably, thanks to the polyolefin foam that is widely used in medical applications. Ventilation is free but airstream is forced rearward.
The device is currently in advanced testing phase in compliance with the applicable UNI EN standard to allow for use in a health environment, but it is already compliant for normal daily use in highly crowded spaces, such as supermarkets, open markets and public transport, to replace the standard bulky and movement-restricting face shields.
Also being developed is a version of the shield that can be equipped with air-intake filters, for those environments where air filtration is necessary in addition to protection from fluids containing biological matter.
As an aircraft manufacturer, Tecnam is developing a range of further specific variants in order to provide protection for the company's pilots, passengers, flight instructors and flight-school cadets.
The Tecnam TFS (face shield) main features are full protection for face: eyes, nose and mouth; reusable and recyclable; comfortable and ergonomic; able to be used while wearing spectacles; latex free and solvent free; washable and can be sterilised using ethylene oxide. A surgical or FFP mask can be accommodated beneath the device.
Commenting on this initiative, Tecnam managing director Giovanni Pascale says: “In difficult times like these, companies such as Tecnam need to do their part. Protecting our first responders and healthcare workers has never been more important. We've marshalled the best resources of Tecnam to focus on immediately installing the production capacity for making PPE and supporting those most in need on the frontline of this pandemic. We are also pleased to provide a transparent device able to let everyone's smile be visible once again. Last but not least, we hope this will contribute to a quick return to flight activities for our pilots, passengers and flight-training organisations.”
Tecnam advises that production of the new PPE will be in addition to their regular aircraft manufacturing activities, which continue as scheduled. The company will disclose further actions related to its fight against the coronavirus in the coming days.