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Virgin Orbit Helps Design Mass-Producible Bridge Ventilators 

By | March 30, 2020

      Virgin Orbit’s bridge ventilator prototype. Photo: Virgin Orbit

      Virgin Orbit has developed a new mass-producible bridge ventilator to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Virgin Orbit reached out to California Governor Gavin Newsom, who connected the company with the Bridge Ventilator Consortium (BVC), led by the University of California Irvine (UCI) and the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). In collaboration with the BVC, Virgin Orbit engineers have taken rapid scaling into account from the beginning of the design process, taking advantage of the most common and robust manufacturing and assembly processes.

      With approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Virgin Orbit plans to start production at its Long Beach manufacturing facility in early April, in order to deliver units as soon as possible. The “bridge ventilators” are intended for moderate cases, and can free up those critical resources for the most ill.

      “We are all heartbroken each night as we turn on the news and see the predicament facing doctors and nurses as they heroically work to save lives,” Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said. “I have never seen our team working harder. Never seen ideas moving quicker from design to prototype. We are hopeful that this device can help as we all prepare for the challenges ahead.”