Time flies at Portsmouth Aviation

Exovent blog:  7th May 2021

Me and my ribs wake up lying across half-a-dozen carefully arranged pillows.  With a lot of cracked ribs and a bit of pneumothorax that’s one way to get a good night’s sleep!  I test my breathing on a piston meter to check it’s still improving.  Diane and I are off to the Portsmouth Aviation guys at their factory to talk about Exovent, especially controls and test meters to see how well patients are doing with their Exovent.

Don’t like big scary needles and syringes?  Look away now!  Into the car go a massive 500ml syringe, a long piston meter and a little turbine meter – the syringe is for testing them.   Evie the electric car is charged up and ready to go.

We’re off! The best cars have ‘good vibrations’ from the engine, but with an electric it’s just Whoosh!  Wave to Jane Austen’s ghost and Gilbert White’s too as we weave past the scenic fields and woods of Hampshire and soon we’re at the huge Butser Hill.  Past the Neolithic encampment on the side of the hill, at Neolithic speed – there’s a truck pulled over blocking one lane.  Then it’s downhill towards a great view across the huge Langstone Harbour and the sea.

Soon we are sipping coffee with some of the team at Portsmouth Aviation.  There’s the boss, Simon, the two Craigs – Stretton and Spring –  Rob, Chris and Toby, and of course our Exovent CEO, Ian.

Craig and Craig take us on a grand tour of many parts of the factory.  There is loads of kit and people turning out ingenious gadgets for aerospace: bending and pressing and turning, milling and plating and drilling – all humming and buzzing.  There’s an icosahedron laser scanner straight out of a sci-fi adventure, and then we drop in to see Nick and the development team on one of their newest ventures – water purifiers and disinfectant brewing kit.  Pure water is so important to living, and disinfecting so important to medicine.  Finally, we get to see the most advanced version of the Exovent, and the guys fire it up so we see it working.  We don’t make it to the huge Design Office – tempus fugit!

There are silly questions asked – but they are often the important ones to answer – which is pretty much what Einstein once said.  It’s all heads together in the conference room, discussing how we can all work together – and with other countries too – on making negative pressure breathing equipment for patients across the planet.


Neil Downie

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