A revolutionary new air filter could help reduce the spread of the H1N1 virus and other illnesses among passengers on board commercial airline flights, British researchers say.

The aerospace giant BAE Systems has joined forces with Quest International, a small company based in Cheadle, near Manchester, England, to develop a machine that destroys up to 99.9 percent of infectious viruses and bacteria as well as pollutants that can circulate in the confines of an aircraft, especially on long-haul flights.

The device, called AirManager, uses a controlled electric field to filter out and destroy any airborne particles or germs as they pass through an aircraft’s air conditioning system, emitting only clean, sterilized air.

RELATED: H1N1 Topic Page

LiveShots Blog

After four years of development and tests, BAE says it has received its first orders from a major European airline and announced the technology is also being considered for use in hospitals as a way to stop the spread of “superbugs” such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

Click here to read more of this story at the London Times.