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Bamboo wheelchair may help speed air security

Former Hanshin Tigers player Norihiro Akahoshi speaks behind a wheelchair made primarily of bamboo at Haneda airport in Tokyo on Dec. 21, 2010. The wheelchair, developed by Japan Airlines Corp. and two other organizations, is designed to go through metal detectors at airports without triggering an alarm for cutting time and effort during body checks. Akahoshi financially contributed to the project. (Photo courtesy of Kyodo, Japan Airlines)

December 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
New security measures at airports are difficult for many, especially those who have to use a wheelchair. Japan Airlines has developed a new wheelchair that gets through metal detectors a bit easier - it's 90 percent bamboo.

The only parts that are not bamboo are the tires and shock absorbers, which are rubber, and the wheels and axles, which are reinforced plastic.

The airline plans to have three wheelchairs available by February. It will then consider whether to introduce more.