The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital is the world’s most recognizable icon in the fight against blindness. It is the result of a unique and lasting alliance forged between the medical and aviation industries. This airborne eye hospital makes it possible for ORBIS to relocate an ophthalmic teaching facility to airports throughout the developing world.
The available floor space of the plane is approximately 2,000 square feet, which features an operating room, 48-seat classroom, audiovisual studio, communications center, and areas for laser surgery, patient recovery and instrument sterilization.
In 2002, the navigation system was upgraded to a Honeywell HP9100 GPS. The DC-10 is TCAS or ACAS equipped, and approved for RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minima) and for 8.33 MHz radio channels.
Onboard the aircraft, there are water filters installed to ensure that the hospital has pure water anywhere in the world. The five-step filtration process entails eight regular filters, plus two ultraviolet lights to kill certain microbes and two chemical compounds. To ensure air quality, the Flying Eye Hospital carries an air compressor that filters air before it is piped into the aircraft. This compressor meets US hospital standards, and was designed and installed in 2003 through the joint efforts of ORBIS and Aviation Ground Equipment Incorporated.
First Flight: 1992
Operating Range: 4,000 miles
Crew: 2 pilots, 1 flight engineer
Cruise Speed: 475kts or mach 0.83
Engine: 3 General Electric - CF6-6d1a, 40,000 lbs thrust each
Height: 72 feet
Length: 171 feet
Wingspan: 156 feet
Maximum Take-off Weight: 455,000 lbs
Did You Know? From 1992, when ORBIS acquired the DC-10 through December 2010, the plane has landed 421 times.
The YVR Connection: YVR is the first stop of ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital North American Goodwill Tour on July 14/15. For more details see the June edition of YVR Air Mail.