ORBIS' current Flying Eye Hospital will shortly retire after 20 years of non-stop service. Its MD-10 replacement is currently undergoing fabrication in California, U.S.A. and is being totally reformatted in terms of its functions, interior structure and external appearance.
The MD-10 has a flying range of 6,000 miles, versus the current DC-10's 4,000 miles. Such a significantly expanded range will enable us to minimize technical stops at remote stations charging higher fuel prices.
The MD-10's state-of-the-art electronic control panel means the plane will only need two pilots as opposed to the current three.
Designers are currently configuring the hospital using modules which can be dismantled independently for easier checking and maintenance.
The new Operating Room will soon be fully equipped.
The new MD-10 aircraft can accommodate over 48 trainees. A specially installed TV will transmit live surgery from the Operating Room and enable trainees to address questions directly to ORBIS ophthalmologists in real time as they operate.
The fabrication of the new generation of ORBIS MD-10 should be complete in late 2013 and the plane will become operational early next year. Let's wish it and its crew the very best as they carry out their sight-saving mission!