Flying Eye Hospital take off

Flying Eye Hospital cleared for landing at the Farnborough International Airshow 2020

June 2019

Our incredible Flying Eye Hospital will be making a rare appearance at next year's Farnborough International Airshow, from 20 - 24 July 2020

As the official charity partner for the Farnborough International Airshow, we're delighted to be bringing the Flying Eye Hospital – the world’s only ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 - to the event next summer.

Our Flying Eye Hospital is rightly iconic, representing as it does an extraordinary alliance between the medical and aviation communities. This life-changing plane flies our team of eye care specialists to countries all around the world, where they work with local medical teams to share their expert knowledge and help develop the specialist skills and techniques needed to treat a wide range of eye care problems.

Having Orbis as our official Airshow charity is a source of enormous pride and we are absolutely thrilled to host their Flying Eye Hospital. This is a rare occasion for our Airshow exhibitors and visitors to get up close to a unique marriage between aerospace and medicine; an inspiring innovation which is delivering extraordinary results in some of the world’s most hard‐to‐reach locations.

Gareth Rogers

CEO of Farnborough International

We’re delighted to be partnering with Farnborough Airshow and to be bringing our unique aircraft to this prestigious event. As one of the most important aviation gatherings in the world, it presents an amazing opportunity to raise awareness of our sight saving work and eye health in general.

Rebecca Cronin

Chief Executive, Orbis UK

To find out more about sponsorship and other opportunities at the Airshow, please contact Kathryn Sweet.

Facilities onboard the Flying Eye Hospital

Today, facilities onboard this very unique MD-10 aircraft, donated by FedEX, include:

The Yuen Yee Operating Room: strategically located on the most stable part of the aircraft, in line with the wings. Five cameras generate high-definition images of the procedures. The floor and ceiling of this room have been reinforced to accommodate a teaching microscope, surgical equipment and supplies for operations and to support the storage of equipment during flight.

The L’OCCITANE Patient Care and Laser Treatment room: with three optical lasers for anterior and posterior procedures as well as an additional unit for general laser surgeries. This room also features a simulation centre, which allows local ophthalmology teams to learn complex skills in a controlled environment.

The Alcon Classroom: here local medical professionals are invited to participate in workshops, presentations and observe live surgical demonstrations. The aircraft’s audio-visual system enables participants to interact in real time with the surgeon operating whilst watching on a 3D screen, allowing viewers to feel as if they are peering down the microscope. These surgeries and lectures are broadcast through Orbis’s online telemedicine platform Cybersight, connecting doctors around the world to training programmes even if they are unable to attend in person.

Audio-visual room: controls seventeen cameras, eight microphones and 54 video monitors stationed throughout the plane.

In 2018, Orbis UK supporters helped Orbis to deliver just under 333,000 surgeries and optical treatments, over three million screenings and almost 59,500 training sessions for doctors, nurses, community health workers and teachers across Africa and Asia.