Flying Eye Hospital plane taking off

Flying Eye Hospital

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is unlike any plane you’ve seen before. A state-of-the-art teaching facility complete with operating room, classroom and recovery room - this amazing aircraft has been a beacon of hope since 1982.

Take a tour of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital...

Click the icon in the top right corner to jump to any room on the plane

In the fight against avoidable blindness, every minute matters. The longer someone waits to be treated, the higher their chance of becoming permanently blind. The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital flies our team of elite eye care specialists to developing countries where they share skills and techniques with local medical teams.

Once a cargo plane, the interior of our third-generation Flying Eye Hospital has been completely transformed thanks to the support of our many generous partners.

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With the help of our amazing and compassionate supporters, the Flying Eye Hospital has been a call to action for better eye care around the world for more than three decades. Wherever it lands, it raises awareness, creates change and rallies supporters - from local governments, global organisations, philanthropists, to the public - to join the global fight to end avoidable blindness.

The power of the plane

The Flying Eye Hospital is invited to help train local eye care teams by officials in every country it lands.

Not only does it provide a space to train doctors, nurses and medical technicians, but it opens the doors of prime ministers, presidents and ministries of health so that we can make the case for investing in eye health for all. Our staff and volunteers can then work in partnership with local hospitals to understand skills shortages, and work where the need is greatest.

This level of access has allowed Orbis to help change health policies for the better, reach eye care teams in need of training, and improve the lives of those lacking access to care. Not least of all, it allows us to develop lasting bonds with people around the globe to ensure a long-term impact.

Flying Eye Instagram

The latest technology

The Flying Eye Hospital is not only packed with the latest medical equipment, it has some of the very latest training facilities, too. The entire plane is linked up through an advanced audio visual system, meaning those in the classroom can watch surgeries happening in the operating theatre live in 3D - making it as close to the real thing as looking down the microscope yourself.

Our expert volunteers train local medical professionals both on board the aircraft and at the local partner hospital, providing education that is both high-quality and practical for when the Flying Eye Hospital departs.

And thanks to our telemedicine platform - Cybersight - doctors from all over the world can join our training programmes with the click of a button.


With 46 seats and 3D technology, observing feels like you are actually in the operating room

Orbis CEO Bob Ranck, wearing a suit, lectures on board the Flying Eye Hospital, a presentation on the screen behind him

Operating Room

The operating room is the centre for all hands-on training

On board the Flying Eye Hospital, Ben Peet operates a microscope with the training arm

Audiovisual Room

Operations are broadcast to people all over the world

There are few occasions in life when an idea takes off and leads to achievements beyond our wildest expectations: when a mission is driven by a vision so clear and compelling that it literally enables others to see it too. Orbis is one of these.

Kofi Annan

Former Secretary General of the United Nations

Watch this amazing time lapse of the plane, donated by FedEx, being brought to life.

Orbis timeline