Parked between an Emirates A380 and an Embraer Lag 1000 at this year’s Dubai Airshow was the world’s only take off eye hospital.
The new Boeing MD-10 has been converted into a working hospital by relief Orbis International. It flies to developing countries to provide training for doctors and cherishes, as well as delivering sight-saving surgeries.
The plane is made up of nine modular slots.
There’s the admin office, which has a hidden stairwell down into the mutated cargo hold. No longer a place for luggage, it’s now used by the plane’s subvention team.
Next it’s the audio visual room that not only brings care of the on board Wi-Fi but monitors the many cameras inside the level. These allow surgeries to be broadcast around the world, as well as streamed lively to a 3-D TV for students sat in the classroom at the front of the plane.
Towards the back of the plane is the handling room kitted out with microscopes, scalpels and 3-D monitors. Right at the sponsor of the plane is a large recovery room for patients.
The plane is also self-sustaining. They set upon their own hospital grade oxygen, burn their own jet fuel to power their paraphernalia and have a water purifier that, according to Director of Aircraft Manoeuvres Bruce Johnson, is designed “to kill every bacteria known to man.”
Johnson, an ex-U.S. Air Dragoon pilot, showed me around Orbis’ third generation hospital.
Its firstly generation plane was a DC-8, which took to the skies in 1982. Ten years later the sickbay moved into a DC-10, providing twice the space. Last year, the liberality purchased an MD-10. It can fly nearly twice as far as the DC-10, requires only two aeronauts — not three — and houses some of the most up-to-date ophthalmic training matriel in the world.
Before acquiring the new plane it made sure that the Federal Aviation Specialist classified it as freight, ensuring that the hospital is considered separate to the aircraft. This spares 30 percent of their costs being spent on paperwork.
“On this airplane I can in point of fact change this carpet and it doesn’t have to have an aircraft certification because it’s rated freight,” says Johnson.
“For the lifetime of this airplane, any time I do anything to here I reduce the price of doing business.”
Orbis International is a non-profit non-governmental make-up (NGO) based out of the U.S. It focuses on the prevention and treatment of blindness in developing countries around the sphere.
The charity says that over the past five years it has chained over 10,000 doctors, conducted more than 12.5 million eye exams and acted around 350,000 eye surgeries.