Flying Eye Hospital

The Orbis family is driven by the dream of eliminating avoidable blindness across the world. Though our innovative Flying Eye Hospital, this dream has taken flight.

Flying Eye Hospital

Founded by the leaders of the medical and aviation industries in 1973, Orbis started its work on a plane — a fully equipped mobile teaching hospital.

At that point in time, the expense of tuition and international travel prevented most doctors and nurses in developing countries from training overseas. Our founders and donors brought the school to the doctors, by building a Flying Eye Hospital into the frame of a DC-8 aircraft. In 1982, this aircraft took to the air for the first time. The second generation Flying Eye Hospital, the DC-10, took flight in 1994, and the latest third generation MD-10, in 2017.

This plane is like no other. The Flying Eye Hospital is the world’s only ophthalmic teaching hospital onboard an aircraft. It features a state-of-the-art, fully accredited eye hospital, complete with an operating room, patient care and laser room, pre- and post-operative care room, sterilization/substerile room, observation room, classroom, administration room and audiovisual/IT room with 3D broadcast technology that can transmit live surgeries around the world.

Take a virtual tour of the Flying Eye Hospital

This unique Flying Eye Hospital is flown by volunteer pilots from country to country, and an international volunteer medical team develops sight-saving skills among ophthalmic professionals through hands-on training and lectures. For over three decades, this plane has been raising awareness, creating positive change, and rallying supporters to join us in our quest to end avoidable blindness.

Flying Eye Hospital and India

The first association between Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital and India dates back to 1988 — in Delhi and Hyderabad. Though the years, the Flying Eye Hospital has continued to be an important part of our journey, with our latest program in Kolkata, in 2013.

Through years of continuous efforts, we have been able to provide value-added training to doctors, bring access to quality eye care to patients in need, and create a positive impact upon health policies. The Flying Eye Hospital also helps develop strong and lasting connections to affect progressive change, wherever it goes.

The Flying Eye Hospital is a teacher, an advocate, and an envoy.

“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, Secretary General of the United Nations