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Edward T Cloonan - President of ORBIS launches the MD-10 Flying Eye Hospital Project
ORBIS, world’s only operator of the Flying Eye Hospital, has chosen to replace their aging DC-10 with a MD-10 aircraft.
This is made possible with a $10 million gift from ORBIS Chairman and Founder A.L. Ueltschi, which enabled the work to begin in 2008. The balance of the $30 million project—including the cost of acquiring a DC-10-30, its conversion to an MD-10, and the installation of the Flying Eye Hospital with new medical equipment, audio visual suite and communication systems—is being assembled today by a consortium of companies through direct contributions or gift-in-kind donations.
Lead by Mohan Jacob Thazhathu, ORBIS Chief Operating Officer, a four year effort finally materialized when FedEx and United Airlines jointly donated a DC-10 aircraft for conversion.
FedEx has offered the services of their veteran executive Jack McHale, Managing Director for Aircraft Acquisitions to manage this project.
A FOUR-PHASE UNDERTAKING, The Flying Eye Hospital conversion project is expected to take two years to complete. When the new plane is ready—anticipated mid-2010—the current Flying Eye Hospital will be retired.
MD-10 PROJECT TEAM
A conversion team, consisting of medical and ophthalmology specialists, and design and engineering experts from several organizations, has been assembled to determine the design and architectural modification necessary to convert the freighter into a state-of-the-art ophthalmic medical facility. ORBIS staff is proud to work alongside talented individuals from FedEx, Boeing, Honeywell and University of California, Los Angeles on this humanitarian endeavour.