Flying eye hospital Orbis UK is officially the charity partner of the Farnborough International Airshow.

The international sight loss charity is known for its Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, a state-of-the-art ophthalmic training hospital onboard an MD-10 aircraft that helps patients with various but treatable eye conditions around the world – often in remote areas.

Colman Cawe, director of fundraising and communications at Orbis UK, said: “Being the official charity partner for Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) gives Orbis an incredible opportunity to raise awareness of our work on this global platform. FIA’s ability to convene industry is well known, and we are thrilled they are lending their support to our campaign to bring the Flying Eye Hospital back to the skies, to deliver in-person sight-saving training and care once more.“

Orbis is at the show displaying its surgical simulation technology by FundamentalVR and its telemedicine platform, Cybersight, which enables Orbis to train even more ophthalmic professionals.


The charity also hopes to raise around £40,000 ($47,500) during Farnborough International Airshow 2022, which will help go towards getting the Flying Eye Hospital back in the skies after almost three years on the ground.

The current version of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is a 49-year-old MD-10 and is the third iteration of the flying hospital. Features onboard include an operating room, classroom and pre-and post-operative room.

Captain Gary Dyson said: “In 1982 Orbis became the first organisation to put an eye hospital on a plane. It was an audacious idea to fight the injustice of avoidable blindness around the world. Forty years on, we need your donations to help us return to the skies for the first time since the pandemic prevented us from flying. Seeing people having their sight restored is a privilege. Our aircraft trainees eye care teams across the world to save and restore sight, and we’d love you to be part of our next success story.”
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