Sample Projects

McDonnell Douglas DC-10 (ORBIS)

The following systems were
installed in the aircraft:


60Hz Cabin Ground Power System (14, 3.5 KVA Converters)

Magnavox Satellite Communication System

Integrated AT&T Partner Plus Telephone/Intercom System

Cabin Smoke Detector System

Entertainment System

Forward Galley

Cabin Lighting and Electrical

On June 28th, 1994, ORBIS International received FAA STC approval for the conversion of a DC-10 aircraft into an Ophthalmological Teaching Hospital. Avionics Engineering Services of Tucson, Arizona and Schwartz Engineering Company of San Antonio, Texas provided the necessary engineering and FAA certification services for the effort.  The award of the STC was the culmination of two years of effort that included countless hours of work and millions of dollars of donations by many dedicated professionals and supporters.  The ORBIS International Flying Hospital is now ready for service to the blind and visually impaired of the world.


In addition to providing state-of-the-art eye surgery, the new aircraft provides a 48 seat classroom.  Live video from the operating room may be viewed in the on board classroom or in remote classrooms.  A state-of-the-art audio/visual suite provides the ability to produce studio quality, audio/video training tapes of the onboard surgery while at any location in the world.

The aircraft is totally self-sufficient while parked on an airport ramp thanks to externally deployable, diesel power generation modules and air-conditioning modules carried in the existing cargo compartments.


Avionics Engineering Services provided the engineering design, analysis, and testing of all the added electrical systems including a unique 60 HZ power system.  Schwartz Engineering Company provided all of the structural and mechanical systems engineering design, analysis, and testing as well as providing the focal point for FAA certification.  The construction of the interior was accomplished by Runge Industries of  Sulphur Springs, Texas.  All modifications were performed at Mobile Aerospace Engineering in Mobil, Alabama.

60 HZ Converters

A module containing fourteen 60 HZ converters is mounted in a cargo size removable container, located in the lower galley area.  The module also houses a battery system to run a refrigerator.  Additionally, it contains a 1KVA converter that powers the water purification system and entertainment system.  The 60 HZ converters provide power to the entire hospital and systems.

Operating Room Mock-up

Prior to work commencing on the aircraft, a foam board mock-up of every room is constructed. Shown here is the operating room.

After the room mock-ups were approved, they were removed and the aircraft was stripped down to the bare bones for maintenance and new structures installation.

Laser/Exam Room

In this room the medical staff starts their examination of the patient and determines the type of eye surgery required to correct the patient's sight. Three types of Lasers are available for different procedures.

Conference Room

Here the medical team discusses surgical procedures among themselves or with the patient.  Personnel may view the operating room first hand while monitoring the operation. Viewing is also available on the 22 inch monitor in the class room or on a monitor in each room.

A/V Production and Editing Rooms

With a $3 million audio / video suite on board, technicians may produce and edit Studio quality tapes of new ophthalmological surgical techniques.  These tapes can be produced on VHS, Beta, or Laserdisk format. Tapes of surgeries are left with the doctors in the country for further viewing once ORBIS has departed.

Operating Room

The operating room equipment and space is equivalent to that in a major hospital. A camera microscope is used during surgery to provide the classroom a "surgeon's eye view". The equipment in this room is all the latest state of the art.

Recovery Room

Here the medical team handles up to three patients at a time. This room is used as "pre-op" and "post-op" for patients going into surgery. It is equipped and prepared for any medical emergency situations that may arise in the course of a surgery.

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