TP Aerospace partners with Honeywell to support Orbis Flying Eye Hospital


Yesterday, non-profit NGO Orbis International announced that Honeywell and TP Aerospace will supply wheels and braking equipment for its MD-10 Flying Eye Hospital. The Flying Eye Hospital is a state-of-the-art ophthalmic teaching facility with an operating room, classroom, and pre- and post-operative room.

The Flying Eye Hospital has teaching, medical, observation and MD-10 training areas. Picture: Orbis

The five-year agreement means Honeywell and TP Aerospace will service, repair and overhaul (MRO) Honeywell’s wheels and brakes on the McDonnell Douglas MD-10. Honeywell is the sole source supplier of MD-10 wheels and brake hardware, so their support of Orbis will reduce costs and keep the aircraft operationally ready.

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Bruce Johnson is the Director of Aircraft Operations and Maintenance for Orbis. Today he told Simple Flying the deal started in 2017 when TP Aerospace asked how it could support the Orbis program. The two agreed that TP Aerospace would supply Orbis with wheels, tires and brakes as needed.

“In 2020, TP Aerospace joined Honeywell’s channel partner network, where Honeywell supplies TP Aerospace with parts used in the overhaul of wheels, tires and brakes used on the Orbis aircraft and, as a result, 2022 marked the first year of TP Aerospace/Assistance Honeywell.”

TP Aerospace is one of the world’s leading wheel and brake MRO specialists and has ten sites spread across the globe. Its core business and expertise is in wheels and brakes and supports global customers, such as Orbis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including during aircraft events at floor. Something from Honeywell Aerospace can be found on virtually every commercial, defense and space aircraft in service today. Its products include engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, avionics, wireless connectivity, components and mechanical parts.

At the rear of the aircraft is the pre and post-operation room. Photo: Orbis

Johnson told Simple Flying that Orbis immediately began to see the benefits of the initial association with TP Aerospace. “In early 2018, we received our first order of wheels and tires from TP Aerospace, and we have continued to see these benefits every year since support began. This year we received a full set of wheels and tires, two front and ten main, for the Flying Eye Hospital.”

“Overall, the benefits are two-fold; it takes the guesswork out of finding a supplier and it saves Orbis the hassle of buying wheels, tires and brakes. As a non-profit organization lucrative, every dollar we save makes a big difference.”

The Macdonnell Douglas MD-10, registration N330AU, was born a DC10 and was first delivered to the American carrier Trans International Airlines in April 1973. According to Planespotters.net, he also flew with Transamerica Airlines, Nigeria Airlines, Air Florida and FedEx before retiring in 2010. After its merger with McDonnell Douglas, Boeing retrofitted many DC-10s with a new glass cockpit that eliminated the post flight engineer and gave him a common point. type rating with the MD-11, which FedEx also operated. So when it became the Flying Eye Hospital, the plane was an MD-10.


Founded in 1982, Orbis operates the Flying Eye Hospital and a telemedicine platform, Cybersight. Its mission is to prevent and treat avoidable blindness and it has provided training to eye care teams in nearly 100 countries. The Flying Eye Hospital has a fully accredited eye teaching hospital on board for the training of local doctors and nurses. According Flightradar24.com, the last overseas mission of the MD-10 took place in November 2019, in Accra, Ghana, for three weeks. After that, he flew to Victorville (VCV) in California, USA, home to many aircraft in storage to weather the pandemic, with his last flight from Memphis International Airport (MEM) to the airport of Fort Worth Alliance (AFW) on October 14, 2021.

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