The Pima Air and Space Museum on Monday, Nov. 7, will add to its collection of planes with the Orbis DC-10 Flying Eye Hospital.
The plane is scheduled to arrive at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on Monday. It will then be towed to the nearby museum, where it eventually will go on public display.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring this significant aircraft to the museum, the Tucson community and Arizona in general,” said Scott Marchand, museum executive director, in a news release. “We are honored to be selected by Orbis to be the custodian of this very unique aircraft.”
The newly retired aircraft served as an airborne eye hospital for Orbis International, which works to fight blindness around the world by helping countries establish the resources to provide eye care to their citizens. It served as an ophthalmic teaching facility throughout the world.
On its final flight to Tucson, the plane will be flown by the longest serving Orbis volunteer pilot, Capt. William Willson, a retired United Airlines pilot.
The DC-10 was purchased by Orbis in 1992 and after two years of outfitting it became a flying eye hospital. Its first mission was to Beijing, China.
During the next 22 years, the plane completed 299 missions and visited 78 countries. The nonprofit retired the plane in June after putting its new MD-10 into service.