LOCKHEED MARTIN Aircraft Services is to convert a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar into a flying hospital under a $14.5 million contract from Operation Blessing International Relief and Development, a Virginia Beach-based relief organisation.

Lockheed Martin says that the converted L-1011 will be the largest self-contained hospital aircraft ever built. The main deck will be fitted out with an operating theatre, a pre/post-operation section, surgical preparation area and patient-examination section. The main deck will also house two dedicated dental and ear-nose-and-throat treatment stations.

The lower deck of the aircraft will be fitted with a pharmacy, a check-in/check-out station, the aircraft's galley and a crew rest area which doubles as a medical consulting room. Detailed interior design, is being performed by Texas based Foster-Edwards, while interfaces between the aircraft furnishings and systems with the medical systems are being designed by Air Methods of Colorado.

Lockheed Aeromod Center in Tucson, Arizona will install the new interior over ten months. The aircraft, which is designed to operate on-station for at least a week, will also have its own auxiliary ground-power generators and water-purification system.

Source: Flight International