Airex, Baltek, Banova, AirexBaltekBanova

ORBIS - Flying Eye Hospital – consultation with BALTEK® experts

The treatment of eye diseases in developing countries is the mission of the non-profit organization ORBIS. A modified DC-10 donated by FedEx serves as a clinic and training center.

Diseases like glaucoma and cataracts, child blindness, corneal blindness, retinal disorders, retinoblastoma, retrolental fibroplasia, trachoma, and strabismus can be treated on board.

The DC-10 was chosen in particular due to its generous available space of 2000 m². For cost-effective flight, however, the interior fittings had to be lightweight yet sturdy enough to carry all of the equipment. An existing grid of aluminum supports fulfilled these requirements but left gaps that needed to be filled as lightweight as possible yet able to hold a heavy load.

3A Composites, together with SIE (Structural Integrity Engineering), specified the density and thickness properties of the more than 1600 required balsa blocks.

The Mahogany Company then produced these blocks in BALTEK® sheet sizes. The individual blocks were numbered so that every block could be inserted into the respective open area.
"Since 1982, ORBIS has helped more than 6.8 million people worldwide in 85 countries" said Krishani Ranaweera, spokesperson of ORBIS UK. The three participating companies completed this project in a very short time in close cooperation and therefore helped the ORBIS mission take off on time - again and again.


  • Great stability with low weight
  • Collaboration with several partners
  • Development of innovative solutions


Bridging the gap

Colevo, faster bridge construction, easier execution, more cost-efficient maintenance

> more

FreeRIDE skiing made easy

foam and balsa sandwich solutions for industrial applications

> more

Tailwind with AIREX®

Airex, Baltek, Banova, core materials for marine applications

> more

Make way for AIREX®

Airex, foam composite materials for rail applications

> more

The market leader's wings

Airex, Baltek, foam and balsa composites for renewable energy

> more

Lightweight for heavy loads

Airex, Baltek, foam and balsa composite materials for road applications

> more