MDonnell Douglas DC-10
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is an American trijet wide-body aircraft manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 was intended to succeed the DC-8 for long-range flights. It first flew on August 29, 1970; it was introduced on August 5, 1971, by American Airlines.
Early operations of the DC-10 were afflicted by its poor safety record, which was partially attributable to a design flaw in the original cargo doors that caused multiple incidents, including fatalities. Following the American Airlines Flight 191 crash (the deadliest aviation accident in US history), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) temporarily banned all DC-10s from U.S. airspace in June 1979. In August 1983, McDonnell Douglas announced that production would end due to a lack of orders, as it had a widespread public apprehension after the 1979 crash and a poor fuel economy reputation. As design flaws were rectified and fleet hours increased, the DC-10 achieved a long term safety record that was comparable to similar era passenger jets.
Production ended in 1989, with 386 delivered to airlines along with 60 KC-10 tankers. The DC-10 had outsold the similar Lockheed L-1011 TriStar. It was succeeded by the lengthened, heavier McDonnell Douglas MD-11. After merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, Boeing upgraded many in-service DC-10s as the MD-10 with a glass cockpit that eliminated the need for a flight engineer. In February 2014, the DC-10 made its last commercial passenger flight. Cargo airlines continue to operate a small number as freighters. The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is a DC-10 adapted for eye surgery. A few DC-10s have been converted for aerial firefighting use. Some DC-10s are on display, while other retired aircraft are in storage.
The KC-10 Extender is a military version of the DC-10-30CF for aerial refueling. The aircraft was ordered by the U.S. Air Force and delivered from 1981 to 1988. A total of 60 were built. These aircraft are powered exclusively by General Electric CF6 turbofan engines.
The KDC-10 was an aerial refueling tanker for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. These were converted from civil airliners (DC-10-30CF) to a similar standard as the KC-10.
The DC-10 Air Tanker is a DC-10-based firefighting tanker aircraft, using modified water tanks from Erickson Air-Crane.