McDonnell Douglas DC-10
Overview
 
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine
Trijet
A Trijet is an aircraft powered by three jet engines. Early twin-jet designs were limited by the FAA's "60-minute rule", whereby the flight path of twin-engined jetliners was restricted to within 60 minutes' flying time from a suitable airport, in case of engine failure. In 1964 this rule was...

 widebody
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

 jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

 manufactured by McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

. The DC-10 has range
Range (aircraft)
The maximal total range is the distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing, as limited by fuel capacity in powered aircraft, or cross-country speed and environmental conditions in unpowered aircraft....

 for medium- to long-haul
Flight length
In aviation, the flight length is defined as the time airborne during a flight.- Domestic :A short-haul domestic flight is commonly categorized into being no longer than 1.5 hours in length, meaning that all domestic flights within a country such as the United Kingdom are short-haul...

 flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan
Turbofan
The turbofan is a type of airbreathing jet engine that is widely used for aircraft propulsion. A turbofan combines two types of engines, the turbo portion which is a conventional gas turbine engine, and the fan, a propeller-like ducted fan...

 engines mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer
Vertical stabilizer
The vertical stabilizers, vertical stabilisers, or fins, of aircraft, missiles or bombs are typically found on the aft end of the fuselage or body, and are intended to reduce aerodynamic side slip. It is analogical to a skeg on boats and ships.On aircraft, vertical stabilizers generally point upwards...

. The model was a successor to McDonnell Douglas's DC-8
Douglas DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

 for long-range operations, and competed in the same markets as the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar
Lockheed L-1011
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, following the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed...

, which has a similar layout to the DC-10.

Production of the DC-10 ended in 1989 with 386 delivered to airlines and 60 to the U.S. Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 as air-to-air refueling tankers, designated the KC-10 Extender
KC-10 Extender
The McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender is the military adaptation of the three-engined DC-10 airliner for the United States Air Force . The KC-10 incorporates military-specific equipment for its primary roles of transport and aerial refueling. It was developed to supplement the KC-135 Stratotanker...

.
Encyclopedia
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine
Trijet
A Trijet is an aircraft powered by three jet engines. Early twin-jet designs were limited by the FAA's "60-minute rule", whereby the flight path of twin-engined jetliners was restricted to within 60 minutes' flying time from a suitable airport, in case of engine failure. In 1964 this rule was...

 widebody
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

 jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

 manufactured by McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

. The DC-10 has range
Range (aircraft)
The maximal total range is the distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing, as limited by fuel capacity in powered aircraft, or cross-country speed and environmental conditions in unpowered aircraft....

 for medium- to long-haul
Flight length
In aviation, the flight length is defined as the time airborne during a flight.- Domestic :A short-haul domestic flight is commonly categorized into being no longer than 1.5 hours in length, meaning that all domestic flights within a country such as the United Kingdom are short-haul...

 flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan
Turbofan
The turbofan is a type of airbreathing jet engine that is widely used for aircraft propulsion. A turbofan combines two types of engines, the turbo portion which is a conventional gas turbine engine, and the fan, a propeller-like ducted fan...

 engines mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer
Vertical stabilizer
The vertical stabilizers, vertical stabilisers, or fins, of aircraft, missiles or bombs are typically found on the aft end of the fuselage or body, and are intended to reduce aerodynamic side slip. It is analogical to a skeg on boats and ships.On aircraft, vertical stabilizers generally point upwards...

. The model was a successor to McDonnell Douglas's DC-8
Douglas DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

 for long-range operations, and competed in the same markets as the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar
Lockheed L-1011
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, following the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed...

, which has a similar layout to the DC-10.

Production of the DC-10 ended in 1989 with 386 delivered to airlines and 60 to the U.S. Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 as air-to-air refueling tankers, designated the KC-10 Extender
KC-10 Extender
The McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender is the military adaptation of the three-engined DC-10 airliner for the United States Air Force . The KC-10 incorporates military-specific equipment for its primary roles of transport and aerial refueling. It was developed to supplement the KC-135 Stratotanker...

. The largest operator of the DC-10 is US cargo airline
Cargo airline
Cargo airlines are airlines dedicated to the transport of cargo. Some cargo airlines are divisions or subsidiaries of larger passenger airlines.-Logistics:...

 FedEx Express. The DC-10 was succeeded by the related McDonnell Douglas MD-11
McDonnell Douglas MD-11
The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is a three-engine medium- to long-range widebody jet airliner, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas and, later, by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Based on the DC-10, it features a stretched fuselage, increased wingspan with winglets, refined airfoils on the wing and smaller...

. McDonnell Douglas, then Boeing after the two companies merged, upgraded some DC-10s with glass cockpits and renamed them MD-10s.

Development

Following an unsuccessful proposal for the US Air Force's CX-HLS (Heavy Logistics System) in 1965, Douglas Aircraft
Douglas Aircraft Company
The Douglas Aircraft Company was an American aerospace manufacturer, based in Long Beach, California. It was founded in 1921 by Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. and later merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas...

 began design studies based on its CX-HLS design. In 1966, American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

 offered a specification to manufacturers for a widebody aircraft smaller than the Boeing 747 but capable of flying similar long-range routes from airports with shorter runways. The DC-10 became McDonnell Douglas's first commercial airliner
Airliner
An airliner is a large fixed-wing aircraft for transporting passengers and cargo. Such aircraft are operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an aircraft intended for carrying multiple passengers in commercial...

 after the merger between McDonnell Aircraft Corporation and Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967.

The DC-10 was first ordered by launch customers American Airlines with 25 orders, and United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

 with 30 orders and 30 options in 1968. The DC-10, a series 10 model, made its first flight on August 29, 1970. Following a flight test program with 929 flights covering 1,551 hours, the DC-10 was awarded a type certificate from the FAA on July 29, 1971. It entered commercial service with American Airlines on August 5, 1971 on a round trip flight between Los Angeles and Chicago. United Airlines began DC-10 service on August 16, 1971. The DC-10's similarity to the L-1011
Lockheed L-1011
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, following the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed...

 in terms of passenger capacity and launch in the same timeframe resulted in a head to head sales competition which affected profitability of the aircraft.

The first DC-10 version was the "domestic" series 10 with a range of 3,800 miles (3,300 nmi, 6,110 km) with a typical passenger load and a range of 2,710 miles (2,350 nmi, 4,360 km) with maximum payload. The series 15 had a typical load range of 4,350 miles (3,780 nmi, 7,000 km). The series 20 was powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D
Pratt & Whitney JT9D
-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:*...

 turbofan engines, whereas the series 10 and 30 engines were General Electric CF6
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

. Before delivery of its aircraft, Northwest's president asked that the "series 20" aircraft be redesignated "series 40" because the aircraft was much improved over the original design. The FAA issued the series 40 certificate on October 27, 1972.

The series 30 and 40 were the longer range "international" versions. One of the main visible differences between the models is that the series 10 has three sets of landing gear (one front and two main) while the series 30 and 40 have four gear (one front, three main). The center main two-wheel landing gear (which extends from the center of the fuselage) was added to accommodate the extra weight by distributing the weight and providing additional braking. The series 30 had a typical load range of 6,220 mi (10,010 km) and a maximum payload range of 4,604 mi (7,410 km). The series 40 had a typical load range of 5,750 miles (9,265 km) and a maximum payload range of 4,030 miles (3,500 nmi, 6,490 km).

Eventually, the DC-10 was able to distinguish itself from its competitors with two engine options, as well as earlier introduction of longer range variants than the L-1011. The 446th and final DC-10 rolled off the production line in December 1988 and was delivered to Nigeria Airways
Nigeria Airways
Nigeria Airways Ltd., more commonly known as Nigeria Airways, is a defunct Nigerian airline. The company was founded in 1958 after the dissolution of West African Airways Corporation. It was wholly owned by the Government of Nigeria, and served as the country's flag carrier. The airline was...

 in July 1989. The DC-10 was assembled at McDonnell Douglas's Douglas Products Division in Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

. As the final few DC-10 deliveries were occurring, McDonnell Douglas had already started production of the DC-10's successor, the MD-11
McDonnell Douglas MD-11
The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is a three-engine medium- to long-range widebody jet airliner, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas and, later, by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Based on the DC-10, it features a stretched fuselage, increased wingspan with winglets, refined airfoils on the wing and smaller...

.

Design

The DC-10 is a low-wing cantilever monoplane, powered by three turbofan engines. Two engines are mounted on pylons that attach to the bottom of the wings, while the third engine is encased in a protective banjo-shaped structure that is mounted on the top of the rear fuselage. The vertical stabilizer, with its two-segment rudder, is mounted on top of the tail engine banjo. The horizontal stabilizer
Tailplane
A tailplane, also known as horizontal stabilizer , is a small lifting surface located on the tail behind the main lifting surfaces of a fixed-wing aircraft as well as other non-fixed wing aircraft such as helicopters and gyroplanes...

 and its four-segment elevator, is attached to the sides of the rear fuselage in the conventional manner. The airliner has a retractable tricycle landing gear. To enable higher gross weights, the later -30 and -40 series have an additional two-wheel main landing gear, which retracts into the center of the fuselage.

It was designed for medium to long-range flights that can accommodate 250 to 380 passengers, and is operated by a cockpit flight crew of three. The fuselage has underfloor stowage for cargo and baggage.

Original variants

DC-10-10
The DC-10-10 is the initial passenger version, produced from 1970 to 1981. The DC-10-10 was equipped with GE CF6-6
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

 engines, which was the first civil engine version the CF6 family. A total of 122 were built.


DC-10-10CF
The -10CF is a convertible passenger and cargo transport version of the -10. Eight were built for Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

 and one for United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

.


DC-10-15
The -15 variant was designed for use at hot, high-altitude airports. The series 15 is basically a -10 fitted with higher-thrust GE CF6-50C2F (derated DC-10-30 engines) powerplants. The -15 was first ordered in 1979 by Mexicana
Mexicana de Aviación
Founded in 1921, Compañía Mexicana de Aviación, S.A. de C.V. was Mexico's oldest airline, before ceasing operations on August 28, 2010. The group's closure was announced by the company's recently installed management team a short time after the group filed for Concurso Mercantil and US Chapter 15...

 and Aeroméxico
Aeroméxico
Airways of Mexico, SA de CV , operating as Aeroméxico, is the flag carrier airline of Mexico based in Colonia Cuauhtémoc, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City. It operates scheduled domestic and international services to North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia...

. Seven were completed between 1981 and 1983.

Longer range variants

DC-10-20
A proposed version of the DC-10-10 with extra fuel tanks, 3-ft (0.9 m) extensions on each wingtip and a rear center landing gear
Landing Gear
Landing Gear is Devin the Dude's fifth studio album. It was released on October 7, 2008. It was his first studio album since signing with the label Razor & Tie. It features a high-profile guest appearance from Snoop Dogg. As of October 30, 2008, the album has sold 18,906 copies.-Track...

. It was to use Pratt & Whitney JT9D-15
Pratt & Whitney JT9D
-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:*...

 turbofan
Turbofan
The turbofan is a type of airbreathing jet engine that is widely used for aircraft propulsion. A turbofan combines two types of engines, the turbo portion which is a conventional gas turbine engine, and the fan, a propeller-like ducted fan...

 engines, each producing 45,500 lbf (203 kN) of thrust, with a maximum takeoff weight of 530,000 lb (240,400 kg). But engine improvements led to increased thrust and increased takeoff weight. Northwest Orient Airlines, one of the launch customers for this longer range DC-10 requested the name change to DC-10-40.

DC-10-30
A long-range model and the most common model produced. It was built with General Electric CF6-50 turbofan engines and larger fuel tanks to increase range and fuel efficiency, as well as a set of rear center landing gear to support the increased weight. It was very popular with European flag carriers. A total of 163 were built from 1972 to 1988 and delivered to 38 different customers.


DC-10-30CF
The convertible cargo/passenger transport version of the -30. The first deliveries were to Overseas National Airways
Overseas National Airways
The original Overseas National Airways was an American airline, formed in June 1950 as a supplemental carrier. It ceased operations on September 14, 1978. A second related company, took the name in 1978, later renaming to National Airlines, going bankrupt in 1986.- History - First ONA :ONA was...

 and Trans International Airlines
Trans International Airlines
Trans International Airlines was an airline which offered charter service from and within the United States. It offered scheduled service operating as Transamerica Airlines in its last decade...

 in 1973. A total of 27 were built.


DC-10-30ER
The extended range version of the -30. The -30ER aircraft have a higher maximum takeoff weight of 580,000 lb (263,160 kg), are powered by three GE CF6-50C2B engines each producing 54000 lbf (240.2 kN) of thrust and are equipped with an additional fuel tank in the rear cargo hold. It has an additional 700 mi of range to 6,600 mi (5,730 nmi, 10,620 km. The first of this variant was delivered to Finnair
Finnair
Finnair Plc is the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, with its headquarters on the grounds of Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland, and its main hub at Helsinki Airport. Finnair and its subsidiaries dominate both the domestic and international air travel markets in Finland. The largest...

 in 1981. A total of six were built and five -30s were later converted to -30ERs.


DC-10-30AF
Also known as the DC-10-30F. This was the all freight version of the -30. Production was to start in 1979, but Alitalia
Alitalia
Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. , in its later stages known as Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. in Extraordinary Administration, was the former Italian flag carrier...

 did not confirm its order then. Production began in May 1984 after the first aircraft order from FedEx. A total of 10 were built.


DC-10-40
The first long-range version fitted with Pratt & Whitney JT9D
Pratt & Whitney JT9D
-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:*...

 engines. Originally designated DC-10-20, this model was renamed DC-10-40 after a special request from Northwest Orient Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines, Inc. was a major United States airline founded in 1926 and absorbed into Delta Air Lines by a merger approved on October 29, 2008, making Delta the largest airline in the world...

 as the aircraft was much improved compared to its original design, with a higher MTOW (on par with the Series 30) and more powerful engines. The airline's president wanted to advertise he had the latest version. The company also wanted their aircraft to be equipped with the same engines as their Boeing 747s for commonality. Northwest Orient Airlines and Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines
is an airline headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. It is the flag carrier of Japan and its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport , as well as Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport and Osaka's Kansai International Airport...

 were the only airlines to order the series 40 with 22 and 20 aircraft, respectively. Engine improvements led to the DC-10-40s delivered to Northwest featuring Pratt & Whitney JT9D-20 engines producing 50,000 lbf (222 kN) of thrust and a MTOW of 555,000 lb (251,815 kg). The -40s for Japan Airlines were equipped with P&W JT9D-59A engines that produced a thrust of 53,000 lbf (235.8 kN) and a MTOW of 565,000 lb (256,350 kg). 42 were built from 1973 to 1983.


DC-10-50
A proposed version with Rolls-Royce RB211-524
Rolls-Royce RB211
The Rolls-Royce RB211 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines made by Rolls-Royce plc and capable of generating 37,400 to 60,600 pounds-force thrust. Originally developed for the Lockheed L-1011 , it entered service in 1972 and was the only engine to power this aircraft type...

 engines for British Airways. The order never came and the plans for the DC-10-50 were abandoned.

Tanker versions

The KC-10 Extender is a military version of the DC-10-30CF for aerial refueling
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

. The aircraft was ordered by the U.S. Air Force and delivered from 1981 to 1988. A total of 60 were built.

The KDC-10 is an aerial refueling tanker for the Royal Netherlands Air Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...

. These were converted from civil airliners (DC-10-30CF) to a similar standard as the KC-10. Also, commercial refueling companies Omega Air and Global Airtanker Service operate two KDC-10 tanker for lease. Four have been built.

The 10 Tanker Air Carrier
Tanker 910
Tanker 910 is the call-sign of a wide-body jet air tanker currently in fire service. The aircraft, operated by 10 Tanker Air Carrier, is a converted McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft used for fighting wildfires, typically in rural areas...

 is a DC-10-10 converted into a firefighting tanker aircraft, using modified water tanks from Erickson Air-Crane
Erickson Air-Crane
Erickson Air-Crane Incorporated is an aircraft manufacturing and operating company based in Central Point, Oregon, United States. They are known for producing the S-64 Aircrane helicopter, which is used in wildland fire suppression and other heavy-lift operations.Originally the Sikorsky S-64...

.

MD-10 upgrade

The MD-10 is retrofit cockpit upgrade to the DC-10 and a re-designation to MD-10. The upgrade included an Advanced Common Flightdeck
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

 (ACF) used on the MD-11. The new cockpit eliminated the need for the flight engineer
Flight engineer
Flight engineers work in three types of aircraft: fixed-wing , rotary wing , and space flight .As airplanes became even larger requiring more engines and complex systems to operate, the workload on the two pilots became excessive during certain critical parts of the flight regime, notably takeoffs...

 position and allowed common type rating
Type rating
A type rating is an allowance to fly a certain aircraft type that requires additional training beyond the scope of initial license and aircraft class training. What aircraft require a type rating is decided by the local aviation authority...

 with the MD-11. This allows companies such as FedEx Express, which operate both the MD-10 and MD-11, to have a common pilot pool for both aircraft. The MD-10 conversion now falls under the Boeing Converted Freighter program where Boeing's international affiliate companies perform the conversions.

Operators

On January 8, 2007, Northwest Airlines retired its last remaining DC-10 from scheduled passenger service, replacing it with an Airbus A330
Airbus A330
The Airbus A330 is a wide-body twin-engine jet airliner made by Airbus, a division of EADS. Versions of the A330 have a range of and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout or carry of cargo....

 for a route between Minneapolis-St. Paul
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in the five-state upper Midwest region of Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.-Overview:...

 and Honolulu
Honolulu International Airport
Honolulu International Airport is the principal aviation gateway of the City & County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii and is identified as one of the busiest airports in the United States, with traffic now exceeding 21 million passengers a year and rising.It is located in the Honolulu...

, thus ending the aircraft's operations with major airlines. Regarding the retirement of Northwest's DC-10 fleet, Wade Blaufuss, spokesman for the Northwest chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association said, "The DC-10 is a reliable airplane, fun to fly, roomy and quiet, kind of like flying an old Cadillac Fleetwood
Cadillac Fleetwood
Lawrence P. Fisher was the Fisher brother most closely involved with Cadillac in its early years. In 1916 he joined the Fisher Body Company which had been formed by two of his brothers in 1908. Larry was one of four of the seven Fisher brothers who brought Fisher Body Corporation under the General...

. We're sad to see an old friend go." "The DC-10 is going to be remembered as a better cargo plane than passenger plane," said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group. In November 2006 ATA Airlines
ATA Airlines
ATA Airlines, Inc., formerly known as American Trans Air, was an American low-cost scheduled service and charter airline based in Indianapolis, Indiana. ATA operated scheduled passenger flights throughout the US mainland and Hawaii, as well as military and commercial charter flights around the world...

 announced that they had purchased seven of Northwest's remaining DC-10s to replace their Lockheed L-1011
Lockheed L-1011
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, following the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed...

s. Omni Air International
Omni Air International
Omni Air International, Inc. is a United States charter airline with its headquarters in Hangar 19 on the grounds of Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It operates international and domestic passenger charters, as well as wet leasing....

 purchased six of Northwest's DC-10 aircraft.

The aging models are now largely used as dedicated freight aircraft. American Airlines and United Airlines sold their large DC-10-10 fleets to cargo carrier FedEx. Many have been modernized to MD-10s by adding a glass cockpit
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

, which eliminates the need for a flight engineer. Other DC-10 aircraft continue in charter and cargo services with their three-person flight deck configuration. Omni Air International and World Airways
World Airways
World Airways, Inc. is an American airline headquartered at the HLH Building in Peachtree City, Georgia. For the most part, the company operates non-scheduled services. Its main aircraft and maintenance base is Tampa International Airport.-History:...

 continue to operate the DC-10 on charter passenger services as well as for the Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command is a Major Command of the U.S. Air Force. AMC is headquartered at Scott AFB, Illinois, east of St. Louis....

. Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Biman Bangladesh Airlines , partly transcribed from English into Bengali and the other way around) is the flag carrier airline of Bangladesh. Its main hub is at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, and also operates flights from Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong, earning revenue...

 operates five DC-10-30s as one of their primary passenger aircraft as of 2009.

Non-airline operators include the Royal Netherlands Air Force with three DC-10-30CF-based KDC-10 tanker aircraft
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

, the USAF with its 59 KC-10s, and the 10 Tanker Air Carrier with its modified DC-10-10 used for fighting wildfires. Orbis International
ORBIS International
Orbis International is an international non-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Orbis programs focus on the prevention of blindness and the treatment of blinding eye diseases in developing countries...

 has used a single DC-10-10 converted into a flying eye hospital. Surgery is performed on the ground and the operating room is located between the wings for maximum stability. Orbis chose to replace its aging DC-10 with a MD-10, that was converted from a DC-10 jointly donated by FedEx and United Airlines. The MD-10 eye hospital is expected to be flying in 2010. Additionally, one former American Airlines DC-10-10 is operated by the Missile Defense Agency
Missile Defense Agency
The Missile Defense Agency is the section of the United States government's Department of Defense responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. The agency has its origins in the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was established in 1983 and was headed by Lt...

 as the Widebody Airborne Sensor Platform (WASP).

In January 2011, there were 97 DC-10s in service with commercial operators FedEx Express (74), Omni Air International
Omni Air International
Omni Air International, Inc. is a United States charter airline with its headquarters in Hangar 19 on the grounds of Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It operates international and domestic passenger charters, as well as wet leasing....

 (8), Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Biman Bangladesh Airlines , partly transcribed from English into Bengali and the other way around) is the flag carrier airline of Bangladesh. Its main hub is at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, and also operates flights from Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong, earning revenue...

 (4), Cielos Airlines
Cielos Airlines
Centurion Air Cargo, commonly known by its old name Cielos del Peru, is a cargo airline based in Callao, Lima, Peru. It operates scheduled, ad hoc and contract charter domestic and international cargo services. Its main base is Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima.- History :The airline was...

 (3), Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter (3), and others with fewer aircraft.

Incidents and accidents

As of February 2011, the DC-10 was involved in 56 incidents, including 31 hull-loss accidents
Aviation accidents and incidents
An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a...

, with 1,261 fatalities.

Despite its troubled beginnings in the 1970s, which gave it an unfavorable reputation, the DC-10 has proved a reliable aircraft. The DC-10's initially poor safety record continuously improved as design flaws were rectified and fleet hours increased. The DC-10's lifetime safety record is comparable to similar second-generation passenger jets as of 2008.

Cargo door problem

The DC-10 was designed with cargo doors that opened outward instead of conventional inward-opening "plug-type" doors
Plug door
A plug door is a door designed to seal itself by taking advantage of pressure difference on its two sides and is typically used on pressurised aircraft...

 which, due to their being larger than the door frame, make opening the door impossible once the plane is pressurized. Using outward-opening doors allowed the DC-10's cargo area to be completely filled since the door was not occupying usable space. To secure the door against the outward force caused by the pressurization
Pressurization
Pressurization is the application of pressure in a given situation or environment; and more specifically refers to the process by which atmospheric pressure is maintained in an isolated or semi-isolated atmospheric environment .-See also:* Cabin pressurization* Compressed air* Decompression* Gas...

 of the fuselage at high altitudes, outward-opening doors must rely on heavy locking mechanisms. In the event of a door lock malfunction, there is great potential for explosive decompression.

American Airlines Flight 96

A problem with the outward-opening cargo door first became publicly known on June 12, 1972, when American Airlines Flight 96
American Airlines Flight 96
American Airlines Flight 96 was a regular McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 flight operated by American Airlines. The flight suffered a cargo door failure on 12 June 1972 while flying over Windsor, Ontario; it is thus sometimes referred to as the Windsor incident.The rapid decompression in the cargo hold...

 lost its aft
Aft
Aft, in naval terminology, is an adjective or adverb meaning, towards the stern of the ship, when the frame of reference is within the ship. Example: "Able Seaman Smith; lay aft!". Or; "What's happening aft?"...

 cargo door shortly after takeoff from Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River...

. Before Flight 96 took off, an airport employee had forced the door shut, which, due to the cargo door's design, gave an outward appearance of being securely locked despite the internal locking mechanism not being fully engaged. Subsequently, when the plane reached approximately 11750 feet (3,581.4 m) in altitude, the cargo door blew out, causing an explosive decompression
Explosive decompression
Uncontrolled decompression refers to an unplanned drop in the pressure of a sealed system, such as an aircraft cabin and typically results from human error, material fatigue, engineering failure or impact causing a pressure vessel to vent into its lower-pressure surroundings or fail to pressurize...

 which partially collapsed the cabin floor at the rear of the plane. This collapsed section of the floor cut or impeded many of the control cables to the empennage
Empennage
The empennage , also known as the tail or tail assembly, of most aircraft gives stability to the aircraft, in a similar way to the feathers on an arrow...

 control systems necessary to fly the plane. The crew was able to accomplish an emergency landing by using the ailerons, right elevator
Elevator (aircraft)
Elevators are flight control surfaces, usually at the rear of an aircraft, which control the aircraft's orientation by changing the pitch of the aircraft, and so also the angle of attack of the wing. In simplified terms, they make the aircraft nose-up or nose-down...

, some limited rudder trim and asymmetrical thrust of the wing engines.

During the investigation of the near-crash of Flight 96, U.S. National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine...

 (NTSB) investigators found that the DC-10's cargo door design was dangerously flawed. The door relied on a set of heavy steel hooks to secure it against the door frame. When the hooks were fully engaged, an outside lever on the cargo door could be depressed, which drives a set of locking pins through the hooks, holding them in place. The NTSB investigation found that it was possible to close the outside lever without the hooks being fully engaged, and there would be no outward signs that the locking mechanism was not engaged. Even though the hooks and locking pins were not in the closed position, the cargo door indicator in the cockpit would still register the door as being secured. This combination of factors caused Flight 96 to take off without its aft cargo door being fully locked. And when the door blew out at altitude, the sudden decompression of the airplane caused a large pressure difference to build up between the cabin above and the cargo bay below. This depressurization loading is what caused the cabin floor to collapse. And because the DC-10 was designed with its hydraulics and control wires routed through the floor beams, the collapse of the cabin floor caused a loss of vital flight controls.

Following the Windsor incident investigation, the NTSB made several recommendations, including repairing the faulty cargo door design to make it impossible for baggage handlers to close the cargo door lever without the locking pins being fully engaged. It was also recommended that vents be installed in the cabin floor so that, in case of an explosive decompression, the pressure difference between the cabin and cargo bay could quickly be equalized without collapsing the cabin floor and damaging critical control systems. Although many carriers voluntarily modified the cargo doors, no airworthiness directive
Airworthiness Directive
An Airworthiness Directive is a notification to owners and operators of certified aircraft that a known safety deficiency with a particular model of aircraft, engine, avionics or other system exists and must be corrected....

 was issued to require reworking of the locking system, due to a gentlemen's agreement
Gentlemen's agreement
A gentlemen's agreement is an informal agreement between two or more parties. It may be written, oral, or simply understood as part of an unspoken agreement by convention or through mutually beneficial etiquette. The essence of a gentlemen's agreement is that it relies upon the honor of the parties...

 between the head of the FAA and McDonnell Douglas. McDonnell Douglas did make modifications to the cargo door, but the basic design remained unchanged and problems persisted.

Turkish Airlines Flight 981

On March 3, 1974, an almost identical cargo door blow-out caused Turkish Airlines Flight 981
Turkish Airlines Flight 981
Turkish Airlines Flight 981 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, registered TC-JAV and named the Ankara, that crashed in Fontaine-Chaalis, Oise, France, outside Senlis, on 3 March 1974...

 to crash into a forest near the town of Ermenonville
Ermenonville
Ermenonville is a small village in northern France. It is designated municipally as a commune within the département of Oise.Ermenonville is notable for its park named for Jean-Jacques Rousseau by René Louis de Girardin...

, France shortly after leaving Paris. 346 people were killed in one of the deadliest air crashes of all time. Circumstances of this crash were very similar to the previous accident. The cargo door had not been fully locked, though it appeared so to both cockpit crew and ground personnel. The Turkish aircraft had a different seating configuration that exacerbated the effects of decompression, which caused the aircraft's floor to collapse into the cargo bay. Control cables running through the floor of the plane were severed when the floor collapsed and this rendered the aircraft uncontrollable. Crash investigators found that the DC-10's relief vents were not large enough to equalize the pressure between the passenger and cargo compartments during explosive decompression. Following this crash, a special subcommittee of the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 investigated the cargo door issue and the FAA's certification of the original design. An airworthiness directive was issued, and all DC-10s underwent mandatory door modifications. The DC-10 experienced no more major incidents related to its cargo door after FAA-approved changes were made.

American Airlines Flight 191

The DC-10 experienced another major accident with the crash of American Airlines Flight 191
American Airlines Flight 191
American Airlines Flight 191 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight in the United States from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles International Airport. On May 25, 1979, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 operating the route crashed moments after takeoff from Chicago....

 on May 25, 1979. Flight 191 lost its number one (left wing) engine after taking off from O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

 in Chicago, USA. As the engine separated upwards, it ripped through the leading edge of the wing, rupturing hydraulic lines. Without hydraulic pressure, the left wing leading edge slats retracted due to the force of the air moving over the wings. That, in turn, increased the stall speed of the left wing above the engine failure climb out speed being used by the pilots. When the left wing stalled, the plane rapidly rolled to the left and crashed before the flight crew could recover. All 271 people on board, plus two on the ground, were killed.

The United States National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine...

 (NTSB) officials discovered that a maintenance procedure was the culprit. American Airlines mechanics removed the engine and its pylon together, rather than removing the engine from the pylon then the pylon from the wing, as recommended by McDonnell Douglas. This was done using a forklift and the pylon was inadvertently cracked in the process. The short-cut procedure, believed to save many man hours on maintenance, was used by three major airlines, although McDonnell Douglas advised against it. In November 1979, the Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 (FAA) fined American Airlines $500,000 for using this faulty maintenance procedure. Continental Airlines was fined $100,000 on a similar charge.

The Chicago accident also highlighted a major deficiency in the DC-10 design; its lack of a locking mechanism to maintain the position of the leading-edge slats in the event of a hydraulic or pneumatic failure. Other wide-body aircraft of the day carried such a feature. Another deficiency highlighted in the NTSB report was the vulnerable placement of wiring at the leading-edge (front) of the wing. When the engine pulled up and over the wing, it tore out these lines, thus rendering vital warning instruments in the cockpit inoperable. Following the Chicago crash, the type certificate
Type certificate
A Type Certificate, is awarded by aviation regulating bodies to aerospace manufacturers after it has been established that the particular design of a civil aircraft, engine, or propeller has fulfilled the regulating bodies' current prevailing airworthiness requirements for the safe conduct of...

 of the DC-10 was withdrawn by the FAA, grounding the aircraft on June 6, 1979. The aircraft resumed service after modifications were made to the slat actuation systems and position systems along with stall warning and power supplies changes were made.

United Airlines Flight 232

Another major DC-10 crash was United Airlines Flight 232
United Airlines Flight 232
United Airlines Flight 232 was a scheduled flight from Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado, to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, with continuing service to Philadelphia International Airport...

 disaster at Sioux City, Iowa
Sioux City, Iowa
Sioux City is a city in Plymouth and Woodbury counties in the western part of the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, a decline from 85,013 in the 2000 census, which makes it currently the fourth largest city in the state....

, USA, on July 19, 1989. The number two (tail) engine suffered an uncontained fan disk failure in flight, which damaged all three hydraulic systems and rendered the hydraulic flight controls inoperable. The flight crew, led by Captain Al Haynes
Alfred C. Haynes
Alfred C. "Al" Haynes is a former airline pilot and a regular guest speaker at social events. Haynes gained international fame in 1989, when he, together with the rest of his crew and Dennis E...

 and assisted by a senior pilot flying as a passenger
Deadheading (aviation)
In aviation, deadheading is a term used when members of an airline's flight staff are carried free of charge but not working. This most often happens when airline crew are located in the wrong place and need to travel to take up their duties...

 (Dennis E. "Denny" Fitch
Dennis E. Fitch
Dennis E. "Denny" Fitch is a retired commercial airline pilot. He is best known for his critical actions as an off-duty DC-10 training captain who helped captain Al Haynes minimize loss of life on United Airlines Flight 232 when all flight controls were lost, on July 19, 1989...

), performed an emergency landing by constantly adjusting the thrust of the remaining two engines. The crew managed to fly the aircraft onto the runway in a partially controlled manner, and 185 of the 296 people on board survived in spite of the destruction of the plane during that landing.

The DC-10 included no cable backup for the hydraulic powered flight controls because it was considered nearly impossible for three hydraulic systems to fail during one flight. However, all three hydraulic systems were in close proximity, directly beneath the tail engine. The #2 engine explosion hurled shrapnel that ruptured all three lines, resulting in total loss of control to the elevators, ailerons, spoilers, horizontal stabilizer, rudder, flaps and slats.

Following the UAL 232 accident, hydraulic fuses
Fuse (hydraulic)
In hydraulic systems, a fuse is a component which prevents the sudden loss of hydraulic fluid pressure. It is a safety feature, designed to allow systems to continue operating, or at least to not fail catastrophically, in the event of a system breach...

 were installed in the #3 hydraulic system in the area below the #2 engine, on all DC-10 aircraft, to ensure that sufficient control capability remained, if all three hydraulic system lines should be damaged in the tail area again. It is still possible to lose all three hydraulic systems elsewhere. That nearly occurred to a cargo airliner in 2002 during takeoff, when a main gear tire exploded in the wheel well. The damage in the left wing area caused total loss of pressure in the #1 and the #2 hydraulic systems. The #3 system was dented, but not penetrated.

Other notable accidents and incidents

Other notable incidents and accidents involving the DC-10 are listed below.
  • November 3, 1973 - National Airlines Flight 27
    National Airlines Flight 27
    On November 3, 1973, a National Airlines DC-10-10 aircraft was operating as a scheduled passenger flight between Miami and San Francisco with intermediate stops at New Orleans, Houston, and Las Vegas ....

    , a DC-10-10 experienced an uncontained failure of the right (#3) engine. The cabin was penetrated by shrapnel from the engine and lost pressure. One passenger was killed. The crew initiated an emergency descent, and landed the aircraft safely.
  • November 28, 1979 - Air New Zealand Flight 901
    Air New Zealand Flight 901
    Air New Zealand Flight 901 was a scheduled Air New Zealand Antarctic sightseeing flight that operated between 1977 and 1979, from Auckland Airport to Antarctica and return via Christchurch...

    , DC-10-30 ZK-NZP crashed into Mount Erebus
    Mount Erebus
    Mount Erebus in Antarctica is the southernmost historically active volcano on Earth, the second highest volcano in Antarctica , and the 6th highest ultra mountain on an island. With a summit elevation of , it is located on Ross Island, which is also home to three inactive volcanoes, notably Mount...

     on Ross Island
    Ross Island
    Ross Island is an island formed by four volcanoes in the Ross Sea near the continent of Antarctica, off the coast of Victoria Land in McMurdo Sound.-Geography:...

    , Antarctica during a sightseeing flight over the continent, killing all 257 on board. The accident was caused by the flight coordinates being altered without the flight crew's knowledge, combined with unique Antarctic weather conditions.
  • January 23, 1982 - World Airways Flight 30
    World Airways Flight 30
    World Airways Flight 30 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 airplane flying from Newark International Airport to Boston Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 23, 1982. The plane touched down beyond the displaced threshold...

    , a DC-10-30CF, registration N113WA, overran the runway at Boston Logan International Airport. All 12 crew survived, but 2 of the 200 passengers were reported missing.
  • September 13, 1982 – Spantax Flight BX995
    Spantax Flight 995
    Spantax Flight 995 was a charter flight from Madrid-Barajas Airport to New York via Malaga Airport . When the aircraft was rolling for take-off, the pilot felt a strong vibration and aborted the take-off...

    , DC-10-30CF EC-DEG was destroyed by fire after an aborted take-off at Málaga
    Málaga
    Málaga is a city and a municipality in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of 568,507 in 2010, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. This is the southernmost large city in Europe...

    , Spain. 50 passengers were killed and 110 passengers were injured due to the flames.
  • December 23, 1983 – Korean Air Cargo Flight 084
    Korean Air incidents and accidents
    - 1950s :* 16 February 1958 – A scheduled domestic Korean National Airlines passenger flight between Busan and Seoul was diverted to Pyongyang, North Korea, by eight hijackers. Occupants: 34. Injuries: 0. Deaths: 0. Damage: none...

    , DC-10-30CF HL7339 was destroyed after colliding head-on with a Piper PA-31 Navajo
    Piper PA-31 Navajo
    The Piper PA-31 Navajo is a family of cabin-class, twin-engine aircraft designed and built by Piper Aircraft for the general aviation market, most using Lycoming engines. It was also licence-built in a number of Latin American countries. Targeted at small-scale cargo and feeder liner operations and...

     while taxiing at Anchorage, Alaska
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost major city in the United States...

    . All on board both aircraft survived.
  • July 27, 1989 – Korean Air
    Korean Air
    Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

     Flight 803, DC-10-30, registration HL7328 crashed short of the runway in bad weather while trying to land at Tripoli
    Tripoli
    Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

    , Libya
    Libya
    Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

    . A total of 75 of the 199 on board were killed.
  • September 19, 1989 – Union des Transports Aériens Flight 772
    UTA Flight 772
    UTA Flight 772 of the French airline Union des Transports Aériens was a scheduled flight operating from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, via N'Djamena in Chad, to Paris CDG airport in France....

    , DC-10-30 N54629, crashed in Ténéré
    Ténéré
    The Ténéré is a desert region in the south central Sahara. It comprises a vast plain of sand stretching from northeastern Niger into western Chad, occupying an area of over...

     Desert following an in-flight bomb explosion, claiming the lives of all on board.
  • December 21, 1992 – Martinair Flight 495, DC-10-30CF PH-MBN crashed while landing in bad weather at Faro, Portugal
    Faro, Portugal
    Faro is the southernmost city in Portugal. It is located in the Faro Municipality in southern Portugal. The city proper has 41,934 inhabitants and the entire municipality has 58,305. It is the seat of the Faro District and capital of the Algarve region...

    .
  • April 7, 1994 - FedEx Flight 705
    FedEx Flight 705
    On April 7, 1994, FedEx Flight 705, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 cargo jet ferrying electronics across the United States from Memphis, Tennessee to San Jose, California, experienced an attempted hijacking for the purpose of a suicide attack....

    , DC-10-30 N306FE experienced an attempted hijacking. FedEx employee Auburn Calloway tried to hijack the plane, but the crew fought him off and returned to Memphis.
  • June 13, 1996 – Garuda Indonesia Flight 865
    Garuda Indonesia Flight 865
    Garuda Indonesia Flight 865 was a scheduled international flight from Fukuoka, Japan, to Jakarta, Indonesia. On June 13, 1996, the crew of the aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, attempted to abort take-off after reaching a speed above V1. It happened because when the aircraft reached rotate...

    , DC-10-30 PK-GIE had just taken off from Fukuoka Airport
    Fukuoka Airport
    , formerly known as Itazuke Air Base, is an international and domestic airport located east of Hakata Station in Fukuoka, Japan. It is officially designated a second class airport. It is operating at full capacity, and cannot be further expanded. Flights stop at 10 p.m...

    , Japan when a high-pressure blade from engine #3 separated. The aircraft was just a few feet above the runway and the pilot decided to abort the take-off. Consequently, the DC-10 skidded off the runway and came to a halt 1600 ft (487.7 m) past it, having lost one of its engines and its landing gear.
  • January 31, 2001 - Japan Airlines Flight 958
    2001 Japan Airlines mid-air incident
    On Wednesday, January 31, 2001, Japan Airlines Flight 907, using a Boeing 747-446 Domestic bound from Tokyo International Airport in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan to Naha International Airport in Naha, Okinawa, Japan and Japan Airlines Flight 958, using a Douglas DC-10-40D bound from Gimhae International...

    , bound for Narita International Airport
    Narita International Airport
    is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located east of Tokyo Station and east-southeast of Narita Station in the city of Narita, and the adjacent town of Shibayama....

     from Gimhae International Airport
    Gimhae International Airport
    Gimhae International Airport is located on the western end of Busan, South Korea. It opened in 1976. A new international terminal opened on October 31, 2007. Gimhae International Airport is the main hub for Air Busan...

    , nearly collided with another Japan Airlines aircraft. The other aircraft, a Boeing 747, suddenly dove and avoided the Narita-bound DC-10.


The Air France Concorde crash
Air France Flight 4590
Air France Flight 4590 was a Concorde flight operated by Air France which was scheduled to run from Charles de Gaulle International Airport near Paris, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. On 2000, it crashed in Gonesse, France. All one hundred passengers and nine crew...

 of 2000 was attributed to a fragment of titanium that fell from the thrust reverser of a Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

 DC-10 that had taken off some four minutes earlier. This fragment was traced to a third party parts replacement which had not been approved by the FAA.

Specifications

DC-10-10 DC-10-15 DC-10-30 DC-10-40
Cockpit crew Three
Passengers 399 (maximum), 255 (2 class, typical)
Cargo (freighter variant) 22 LD7
Unit Load Device
A unit load device , is a pallet or container used to load luggage, freight, and mail on wide-body aircraft and specific narrow-body aircraft. It allows a large quantity of cargo to be bundled into a single unit. Since this leads to fewer units to load, it saves ground crews time and effort and...

 pallets
23 LD7 pallets
Fuselage length 170 ft 6 in (51.97 m)
Height 58 ft 1 in (17.7 m)
Wingspan 155 ft 4 in (47.34 m) 165 ft 4 in (50.4 m)
Fuselage width 19 ft 9 in (6.02 m)
Fuselage height 19 ft 9 in (6.02 m)
Max interior width 18 ft 2 in (5.54 m)
Operating empty weight 240,171 lb (108,940 kg) 266,191 lb (120,742 kg) 270,213 lb (122,567 kg)
Maximum take-off weight 430,000 lb
(195,045 kg)
455,000 lb
(206,385 kg)
572,000 lb
(259,459 kg)
555,000 lb
(251,701 kg)
Typical cruise speed Mach 0.82
(564 mph, 908 km/h, 490 kt)
Max cruise speed Mach 0.88
(610 mph, 982 km/h, 530 kt)
Max range, loaded 3,800 miles (6,114 km) 4,350 mi (7,000 km) 6,220 mi (10,010 km) 5,750 mi (9,252 km)
Maximum fuel capacity 21,700 US gal
(82,134 L)
26,647 US gal
(100,859 L)
36,650 US gal
(138,720 L)
36,650 US gal
(138,720 L)
Takeoff run on MTOW 8,612 ft (2,625 m) 7,257 ft (2,212 m) 9,341 ft (2,847 m) 9,242 ft (2,817 m)
Service ceiling 42,000 ft (12,802 m)
Engine model (x 3) GE CF6-6D
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

 
GE CF6-50C2F
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

 
GE CF6-50C
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

 
PW JT9D-59A
Pratt & Whitney JT9D
-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:*...

Engine thrust (x 3) 40,000 lbf (177.9 kN) 46,500 lbf (206.8 kN) 51,000 lbf (226.9 kN) 53,000 lbf (235.8 kN)

Sources: DC-10 manufacturer data, Airliners.net, and Flight International.

Deliveries

1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
Total>
13 52 57 48 42 19 14 18 36 40 25 11 12 10 11 17 10 10 1 446

See also

External links

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