The McDonnell Douglas DC-10, the first design after the merge of McDonnell and Douglas in 1967, is the successor to the Douglas DC-8. In intended to transport more passengers over longer distances than the DC-8.
It incorporated a wider hull with an increased capacity and because of the use of more powerful engines, the aircraft was equipped with three instead of four engines thus reducing maintenance costs.
In 1968, American Airlines placed the first orders for twenty-five aircraft, soon followed by an order from United Airlines for thirty aircraft plus an option for another thirty aircraft.
The first flight was conducted with a DC-10-10 on August 29, 1970. This first aircraft type had a usual two-class layout for passengers, with a range of about 6100 km.
There was also a DC-10-10CF variant available (which could be used for both passenger and freight transport) and a DC-10-15 variant which was equipped with more powerful engines to be used in areas with high temperatures and / or great heights.
The subsequent DC-10-30 and DC-10-40 versions were intended for international flights and had a considerably extended flight range (10.010 km) as well as a third landing gear because of the heavier take-off weight.
A version with an even larger flight range, the DC-10-50, was designed but never built.
The production of the DC-10 stopped in 1989, with 386 aircraft delivered for airlines and 60 aircraft for the US Air Force.
The DC-10 was succeeded by the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, which mainly has a larger capacity.
Although the last commercial flight of the DC-10 took place in February 2014, cargo versions are in use. Despite the popularity of the type, only a few have been preserved in museums and other examples are kept in storage. Some DC-10s are also used for specific purposes, such as the Orbis International Flying Eye Hospital, which has a compartment where eye operations can be performed.
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10:
- first version for transport of passengers only; 122 examples built between 1970 and 1981
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10CF : Hybrid version suitable for transport of both cargo and passengers of which eight are built.
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-15:
- passenger version with more powerful engines intended for use in areas with higher temperatures and / or at higher altitudes; seven examples built between 1979 and 1983.
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-20:
- proposed passenger version of the DC-10-10 with additional fuel tanks, 0.9 m extension of each wing and an extensive landing gear (rear, middle). The type would be equipped with three Pratt & amp; Whitney JT9D-15 turbofan engines with an output of 203 Kn; the maximum take-off weight increased to 240,400 kg. However, improvements in engines led to more power and a higher take-off weight. Northwest Orient Airlines requested the type designation to be adjusted in DC-10-40, to make the improvements over the previous version clearer.
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30:
- Passenger version built between 1972-1988.
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30CF : Hybrid version suitable for both freight and passenger transport; built from 1973.
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30ER : Passenger version built from 1981.
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30AF : Freight version built from 1984.
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-40:
- Passenger version, built between 1973-1983
Original DC-10-20, at the insistence of NorthWest Airlines renamed to DC-10 -40.
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-50:
- Unrealized passenger version.
- McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender:
- 60 examples, converted from DC-10-30CF, destined for USAF.
- McDonnell Douglas KDC-10:
- Four examples, converted from DC-10-30CF
Two examples converted for RNlAF and other examples for Omega Aerial Refueling Services and Global Airtanker Service.
Advanced Tanker Cargo Aircraft Program
Doubts arose in the Vietnam War about the effective use of the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker for the USAF. A tanker aircraft with larger capacity than the KC-135 was needed, because both aircraft in Southeast Asia and domestic aircraft had to be supplied with fuel. In 1972 two DC-10s and a Boeing 747 flew to Edwards Air Force Base, with the aim of simulating refueling in the air and thus determining the suitability of the aircraft.
During the Yom Kippur war in 1973, USAF operation Nickel Grass began to provide Israel with arms and supplies. The need for fuel supply in the air became noticeable because the C-5 Galaxy had to fly with less cargo due to the lack of landing rights in Europe. In order to eliminate this restriction in flight freedom, four aircraft were evaluated in 1975: the Lockheed C-5, the Boeing 747, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, and the Lockheed L-1011. The only serious contenders were Boeing and McDonnell Douglas and on December 19, 1977 the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 was chosen. The main reason was the ability of the DC-10 to take off from shorter runways. After a first order of twelve aircraft, this number was later expanded to sixty.
These so-called KC-10 Extenders flew for the first time on 12 July 1980, but it was not until October of the same year that the first fuel supply was carried out in the air. The design of the KC-10 is based on the DC-10-30CF. Unnecessary features for passenger transport were removed, and the aircraft was equipped with advanced freight transport facilities and military equipment.
The most important adjustments were the addition of a fuel hose (Advanced Aerial Refueling Boom) and additional fuel tanks in the cargo compartments below decks. The extra tanks increased the fuel capacity to 161.488 kg, reaching nearly double the KC-135. The KC-10 has both a fuel hose in the middle under the fuselage and a flexible dry-and-hose system.
The control center for refueling is located at the back of the unit, with a large window for keeping an eye on the refueling. The boom operator controls the process by means of a digital fly-by wire system. Unlike the KC-135, the KC-10's and-drogue system is capable of refueling both US Navy, Marine Corps, and most allied aircraft in the same mission.
Other adjustments included the removal of most side windows and lower cargo doors.
In addition to its function as a tanker plane, the KC-10 can carry up to 66.225 kg of freight (or 77.110 kg when the aircraft is specifically equipped for cargo). The KC-10 has a cargo door on the side for loading and unloading cargo. An external lift system is required for in and out.
Despite all the changes, the KC-10 content remained 88% identical to the DC-10-30CF.
|Length:||55,4 m||Wingspan:||50,4 m|
|Height:||17,1 m||Wing area:||- m2|
|Empty weight:||122567 kg||Max. start weight:||259459 kg|
|Max. speed:||982 km/hr||Climbing speed:||- m/min|
|Cruising speed:||908 km/hr|
|Range:||10010 km||Service ceiling:||12802 m|
|Engine type:||Three General Electric GE CF6-50C2 rated 23814 kg thrust each|
At least a crew of four: