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McDonnell Douglas DC10The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas.


The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer. The model was a successor to McDonnell Douglas's DC-8 for long-range operations, and competed in the same markets as the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, 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 as air-to-air refueling tankers, designated the KC-10 Extender. The largest operator of the DC-10 is US cargo airline FedEx Express. The DC-10 was succeeded by the related McDonnell Douglas MD-11. McDonnell Douglas, then Boeing after the two companies merged, upgraded some DC-10s with glass cockpits and renamed them MD-10s.

The DC-10-10 is the initial passenger version, produced from 1970 to 1981. The DC-10-10 was equipped with GE CF6-6 engines, which was the first civil engine version the CF6 family. A total of 122 were built.

The -10CF is a convertible passenger and cargo transport version of the -10. Eight were built for Continental Airlines and one for United Airlines.

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 and Aeroméxico. Seven were completed between 1981 and 1983.

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. It was to use Pratt & Whitney JT9D-15 turbofan 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.

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.

The convertible cargo/passenger transport version of the -30. The first deliveries were to Overseas National Airways and Trans International Airlines in 1973. A total of 27 were built.

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 54,000 lbf (240 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 in 1981. A total of six were built and five -30s were later converted to -30ERs.

Also known as the DC-10-30F. This was the all freight version of the -30. Production was to start in 1979, but Alitalia did not confirm its order then. Production began in May 1984 after the first aircraft order from FedEx. A total of 10 were built.

The first long-range version fitted with Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines. Originally designated DC-10-20, this model was renamed DC-10-40 after a special request from Northwest Orient Airlines 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 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.

A proposed version with Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engines for British Airways. The order never came and the plans for the DC-10-50 were abandoned.

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