Description of McDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-10 PLANE
Learn more about the Douglas DC-10 plane
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 plane is a long-haul airliner, first commissioned in 1971, replacing the DC-8. Its cargo version is the DC-10 CF (convertible passengers and freight) and F (freight). The latter can carry 30 463 l pallets or 25 LD3 containers, for a total load of 43 tons.
The original DC-10 plane was developed following an order from American Airlines in 1966. This American manufacturer was looking for a long-haul aircraft smaller than the Boeing 747, capable of using short runways.
Douglas and McDonnell, two companies that merged in 1967, then continued with a project previously submitted in a competition to design the DC-10. However, the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar was an important competitor in the 1970s. This competition and numerous air accidents precipitated the decline of the DC-10.
Following the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979, the most serious air accident to occur prior to the 2001 attacks in the United States, the FAA withdrew the certification of the DC-10 for five weeks. Once allowed to fly again, the aircraft had suffered a major blow to its reputation and American Airlines had to go so far as to remove the “DC-10” designation from the “DC-10 Luxury Liners” aircraft to rebuild its reputation. Astronaut Charles Conrad was also hired to promote the plane. In addition, in 1989, a DC-10 was the victim of a bomb attack in Niger attributed to Colonel Gaddafi, killing all passengers and crew members.
386 units were produced until 1989, including 10 units of DC-10-10CF and 27 of DC-10-30CF. KC-10 Extender tanker aircraft were also built from DC-10. The MD-11, a longer and more powerful version, later replaced the aircraft.
Military companies and freight companies such as FedEx Express still use DC-10s today.
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