Douglas DC 10
new category of airplane was added to the world's air transportation
system when the DC-10 entered scheduled airline service. It has been
demonstrating its value to airlines and air travellers since then,
winning world recognition for its reliability, comfort and efficiency
in more than 25 million hours of revenue flight.
In addition to the
luxury and spaciousness inherent in its wide cabin, the three-engine
DC-10 incorporated improvements in propulsion, aerodynamics, structure,
avionics, flight control systems and environmental compatibility that
advanced industry standards.
The multi-range DC-10
was designed and built in Long Beach, California, by Douglas Aircraft
Company, now the Long Beach Division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Production was started in January 1968 and first deliveries were in
1971. In a production run extending to 1989, 386 commercial DC-10s were
delivered, plus 60 KC-10 tanker/cargo models built for the U.S. Air
Six commercial models of the
DC-10 were developed. All versions of the trijet transport accommodate
from 250 passengers, in a typical mixed first class and coach
arrangement, to 380 in all-economy seating.
The Series 10 model
was designed for service on routes of up to 4,000 statute miles (6,436
km) and is powered by General Electric CF6-6 engines, each rated at
40,000 pounds (17,144 kg) takeoff thrust. The first flight was made on
Aug. 29, 1970. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification was
received for airline service on July 29, 1971. First deliveries were
made jointly to American Airlines and to United Airlines. Scheduled
commercial flights began Aug. 5, 1971.
range Series 40, powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D turbofan engines,
with non-stop range up to approximately 5,800 miles (9,322 km), was
introduced to service in 1972.
The Series 30, an
intercontinental model with a range of approximately 5,900 miles
(9,493 km), also introduced in 1972, is equipped with General Electric
The DC-10 Convertible
Freighter, first delivered in 1973, can be arranged to carry all
passengers or all cargo and is available in the basic Series 10,
Series 30 or Series 40. All versions have available cargo space of
more than 16,000 cubic feet (453 cu m), as much capacity as four
40-foot (12.19-m) railroad freight cars, or up to 380 passengers.
The Series 15,
launched in 1979, combines the basic smaller airframe of the Series 10
with a version of the more powerful engines used on the longer-range
Series 30s. The combination gives the Series 15 outstanding
performance with full loads from high-altitude airports in hot
The DC-10 Series 30F,
an all-freighter model, was ordered by Federal Express in May 1984.
First delivery was made Jan. 24, 1986. This pure freighter version
will carry palletized payloads of up to 175,000 pounds (79,380 kg)
more than 3,800 miles (6,115 km).
A military variant of
the DC-10 is the U.S. Air Force KC-10 tanker/cargo aircraft, adapted
from the Series 30CF for aerial refueling and cargo transport. Sixty
were built and delivered to the Air Force.
The DC-10's General Electric
and Pratt & Whitney power plants represented significant advances in
engine performance and technology over earlier jet engines. The
high-bypass-ratio turbofans yield lower specific fuel consumption,
lower noise levels, smokeless exhaust, easier maintenance and design
for high reliability. Thrust ratings range from 40,000 to 54,000 pounds
(17,144 to 24,494 kg). Two engines are mounted beneath the wings; the
third is above the aft fuselage at the base of the vertical stabilizer.
The wide DC-10 cabin interior
with its broad ceiling results in a roomy spaciousness. Two aisles run
the length of the cabin. Aisles and seats are wider than those on
earlier jet transports, providing a level of passenger comfort and
convenience that set a new standard in air travel. Galleys can be
installed on the lower deck or in a section of the aft cabin, both
areas well separated from passengers. An advanced air conditioning and
cabin pressurization system provides separate automatic temperature
controls for the three main cabin sections and for the cockpit and
lower galley, ensuring optimum comfort for all passengers, regardless
of load density in the different areas.
The roomy flight deck of the
DC-10 has stations for a three-member crew, plus seating for two
observers. Prime considerations in cockpit design were simplicity,
efficiency and low crew workload. Large windshields provide exceptional
visibility, particularly during approaches, landings and ground
manoeuvring. The DC-10 is certified for automatic landing under
Category IIIA weather conditions, allowing operation in near-zero
The airplane was designed
specifically to be a "good airport neighbour," operating from existing
runways, taxiways and loading areas. Although each engine produces more
than twice as much takeoff thrust as the most powerful engines on
first-generation jetliners, the DC-10 power plants are significantly
quieter. The DC-10 was the first commercial transport to be certified
under the stringent FAA Stage 3 regulations governing sound levels for
new aircraft, and it also complies with international noise standards.