The Aviation Portal

The McDonnell Douglas DC-10, first introduced in the early 1970s, is a wide-body airliner that revolutionized long-haul air travel. With its distinctive three-engine configuration and advanced features, the DC-10 quickly gained popularity among both airlines and passengers.

2. Unraveling the Design and Features

The DC-10 was meticulously designed to meet the demands of long-haul flights while ensuring passenger comfort and safety. Its unique three-engine setup, with one engine mounted on the tail, allowed for increased thrust and improved performance, particularly during takeoff and landing.

Equipped with a spacious cabin, the DC-10 offered ample legroom and a comfortable flying experience. Its large windows and efficient air conditioning system created a pleasant environment for passengers, making it a preferred choice for international travel.

Furthermore, the DC-10 incorporated advanced avionics and navigation systems, enhancing flight safety and precision. These technological innovations contributed to the aircraft's stellar reputation for reliability.

3. The Impact of the DC-10

The DC-10 played a pivotal role in shaping the aviation industry. Its extended range and high passenger capacity allowed airlines to expand their route networks and cater to a growing number of travelers. The introduction of the DC-10 opened up new possibilities for long-haul flights, making international travel more accessible and convenient.

However, the DC-10 also faced some challenges and controversies throughout its service history. A series of accidents, particularly in the 1970s, raised concerns about the aircraft's safety. These incidents prompted extensive investigations and subsequent improvements in design and maintenance procedures.

4. Legacy and Evolution

Over the years, the DC-10 underwent several modifications and upgrades to enhance its performance and address safety concerns. McDonnell Douglas introduced newer variants, such as the MD-11, which featured enhanced engines, increased efficiency, and improved passenger amenities.

Despite the introduction of more advanced aircraft models, the DC-10 continued to serve airlines worldwide for several decades. Its versatility and reliability ensured its longevity, with some examples still in operation today, albeit in cargo configurations.


The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 holds a firm place in aviation history as a groundbreaking aircraft that transformed long-haul travel. Its innovative design, advanced features, and long-lasting impact make it a significant milestone in commercial aviation. Although the DC-10's service era has come to an end, its legacy lives on, reminding us of the remarkable advancements made in the pursuit of safer and more efficient air travel.



DC-10 Airplane Characteristics
Cockpit crew Three
Std. seating 270 (222Y 8-abreast @ 34" + 48J 6-abreast @ 38")
Max. seating 399Y (10-abreast @ 29–34" pitch) layout, FAA exit limit: 380
Cargo 26 LD3 layout, main deck: 22 88×125″ or 30 88x108″ pallets
Length 182 ft 3.1 in / 55.55 m 181 ft 7.2 in / 55.35 m 182 ft 2.6 in / 55.54 m
Height 57 ft 6 in / 17.53 m 57 ft 7 in / 17.55 m
Wingspan 155 ft 4 in / 47.35 m 165 ft 4 in / 50.39 m
Wing area 3,550 sq ft (330 m2) 3,647 sq ft (338.8 m2)
Width 19 ft 9 in (6.02 m) fuselage, 224 in (569 cm) interior
OEW (pax) 240,171 lb / 108,940 kg 266,191 lb / 120,742 kg 270,213 lb / 122,567 kg
MTOW 430,000 lb / 195,045 kg 555,000 lb / 251,744 kg
Max. payload 94,829 lb / 43,014 kg 101,809 lb / 46,180 kg 97,787 lb 44,356 kg
Fuel capacity 21,762 US gal / 82,376 L 36,652 US gal / 137,509 L
Engines ×3 GE CF6-6D GE CF6-50C PW JT9D-20 / -59A
Thrust ×3 40,000 lbf / 177.92 kN 51,000 lbf / 226.85 kN 53,000 lbf / 235.74 kN
Cruise Mach 0.82 (473 kn; 876 km/h) typical, Mach 0.88 (507 kn; 940 km/h) MMo
Range 3,500 nmi (6,500 km) 5,200 nmi (9,600 km) 5,100 nmi (9,400 km)
Takeoff 9,000 ft (2,700 m) 10,500 ft (3,200 m) 9,500 ft (2,900 m)
Ceiling 42,000 ft (12,800 m)[148]


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