McDonnell-Douglas DC-10, MD-10, KC-10 and MD-11 Spotting Guide
McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 of National Airlines
The McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 was a medium to long-range, wide-body, trijet. Its design featured an engine mounted on pylons under each wing, and a third engine mounted in the base of the vertical stabilizer.
Designed as a successor to the McDonell-Douglas DC-8, it could carry 380 passengers up to 6,600 miles. It was marketed to those airlines seeking a jetliner smaller than the Boeing 747 but with transcontinental range and wide-body comfort for passengers.
The DC-10 series included the DC-10-10 and DC-10-15, and longer range DC-10-30 and DC-10-40 variants. Assembly was done at the McDonnell-Douglas plant in Long Beach, California.
McDonnell-Douglas delivered a total of 386 DC-10 airliners between 1968 and 1988.
|Douglas DC-10 of Northwest Air Lines|
Avient D-10 Z-ALT at Châteauroux-Centre "Marcel Dassault" Airport in 2012 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
To continue development of its tri-jet airliner series, McDonnell-Douglas designed the MD-11, which features a stretched fuselage, longer wingspan with winglets, a smaller tailplane, new engines and a glass cockpit.
McDonnell-Douglas delivered a total of 200 MD-11 airliners between 1988 and 2000. Most models, 131 aircraft, were the basic passenger variant, while 53 of the freighter variant MD-11F were built. Other variants included the MD-11ER, MD-11CF and MD-11C.
In 2016, about 120 MD-11s remained in service with cargo operators, mostly with FedEx Express, United Parcel Service, and Lufthansa Cargo.
MD-11F, msn 48545, Registration N545JN, at Châteauroux-Centre "Marcel Dassault" Airport in 2015 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
|McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 of Sky Lease Cargo|
|FedEx MD-11F parked at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California (Staff Photo)
View similar photos at AirplaneBoneyards.com
To allow commonality between the DC-10 and MD-11 for airlines such as FedEx Express which operate both types, McDonnell-Douglas offers a cockpit upgrade to the DC-10.
Beginning in 1996, this upgrade included the installation of an advanced common flight deck on the DC-10 ... the aircraft was then redesignated as a MD-10. This allowed a common type rating for both the MD-10 and MD-11, and also eliminated the need for a flight engineer.
McDonnell-Douglas KC-10 Extender of the U.S. Air Force
A military aerial tanker version of the DC-10 was developed for the United States Air Force, and operated as the KC-10 Extender. It employs a mixed hose-and-drogue and flying-boom refueling system, and can refuel military aircraft of the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. It has twice the refueling capacity of the Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker.
McDonnell-Douglas delivered a total of 60 KC-10 Extenders to the Air Force between 1981 and 1988.
|Shown below is a KC-10 Extender of the United States Air Force during in-flight refueling operations with a F-22 Raptor (Photo courtesy of the US Air Force)|
U.S. Air Force McDonnell-Douglas KC-10, AMC 50030, at Châteauroux-Centre "Marcel Dassault" Airport in France in 2018 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
U.S. Air Force McDonnell-Douglas KC-10 Extender of the Air Mobility Comand, 60036, from McGuire AFB at Châteauroux-Centre "Marcel Dassault" Airport in France in 2018 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command KC-10, 60036, from McGuire AFB at Châteauroux-Centre "Marcel Dassault" Airport in France (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
Side-by-Side Comparison of the DC-10 and the MD-11
Side-by-Side Comparison of the DC-10 and the Lockheed L-1011
The McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 Tristar are similar in design and size, each featuring an engine under each wing, and a third engine mounted in the tail. The distinguishing difference in the two airliners is the design of the third engine.
On the L-1011, Lockheed used an "S-duct" air inlet embedded in the tail and upper fuselage. Engine exhaust is at the tail of the aircraft.
Engineers at McDonnell-Douglas used a different approach, with a straight-through engine design, with the exhaust in the tail structure itself.
See spotting chart below showing a side-by-side comparison of the McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011.
More DC-10 Photographs
|Western Air Lines Douglas DC-10 tri-jet airliner|
|Douglas DC-10 of Northwest Orient Airlines|
|Douglas DC-10 of British Caledonian|
|Douglas DC-10 of Western Airlines|
|Brazilian cargo VarigLog DC-10 airliners in storage at the Pinal Airpark in Arizona (Staff Photo)
View similar photos at AirplaneBoneyards.com