McDonnell / Douglas


McDonnell/Douglas DC-10

McDonnell / Douglas


The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is an American tri-jet wide-body airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas.

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Following an unsuccessful proposal for the U.S. Air Force’s CX-HLS (Heavy Logistics System) in 1965, Douglas Aircraft began design studies based on its CX-HLS design. In 1966, American Airlines offered a specification to manufacturers for a widebody aircraft smaller than the Boeing 747 but capable of flying similar long-range routes from airports with shorter runways. The DC-10 became McDonnell Douglas’s first commercial airliner after the merger between McDonnell Aircraft Corporation and Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967.


The trijet has two turbofans on underwing pylons and a third one at the base of the vertical stabilizer. The twin-aisle layout has a typical seating for 270 in two classes. The initial DC-10-10 had a 3,500 nmi (6,500 km) range for transcontinental flights. The DC-10-15 had more powerful engines for hot and high airports. The DC-10-30 and -40 models (with a third main landing gear leg to support higher weights) each had intercontinental ranges of up to 5,200 nmi (9,600 km). The KC-10 Extender (based on the DC-10-30) is a U.S. Air Force tanker.



RoleWide-body airliner
National originUnited States
ManufacturerMcDonnell Douglas
First flightAugust 29, 1970; 50 years ago
IntroductionAugust 5, 1971 with American Airlines
StatusIn cargo service
Primary users

FedEx Express

Number built
Developed intoMcDonnell Douglas MD-11


Long-range variants



A long-range model and the most common model produced. 


The convertible cargo/passenger transport version 


The extended-range version of the DC-10-30. 


Also known as the DC-10-30F. 


Specifications (DC-10-30)

  • Variant-10-30-40
    Cockpit crewThree
    Std. seating270 (222Y 8-abreast @ 34″ + 48J 6-abreast @ 38″)
    Max. seating399Y (10-abreast @ 29–34″ pitch) layout, FAA exit limit: 380[113]
    Cargo26 LD3 layout, main deck: 22 88×125″ or 30 88×108″ pallets
    Length182 ft 3.1 in / 55.55 m181 ft 7.2 in / 55.35 m182 ft 2.6 in / 55.54 m
    Height57 ft 6 in / 17.53 m57 ft 7 in / 17.55 m
    Wingspan155 ft 4 in / 47.35 m165 ft 4 in / 50.39 m
    Wing area[114]3,550 sq ft (330 m2)3,647 sq ft (338.8 m2)
    Width19 ft 9 in (6.02 m) fuselage, 224 in (569 cm) interior

Specifications (DC 10-30)



  • Maximum speed: 538 mph (866 km/h, 468 kn)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.89
  • Range: 4,400 mi (7,100 km, 3,800 nmi) with a maximum passenger capacity; 3,800 nmi (7,038 km; 4,373 mi) with maximum cargo capacity.
  • Ferry range: 11,500 mi (18,500 km, 10,000 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 42,000 ft (13,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 6,870 ft/min (34.9 m/s)

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