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DC-10

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The DC-10 was the Douglas Aircraft Company's first and only wide-bodied commercial airliner. It first flew on August 29, 1970 and entered commercial service in 1971, beating the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, which it closely resembled, by nearly a year.

Like the Tristar, the DC-10 has two engines mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the fin. The model was a successor to the DC-8 for long-range operations, and competed in the same markets as the the Airbus A300, Boeing 747 "jumbo jet", and the TriStar. Some were built for the USAF as air-to-air refueling tankers designated the KC-10A Extender[?].

Although many argue the DC-10's safety record was comparable to that of the 747, the DC-10 suffered a poor reputation. DC-10 crashes were much more numerous than that of the Tristar, and many of those crashes were highly publicized, including one in 1974, one in 1978, three in 1979 and one in 1989. The 1974 crash, which killed 346, ranks as the fifth worst aviation disaster in history. It became common for travel agents to get requests not to be put on a DC-10 when booking flights.

The DC-10 went out of production in 1990. A total of 446 DC-10s were produced.

After Douglas merged with McDonnell, McDonnell Douglas built a larger variant called the MD-11. This is somewhat longer than the DC-10 and has upturned wingtips. Production ceased after McDonnell-Douglas was acquired by Boeing. Freighter variants of both aircraft types exist, many operated by Federal Express.



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