Aircraft History of the DC-10



Founded: 1968
Defunct: 1988

The first commercial airliner produced just a year after the merger between McDonnell Aircraft Corporation and Douglas Aircraft Company, the DC-10 was a wide-body jet airliner that could fit a whopping 380 passengers. It had three turbofan engines , the third at the base of the vertical stabilizer, and could fly over medium to long trips.

Close competition with the Lockhead L-1011, which shared very close similarities in design, affected initial sales significantly. What it was unique in design were its outward-opening cargo doors, whereas inward-opening was the standard. This allowed for maximum usage of cargo room. The design was problematic however.The 1972 accident at the Detroit Metro Airport, when the heavy locking mechanism, crucial in keeping these outward-opening doors closed, malfunctioned, causing an explosive decompression shortly after takeoff, was the first major sign of trouble. The crew managed to land the crippled aircraft without casualties, but the proceeding investigation of the accident shed light on just how flawed this design was—no airworthiness directive was issued, and the design was only slightly modified. It was after Turkish Airlines’s 1974 crash, one of the deadliest,  that a directive was finally issued, and no major incidents occurred after.


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