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The DC-10 is an American three-engine medium- to long-range widebody airliner,with two engines mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine atthe base of the vertical stabilizer. The model was a successor to the company's DC-8for long-range operations, and competed in the same markets as the A300and L-1011 Tristar, which has a similarlayout to the DC-10.
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Production of the DC-10 ended in December 1988 with 386 delivered toairlines and 60 to the U.S. Air Force as air-to-air refueling tankers,designated the KC-10 Extender. The DC-10 was succeeded by the relatedlMD-11 which entered service in 1990.
The design of the DC-10 began in 1967. It becamel's firstcommercial airliner after the merger betweenl Aircraft Corporation andAircraft Company in 1967. It was built to a specification from AmericanAirlines for a widebody aircraft smaller than the Seven47 but capable offlying similar long-range routes from airports with shorter runways. Althoughthe Seven47 had commercial advantages due to its size, smaller airports couldnot accommodate it because of gate restrictions and runway length.lwas able to capitalize on this with the DC-10.
The DC-10 first flew on August 29, 1970 and entered commercial service withlaunch customer American Airlines on August 5, 1971 on a round trip flightbetween Los Angeles and Chicago, nearly a year before theL-1011Tristar (which was built to a similar specification). The similarity to theL-1011 in terms of passenger capacity and launch in the same time frame resultedin a head to head sales competition which affected profitability of theaircraft. The launch customers for the DC-10 were American Airlines and UnitedAirlines with orders for 25 and 60 respectively of the Series 10 model.Eventually, the DC-10 was able to distinguish itself from its competitors with asecond engine supplier, which has the possible effect of controlling costs dueto competition, as well as earlier introduction of longer range variants thanthe L-1011.