McDonnell Douglas KC-10

KC-10 Extender of the USAF

the McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) KC-10 Extender is a large tank and transport aircraft of US air Force. Despite similar designation it is not to be confounded with the Vickers VC-10.

Table of contents

to history of the development


in the middle of the 1970er years announced the USAF for the near future a increased need at progressive Tankflugzeugen and started the project ATCA (Advanced tanker/cargo aircraft). Because during the Viet Nam war even the large fleet (over 700) was sufficient Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker hardly, in order on the one hand the many bombers and reconnaissance aircraft in Southeast Asia and on the other hand the long-range bombers and - transporters in the homeland to support. Thus the American Air Force wished itself a larger and more flexible airplane for this purpose. The machines should be available as fast and economically as possible, therefore the advertisement was limited to large-capacity aircraft, which were already built in series, like z. B. Boeing 747, Lockheed L-1011 tri star and McDonnell Douglas DC-10. In December 1977 the competition was decided in favor of of McDonnell Douglas.

of the DC-10 to the KC-10

a KC-10 before a C-17

as output model for the new tanker KC-10 one selected the DC-10-30CF. The most important differences in relation to the civil version are among other things:

  • Window-loose trunk as well as no freight hatches to the counter ceiling
  • installation of three rubber tanks in the lower deck
  • tank arm with 17,8 m of maximum length
  • station for the arm operator under the rear trunk, accessible of the Hauptdeck
  • air refueling system, over to be refuelled to be able
  • areas for second crew behind the cockpit

of the DC-10-30CF was taken over the variable Hauptdeck: It can accept either up to 76,8 t freight or - after re-equipment - 75 soldiers to the front part and freight behind it.


, troops and fuel can carry achievements the KC-10 at the same time for air refueling, which during the transfer of units a large advantage is. The maximum fuel charge amounts to 161.5 t (66.7 t in the Flügeltanks plus 94,8 t in the counter ceiling), that is 75% more than with the KC-135. With large receivers like the C-5 Galaxy up to 4.200 litres per minute by the rigid arm are pumped - an increase of 23% opposite the KC-135. Airplanes with tank probe (z. B. such of the United States Navy) can receive fuel over hose and catching judge from the Extender; between both kinds of refueling can be changed during the flight. Finally the KC-10 can be refuelled, whereby the range is practically unlimited. Maintenance costs are relatively small for a military aircraft, because by the large technical agreement with the civilian DC-10 the spare parts are inexpensive and well available.

production and employment

the first flight of a KC-10 Extender found to 12. July 1980 instead of, the distribution of 60 ordered machines to the USAF began at 17. March 1981. The first air refuelings followed to 30. October 1980 with a C-5A Galaxy. The last airplane supplied with McDonnell Douglas to 4. April 1990 off. A copy (identification: 82-0190) is to 17. September 1987 destroyed with a fire on the Barksdale air Force cousin , Louis IANA, so that today still 59 KC-10A are with the USAF in the service. They are subordinate to the air Mobility COMMAND (AMC) and distribute themselves on the bases Travis air Force cousin, California (27 machines) and McGuire air Force cousin, new jersey (32 machines).


1995 also the Netherlands Air Force of two such tankers has the Netherlands. The KDC-10 machines mentioned is - differently than the KC-10 of the USAF - not again built but reequipped DC-10-30CF, since 1976 and/or. 1978 for Martinair flew. They received a new refueling station, at which the operator in a compartment in the front Hauptdeck without direct visual contact works. The operation and control of the tank arm are made remote controlled by cameras at the tail, which supply also at night and with poor visibility still good pictures. The control station is installed on a pallet, so that it can be removed even completely, if the complete Hauptdeck is to take up freight.

technical data

McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender
characteristic of data
length 55.65 m
span 50.40 m
height of 17.70 m
wing surface 367.7 m 2
maximum additional load 77,110 kg (or 165,565 kg fuel)
maximum takeoff weight 267,620 kg
of maximum speed 978 km/h (in 7600 m height)
cruising speed 890 km/h
range empty 18,505 km
range with max. Additional load 7080 km
drive three General Electric CF6-50C2 with ever 233.31 kN thrust
crew four (pilot, copilot, flight engineer, tank arm operator)

Web on the left of

see also

list of the types of aircraft


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