The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 was produced in three basic models, the Series 10 for domestic routes to 3,500 miles (5632 kilometers) and the Series 30 and 40 for extended range and intercontinental travel. DC-10s were modified as passenger/cargo convertible versions and as the KC-10 aerial tanker for the U.S. Air Force.
In addition to the luxury and spaciousness inherent in its wide cabin, the three-engine DC-10 incorporated improvements in propulsion, aerodynamics, structure, avionics, flight control systems and environmental compatibility that advanced industry standards.
The DC-10 was designed and built in Long Beach, Calif., and went into production in January 1968. First deliveries were in 1971, and the last of the giants was delivered in 1990. By 1990, 386 commercial DC-10s were delivered, plus 60 KC-10 tanker/cargo models built for the Air Force.
On June 23, 2010 Boeing announced that it had received a $216 million contract from the Air Force to upgrade the service’s 59-jet KC-10 tanker fleet with a new communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) system.