The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is an American three-engine wide-body jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. It has two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer. The DC-10 was intended as a successor to the company's DC-8 for medium- to long range flights, using a larger capacity wide-body layout with seating up to 380 and more powerful engines. Lockheed also saw this niche as an ideal place to reenter the commercial airliner market with their very similar L-1011 TriStar. Although the L-1011 was more technologically advanced, the DC-10 would go on to outsell the L-1011 by a significant margin due to the DC-10's lower price and earlier entry into the market.
The initial DC-10-10 model was a "domestic" design with a typical range on the order of 3,800 miles (6,100 km) in a two-class layout. The -15 was a "hot and high" version with more powerful engines. The -30 and -40 models were the "international" versions with extended range of up to 6,220 miles (10,010 km) and a third main landing gear leg to support the higher takeoff weights. An even longer-range version proposed for British Airways, the -50, was not built. The KC-10 Extender air-to-air refueling tanker version, was based on the -30 model. Production of the DC-10 ended in 1989, with 386 DC-10s delivered to airlines and 60 KC-10s to the U.S. Air Force.
The DC-10 had a poor safety record in early operations, especially due to a design flaw in the cargo doors. Its safety reputation was further damaged by the crash of American Airlines Flight 191, which remains the deadliest aviation accident in the United States. Following the Chicago crash, the FAA withdrew the DC-10's type certificate in June 1979, which temporarily grounded all U.S. DC-10s. In August 1983, McDonnell Douglas announced that it would end production of the DC-10, citing a lack of orders. Airline industry consensus at the time was that the DC-10 had a poor reputation for fuel economy and for its overall safety. In spite of the DC-10's early difficulties, it ultimately accumulated a good safety record, as design flaws were rectified and fleet hours increased, comparable to similar second-generation passenger jets as of 2008.