If you’re a regular reader of Flying With Fish you may have noticed I am a ‘three-holer‘ fan. While my favorite three-holer, the Lockheed L-1011, is all but gone from the skies, the long serving three-holer workhorse of the skies is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its very first flight.
While you’d be hard pressed to find many DC-10s carrying passengers today, with 446 aircraft having been built and nearly all of those remaining in the skies having been converted to freighters … along with 64 built specifically as military air-to-air tankers … these planes are still seen every day in airports around the globe and in the skies the world over.
Even though you may not find yourself seated on a DC-10 any longer, given that the last DC-10 rolled off the assembly line in December 1988, chances are you encounter items that have flown on the DC-10 regularly. Presently the largest operator of the DC-10 in the world is Federal Express (FedEx), flying 66 DC-10s with another 25 in storage in the desert.
So as the sun sets on the 29th of August all I can say is Happy Birthday to the DC-10. It is comforting to know that dozens of you are in the sky right now and you’ll be in the air tomorrow morning kicking off your 41st year of flying.
Below is a photo I shot of two FedEx DC-10s on the ramp at New York’s JFK Airport.