Saying Goodbye to the Passenger DC-10 – Pleasure Flights with Biman Bangladesh
BG8 Birmingham Airport Circular flight
- Thursday 6:40am: The Mailbox, Central Birmingham
- BG8 Birmingham Airport to Birmingham Airport
- One less three-holer in the sky
So, a day out on a quite rare plane now. From the 446 aircraft built, less than 67 are now in active service (the majority operated by FedEx either as DC-10s or MD-10s.
The Three Engined aircraft served an important need at the time in their development in the 1970s, when four engined aircraft were too expensive to operate, and two engined aircraft weren’t deemed safe enough to cover major distances from an airport. However, they’ve proved an expensive thing to run as time gone on – and as the market has changed and technology improved.
And the sight of three engined aircraft will get rarer in passenger use, as this year the Lockheed Tristars will become extremely rare as the UK Royal Air Force will be withdrawing them in 2016 in favour of the A330 (and all but gone from mainline passenger service), the MD-11 (the follow-on from the DC-10) is due to be withdrawn by KLM towards autumn 2014, leaving DC-10s and MD-11s as cargo planes.
The DC-10 will live on, in some very specialised applications. From cargo with FedEx, to the KC10 Extender in-flight refueller, to the Tanker 910 project and of course the excellent Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, there will still be plenty around to spot for years to come.
But none with passenger seats installed in them.
And that wraps up “Saying Goodbye to the DC-10”. A Short, but sweet trip report.
And now, we’re back on schedule, with my next trip report coming later this month “Springtime adventures and audit: Back to Chicago with AA and BA”.
Please join me for more of my traditional shenanigans that are a Kevincm trip report 🙂