Re: DC-10s

From:         Jennings Heilig <>
Date:         27 Mar 95 01:29:49 
References:   1 2
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I got into a discussion about the external appearance of DC-10s recently, 
and found out something interesting.  While they -10's may indeed be 
generally "homogenous" there *are* some differences.  The external 
appearance of the airplane is, at first glance, the same on all models 
except for the length of the wing and the 3rd leg on the main gear, 
right?  Wrong...  Check the wing/body fairing, both forward and aft of 
the wing, and the stabilizer root fairing scabbed on the fuselage.  Just 
about every one you see is different!  The -10 started out with only a 
wing/body fairing aft of the wing.  It terminated about 1/2 way between 
the trailing edge and the front of the stabilizer.  On the -30 it was 
extended back to a point almost even with the rear door.  The stab 
fairing was made pointier at the front end, almost touching the aft door 
also.  Later, a forward wing/body fairing was added which looks much like 
that on the MD-80 in that it projects well forward of the wing and well 
above the wing chord plane.

Apparently all this was done in order to "tweak" the range performance of 
the airplane.  I thought you could definitely tell a -10 from a -30 by 
looking at this fairing, but it just ain't so.  I have a photo of a 
Western -10 (confirmed by the lack of a 3rd gear leg and the N number) 
which has all three -30 type fairings.  I'm told it depends entirely on 
where the airplane fell in the production run as to which type of 
fairings it has.  As they were developed, they were applied to all the 
subsequent airplanes rolling down the line.

My $.02 worth...

Jennings Heilig