Twin-engined DC-10 project


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26 May 2006
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the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Twin was twin engined airliner project.


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Performance approximately equivalent to an A300 with the lower hold stuffed with wet sacks of cement.
Just another picture from Aviation Week 1972 :


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LowObservable said:
Performance approximately equivalent to an A300 with the lower hold stuffed with wet sacks of cement.

I don't know about that. The article has a table comparing the DC-10 Twin and the A300B4. The weights and thrust are very similar, with the DC-10 Twin having a much lower wing loading.

In the early 1970s, MDC also saw the benefits of two engines, and came up with a fairly simple solution – a DC-10 with a slightly shortened fuselage and the centre engine eliminated. Dubbed rather logically the “DC-10 Twin”, this airliner could arguably have stopped the Airbus A300 in its tracks – had the threat of the European twinjet been taken seriously at the time – but it posed a danger to the existing DC-10-10 trijet.The DC-10 Twin had a range of 4,000km with a load of 236 passengers, and an in-service target of 1975. However the company dithered over the decision to launch and never gave the Twin the go-ahead. Although the DC-10 became the benchmark long-haul airliner in its category, MDC had to sit by and watch the A300B4 mop up all the short-haul widebody business in the late 1970s. The concept of a twinjet derivative of the DC-10 and later MD-11 were revisited several times during the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, but none made it off the drawing board.
Source: Flight International - Clipped wings 20/12/05
Not just that, it would have ultimately beaten Airbus entirely with the idea of commonality. The DC-10 and the DC-10 twin would have had almost the same cockpits (except engine instruments and throttle, two instead of three) and would have required little transition time from one type to the next.

Kendra Lesnick
Not sure about all that... although it would be interesting to look at the claimed performance numbers.

Logically, compared with the A300 - which had a wing sized for fairly short sectors but eventually was developed in the high-gross B4 version to accomplish the key US transcon mission - the DC-10 Twin would have had a larger, heavier wing (sized for the trijet) and bigger tail (relatively shorter body, since it was 9x versus 8x, and a bigger wing) and everything else, like the main LG, would be heavier unless it was made less common. So you'd expect a higher OEW and given the same thrust, less performance.
Wouldn't the DC-10 twin carry substantially less fuel as it would only need to fuel two engines?

KJ_Lesnick said:
Wouldn't the DC-10 twin carry substantially less fuel as it would only need to fuel two engines?


With a lower gross weight and only two engines, it could potentially achieve a range extension over the standard DC-10 if it carried the same amount of fuel.
But then it would have to get off the ground with the same fuel load, with the same wing, half as much thrust in the critical one-engine-inoperative case and a more asymmetric thrust balance.
Yeah, but it was using the 51,000 lbf CF-6 models while the DC-10-10's which often flew the short range routes only produced between 40,000 lbf and 41,500 lbf. That combined with the lower fuel requirements to only fuel two engines, the smaller shorter fuselage and the need to carry less passengers should be do-able.

Am I wrong?

Kendra Lesnick
In the OEI case you had 51,000 pounds versus 80,000 pounds thrust, and worse asymmetry. And in the cruise given constant sfc and similar thrust, two engines will burn as much fuel as three.
The problem with such drastic cut-down surgery is that (like the 747SP) it is hard to get rid of all the weight that was associated with the original, heavier aircraft without losing the commonality that was the whole point of the exercise to start with. I suspect that, had the DC-10 Twin ever happened, it would have ended up as a very different aircraft.
Flug Revue July 1977


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Greetings All -

If only MDC had gone forward with this...

Enjoy the Day! Mark


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Good Day All -

Came across this Interavia article while sorting out a donation to our Museum.

Enjoy the Day! Mark


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For your reading pleasure. This story (see attached and translated) is from the January 1976 issue of FLUG REVUE about the McDonnell Douglas DC-X-200.


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Coulda been a great asset to combat the Airbus A300 & was certainly ahead of Boeing in the twinjet market segment. Another great idea laid to waste by development politics & operator bias.

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