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The McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender

  The USAF KC-10A Extender is manufactured by McDonnell Douglas Corporation and is a variant of the DC-10-30CF (Convertable Freighter) airframe. It is a sweptwing tri-jet monoplane, with fully retractable tricycle landing gear, and is powered by three interchangeable General Electric CF6-50C2 high bypass turbofan engines. Each engine has a fan thrust reverser and is rated at 52,500 pounds of thrust. The aircraft is designed for airlifting cargo, support personnel and refueling military aircraft.In order for it to meet its air refueling mission, the aircraft is equipped with an inflight Air Refueling Boom (ARB) as well as a hose & drogue system.   Additionally, the KC-10A has been set up to receive fuel from other tanker aircraft by means of the Universal Air Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI). Several aircraft have been modified with WARP (Wing Air Refueling Pod) capability. This allows two drogue-equipped aircraft to be refueled simultaneously from each wingtip of the KC-10, resulting in faster refueling of units, and ultimately fuel savings for the receiving aircraft. The maximum gross takeoff weight is 590,000 pounds and normal maximum landing weight is 436,000 pounds.The Basic (Zero Fuel) Weight is approx. 245,000lbs.

The wide-bodied fuselage is of a semi-monocoque metal construction. The pressurized areas include the flight, cargo, ARO compartments, the body tank access and the center accessary compartment. There are five useable enterance/exit doors, the left rear and overwing doors have been deactivated. The cargo door is located on the left side of the fuselage forward of the wing.

The cantilever designed wings consist of a primary box structure with leading and trailing edge secondary structures. The box contains the integral fuel tanks and carries the main landing gear support structure, centerline gear, engine pylons, full span leading edge slats, spoilers, and trailing edge ailerons and flaps.

The tail consists of an adjustable horizontal stabilizer, right and left two-section elevators, tail (No. 2) engine pylon, fixed vertical stablilizer, and a two section (four-segment) rudder. The adjustable horizontal stabilizer pivots at the trailing edge and uses hydraulic powered motors to change the angle-of-incedence. (Stab trim)

The KC-10A cargo handling system is basically a manual loading system with a laterally powered assist to accommodate 88x108 inch HCU-6/E cargo pallets. The number of pallets that can be loaded varies with configuration.
The configurations are as follows:
All cargo

Additional crew member
(6), installed

Additional crew member
(6), support personnel seats
(14) installed

Extended passenger
Same as above with an additional
55 seats installed

25 or 27

25 + seats

23 + seats


17 + seats

The system is composed of outboard, side, and center guides and restraint rails, fore and aft restraint devices, and cargo conveyors. The cargo barrier net is capable of restraining 175,000 pounds of cargo at 9g's, and can be installed in any of three locations depending on the cargo/personnel configuration.

Source: The KC-10A Handbook/ Maintenance Training Guide (MTG)