McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender
The McDonnell Douglas KC-10
Extender is an aerial refueling tanker aircraft - the military
version of the three-engine DC-10 airliner operated by the United
States Air Force (USAF). The KC-10 was developed from the Advanced
Tanker Cargo Aircraft Program. It incorporates military-specific
equipment for its primary roles of transport and aerial refueling.
It was developed to supplement the KC-135 Stratotanker following
experiences in Southeast Asia and the Middle East and the need for a
tanker with a greater fuel carrying capacity than that of the
KC-135. The KC-10 was the second McDonnell Douglas transport
aircraft to be selected by the Air Force following the C-9. A total
of 60 KC-10s were produced for the USAF and 59 remain in service
today. The aircraft is expected to serve until around 2043;
however, these plans have been shelved, with the KC-46A Pegasus
replacing the KC-10 Extender at its two bases, likely putting the
KC-10 on a path to retirement in the early 2020s as the Air Force
works to streamline the tanker fleet.
Photos in the slideshow were taken between February 2016 and April 2018. Apologies for the large copyrights in each photo - this is necessary in this day and age where photos are widely stolen and passed along as if they are one's own.