The Long Beach Luxury Liner

It has been half a century since the first flight of the mighty McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Thomas Haynes recounts the trijet’s history and speaks to Guy Hirst, a retired British Airways training captain, about what it was like to fly

When it entered service in August 1971 the DC-10 became the world’s first trijet airliner 
FLICKR COMMONS/ JOHN MURPHY

At exactly 10am on August 29, 1970, the first McDonnell Douglas DC-10 lifted off runway 12 at Long Beach airport in California in front of a crowd of more than 20,000.

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