From a distance, the two trijets look very similar, but what are the main differentiating features of the pair? Key.Aero compares them to find out
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and MD-11 – to the untrained eye at least – look fairly similar. The pair, with their iconic trijet design, were popular at a time before ETOPS enabled Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s could offer better fuel burn and uninhibited access to routes even over large bodies of water.
The DC-10 came first and was introduced into service with American Airlines on August 5, 1971. Only 386 were ever built before production ended in 1988. The MD-11 was designed as a successor and was introduced into commercial service on December 20, 1990 with Finnair.
Production ran between 1988 and 2000, during which time only 200 airframes were constructed.