Kit #AA2094. 1/72 scale. This is
a highly-detailed resin kit of the McDonnell
Douglas KC-10 Extender, complete with decals.
During the Vietnam War and the Arab-Israeli
War, USAF C-141 Starlifter and C-5 Galaxy transports were forced to carry a
fraction of their maximum payload on direct flights from the continental United
States to Asia and Israel, illustrating the necessity of an advanced aerial
The "Advance Tanker Cargo
Aircraft" program was launched in 1975, and four modified off-the-shelf aircraft
were evaluated: the Boeing 747, the
McDonnell Douglas DC-10, the Lockheed
L-1011 and the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.
This was a bit of a “what goes around
comes around” situation, as three of these four planes – the Boeing 747,
Douglas DC-10 and the Lockheed C-5 were initially designed for the specification
which ultimately produced the C-5.
The Air Force selected McDonnell
Douglas's KC-10, a modified DC-10-30CF design, because it could operate from
shorter runways than those required from the only other serious contender, the
Boeing 747. The major changes from the DC-10 were the addition of a boom
control station in the rear of the fuselage and extra fuel tanks below the main
deck. This versatile plane retains both
cargo and personnel transport capabilities.
The KC-10 first flew in July
1980. The first aerial refueling occurred during testing in October 1980, with
a C-5 Galaxy as the receiver aircraft. The first KC-10 was delivered to the Air
Force in 1981, while the 60th and last KC-10 was formally handed over in 1988. Beginning in 2010, the remaining fleet of 59
aircraft are receiving upgraded electronics and communications gear to meet FAA
requirements going into effect in 2015.
Operationally, the KC-10 has
played a significant role in the 1986 Libyan bombing campaign, Desert Storm,
and the various conflicts following the 9/11 terror attack, including Enduring
Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.