S2-ACR in the darkness of Birmingham after arriving late from Kuwait City – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
This is the second part of a three-part series documenting the DC-1o’s final passenger flights. Click here for Part 1 (flying from Dhaka to Kuwait City).
Flying on the first leg to Kuwait on our way to Birmingham on the last DC-10 passengers flight was surreal, yet exciting. Landing in Kuwait seemed like a good almost-final stop for the DC-10, since I love old airliners landing in interesting places.
I have to say that ground handling in Kuwait was less than ideal. First, we had to hold on a taxiway just to the south of the main terminal for approximately twenty minutes. Then, we had to taxi to a hardstand adjacent some private jets. Kuwait Airport is the first I’ve have seen that actually offers fixed sunshades to keep your VIP aircraft from melting under the relentless Arabian Gulf sun.
An example of the executive jet verandas at Kuwait International Airport – Photo: Bernie Leighton |AirlineReporter
Finally, the engines were shut down and a ground services truck appeared. Since the flight was double-catered out of Bangladesh, it was merely the aircraft groomers.
These were groomers who had no idea how many lavs there were on a DC-10-30, or where the galleys all were. It was at this time I also learned that, while there was no in-seat power, there were a couple of power points located around the aircraft. I almost tripped over someone’s battery charger in the number four lav!
Noses of a Boeing 747 and 727 – Photo: Caleb Howell | Flickr CC
This guest post was written by Andrew Vane (@pipelinedrew) for AirlineReporter.
Recently I saw that someone posted pictures of old Northwest 727s and DC-10s in North Carolina and I became curious. This is my home turf and I was not aware of any tri-holers “enjoying” their retirement years nearby.
I quickly started looking up Google Earth images and was able to confirm that, sure enough, there was what was left of some vintage aircraft stored in an out-of-the-way airfield somewhere in my home state. Now, how to get out there to see them.
Laurinburg-Maxton Airport (KMEB) is nestled in the pine barrens of the south-central part of North Carolina, off of US Highway 74 about halfway between Charlotte and Wilmington. Originally a U.S. Army Air base for glider training during World War II, this small airport currently is the home to the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, has a nice local Fixed Base Operator (FBO) for civil air service, and also holds something not often seen in the eastern U.S.; a commercial airliner salvage yard.
When you normally think of aircraft storage, the first airports that come to mind are Victorville, California and Tucson, Arizona. Now add KMEB to that list.
S2-ACR, the last DC-10 in any sort of passenger service – Photo: Ken Fielding
Starting tomorrow, the last Douglas DC-10 will start its farewell tour as the last passenger DC-10. Biman Bangladesh Airlines will fly to Birmingham, UK, by way of Kuwait and then offer scenic tours before it is finally ferried to a final “resting” location in the US. Our own Bernie Leighton will be covering these events from Bangladesh and beyond, but before we tell the last chapter of this majestic aircraft’s life, we wanted to start at the beginning with this historical look at the DC-10.
The birth of the wide-body airliner as we know it today can be traced back to one event in the early 1960’s: The United States Air Force’s request for proposals for the CX-HLS, the program that would ultimately become the C-5 Galaxy. Lockheed won the CX-HLS competition, and as legend would have it, Boeing would strike gold when they converted their design into what we know today as the 747. However, that is not quite 100% true, and Boeing was not the only company to transfer design philosophies from the CX-HLS to the commercial market.
You probably are aware that seeing tri-jets [those airliner with that third jet in the tail] is becoming a rarity, especially in the United States. Luckily for us AvGeeks, there are still quite a few cargo carriers [and a scheduled passenger airline] still flying these classic beauties.
Recently SpeedBirdHD shared a compilation video of tri-jets that still fly in and out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on a daily basis. Hard to believe that someday these birds will only be found in a museum, but until then — enjoy!