Plain Aviation

the life of a planespotter and true avgeek

Tag: dc10

How the DC-10’s Faulty Cargo Door Design Killed 346

Last night, as per my typical Friday night chill-out routine, I watched an episode of the popular television series Air Crash Investigation. Yes I know this is not really what normal people do with their Friday nights, but who said avgeeks are normal people. This week’s episode centered on Turkish Airlines Flight 981 and American Airlines Flight 96, both of which were operated by the McDonnell Douglas DC-10.

What is a trijet in airliner terms?

private boeing 727 trijet

A private Boeing 727 trijet. Photo by Andrew W. Sieber CC 2.0

As you can probably tell already, the term trijet refers to any commercial jetliner with three engines. Normally they either have all three engines mounted aft of the cabin and near the tail as seen on the Boeing 727, or two mounted on the wings and the third mounted at the tail as seen on the McDonnell Douglas MD-11. One common feature of all trijets is that their third engine is always going to be embedded inside the vertical stabilizer to ensure symmetrical thrust output. While this feature increases the difficulty of design, production, and maintenance, the cost-savings of operating trijets over four-engined airliners is definitely worth it.

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