Why FedEx MD10s are called DC10s?

I remember when FlightAware distinguished between DC-10s and MD-10s; now they don’t. Everything is a ‘DC-10’ as far as FedEx is concerned.

Why is that?

Chris in NH

FlightAware didn’t differentiate between a DC10 and an MD10. The airline did. FlightAware gets its aircraft data from the flight plan. If the flight plan shows a DC10 then that’s what will appear in FlightAware.

Sort of, it’s really the FAA’s call.

Look at the 7110.65 Appendix A. Aircraft Information - Fixed‐Wing Aircraft. Then down to MCDONNELL-DOUGLAS CORP.

A MD-10’s correct type designator is DC-10.

Frank Holbert

Might be wrong on this, but aren’t the MD-10’s modified DC-10’s with a new cockpit and winglets?

Think you’re right, MD-11 flight deck (2man), on DC-10. Not sure about the winglets.


MD-10: This was retrofit cockpit upgrade to the DC-10 and a re-designation to MD-10. The upgrade included an Advanced Common Flightdeck (ACF) used on the MD-11.[18] The new cockpit eliminated the need for the flight engineer position and allowed common type rating with the MD-11. This allows companies such as FedEx Express, which operate both the MD-10 and MD-11, to have a common pilot pool for both aircraft. The MD-10 conversion now falls under the Boeing Converted Freighter program where Boeing’s international affiliate companies perform the conversions.

There is an extensive article in the February Issue of Airliner World about the DC10.

The MD-10 is basically a refitted DC-10. new cockpit, no winglets. Winglets were only added for the MD-11. IIRC, FDX is the only MD10 operator as well.