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The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: KC-10A Extender

A KC-10 from McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, is flown over the Middle East. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cherie Thurlby)

A KC-10 from McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, is flown over the Middle East. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cherie Thurlby)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --

Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas

Function: Aerial Tanker/Transport

Service Date: 1981

Speed: 619 mph

Crew: Four

Production: 60 Inventory: 59

Commentary: The KC-10 is the militarized variant of the DC-10 commercial aircraft modified for aerial refueling and aeromedical transport. Because it has both types of tanker refueling equipment installed, the KC-10A can service USAF, USN, USMC, and allied aircraft on the same mission.