The storied McDonnell Douglas DC-10 airplane will be used only for carrying packages instead of people after today, as the 42-year-old planes are retired to serve as cargo jets. The last flight happens today on Bangladesh Biman Airlines, says CNN, and will be replaced by Boeing's markedly newer B777-300ER, which went into service in 2004.
From people to packages
McDonnell Douglas made 446 DC-10s during the plane's manufacturing run, which included six different variations. The last jet in the DC-10 family was sold to Nigeria Airways in 1989. The planes held up to 380 passengers, and were later repurposed both for cargo and mid-air refueling by the US Air Force. The jets were also the first to meet new quieter sound requirements for commercial transport aircrafts set by the FAA in 1977. Despite that, many are more likely to remember the DC-10 for its involvement in American Airlines flight 191, the single worst accidental plane crash in US history.
While today marks the end of the standard commercial run of passenger flights on the DC-10, Biman Bangladesh Airlines is also planning a bonus flight next February, when that aircraft is delivered for its retirement in Birmingham, England. Tickets for that go on sale next month.