United has for nearly three decades operated the Mc Donnel Douglas DC-10 aircraft, mostly 10 series aircraft on high density domestic flights as well as a few 30 series aircraft...but most of the DC-10 fleet at United consisted of DC-10-10's. United has a hub in Denver CO so I was wondering why they never ordered the DC-10-15 aircraft for "hot and high" operations in Denver, the mile-high city, but then I figured...oh yes that's right when United ordered the DC-10 back when McDD was launching the type, they didn't have a hub then in Denver. They had a hub in Cleveland OH. It was when they closed the Cleveland hub that they settled in Denver. Do you think, at the time the DC-10 was brand new thirty years ago, if United had a hub in Denver they would have chosen the DC-10-15? Maybe yes.
I'm wondering now why Continental never chose the DC-10-15, maybe they didn't need a high-capacity airplane for the network they had out of their Denver hub then.
Photo © Christopher Smay
United DC-10-10 at the gate in Denver CO, operated on domestic flights within the United States.
For those who don't know what the DC-10-15 is: it's an uprated DC-10-10. It's a variant with the exact same weights and fuel capacity than the -10, but equiped with uprated GE engines. The DC-10-10, operated in large numbers for years by both American and United, had GE-CF6-6 engines. The DC-10-15, operated by Aero Mexico, had GE-CF6-50 engines which are equiped on the DC-10-30. Maybe summer in Denver is not as hot as it is down in Mexico City but if United had the DC-10-15, they would have had less weight restrictions on those than they had on the DC-10-10.