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NEWS | April 28, 2022

AMC Museum receives USAF’s first KC-10A Extender

By Roland Balik 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The very first KC-10A Extender ever produced for the U.S. Air Force was retired from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, to its new home at the Air Mobility Command Museum on Dover AFB, Delaware, April 26, 2022.

Tail number 79-0433 was the first of 60 KC-10A aircraft produced for the Air Force by McDonnell-Douglas and used primarily for aerial refueling with the capabilities of carrying up to 27 pallets of cargo or performing aeromedical evacuation missions.

The aircraft made its first flight July 12, 1980, and entered service Oct. 1, 1981, with the 32nd Air Refueling Squadron at JBMDL. On Sept. 2, 1994, the Extender was transferred to the 305th Air Mobility Wing at JBMDL.

“This KC-10A was the first KC-10 built and flown as a demonstrator aircraft, and was essentially the prototype for testing both aircraft and air refueling system on just about every aircraft in the USAF inventory,” said John Taylor, AMC Museum director. “The AMC Museum is a prime location for such an aircraft, and would enable the museum to exhibit in its entirety over 60 years of strategic and tactical air refueling history alongside a KB-50, KC-97 and KC-135.”

During a brief ceremony, Col. Shanon Anderson, 436th Airlift Wing vice commander, reflected on his time flying this particular KC-10.

“I flew this aircraft the first time 21 years ago on Nov. 24, 2001, two months after 9/11 on a combat mission as a copilot,” said Anderson. “I flew my last mission four years later on my 104th combat mission; as an [instructor pilot].”

The KC-10 became the 36th aircraft added to the museum’s inventory.

“The process of retiring the KC-10 started about two years ago, said Stuart Lockhart, 305th AMW historian. “On the July 13, 2020, tail number 86-0036 took off from McGuire [AFB] for that long flight out to the boneyard. And to many of the old hands present, that date is going to sound very familiar; it was exactly 40 years and one day to the date of the first flight of the KC-10 on July 12, 1980. Of course, the aircraft that took that first flight is the one we honor here today.”

According to Taylor, the KC-10 is scheduled to be on static display during the 2022 Thunder Over Dover airshow, May 21-22, and will eventually be parked at the museum after repositioning current display aircraft, and preparing a parking spot.

For additional information about the KC-10 at the museum, visit