Unlike most passenger aircraft, the supplemental oxygen mask system on the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 was located in the backs of passenger seats, rather than in an overhead compartment in the passenger service unit.

However, this seems to me like it wouldn't be possible to equip DC-10 aircraft with seatback inflight entertainment screens, since there'd be no space in the seatback headrest to hold the required electronics for a display screen as it'd all be taken up by the oxygen system.

I've seen this video, which shows seatback screens on an MD-11, which I think is simply a stretched DC-10, and looking closely I think the supplemental oxygen is located in the standard spot, overhead in the passenger service unit. I think the position must have changed for the MD-11 aircraft.

Was it possible for airlines to equip the DC-10 with seatback IFE screens? Was there an option to have oxygen masks in the standard overhead spot? Or did no airline ever equip their DC-10 with seatback screens?

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    $\begingroup$ Given that the DC-10 has been out of passenger operations for over 7 years this question is moot, I would say that anything is possible with enough engineering. It would probably be far easier to just give people tablets and collect them at the end of the flight. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Dec 18, 2021 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ I’m reading this question on my iPad. It is about the same size as a seat back screen, and roughly a quarter of an inch thick. Do you think the seats could be made a quarter inch thicker if it was absolutely needed to accommodate both? I don’t have an answer for you, but it is entirely believable that both might fit. $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2021 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ Have you seen how thin tablets and laptop screens are? Why would you think they couldn’t be used as the flip-down covers shown in the video? $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Dec 18, 2021 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim Modern tablets use LED backlights. But back when the DC-10 was in service and IFEs were installed, LED-backlit screens were super expensive, and that extra cost would add up when installing 200+ screens. As such most other aircraft types' IFEs used the much cheaper but thicker and heavier fluorescent light backlights. Also, you'd need quite a bit of cabling to connect the touchscreen to the IFE box under the seat. As such, I don't think it was viable to put IFEs in the seatbacks, though I could be wrong. $\endgroup$
    – gparyani
    Dec 18, 2021 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall See above. $\endgroup$
    – gparyani
    Dec 18, 2021 at 22:23


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