Did you like the B787 high angle take off? Then watch this U.S. Air Force KC-10 insane departure

This is a really impressive take off!

Last week, the video of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner taking off and pull off an amazing aerial display during rehearsals of Paris Air Show 2015 went viral.

The civil liner, that has already proved to be extremely maneuverable, especially in the hands of experienced test pilots, filmed from above seems to go “nearly perpendicular to the ground” immediately after taking off.

Here’s the video.

Cool, even though most of (if not all) the modern liners, equipped with fly-by-wire controls, powerful engines and innovative designs, are much more maneuverable than previous generations aircraft.

Now, take a look at the following footage (if the embed does not work, click here).

It was shot at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base airshow in 1991 and shows a U.S. Air Force KC-10A Extender aerial refueler perform a very high angle take off. Although the tanker was probably empty, it’s still a quite impressive show for such a large (and obsolete) aircraft.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Until I see a Dreamliner perform a barrel roll like the 367-80, I’m not going to be impressed with a lightly loaded airliner with copious amounts of thrust and massive amounts of lift getting into the air quickly and making a high climb.

  2. ‘Obsolete’ is a bit harsh. I suppose it’s a technical sort of obsolescence in that a new product is preferred over the older one. They could build KC-10s today and they would do the job perfectly well as the video can attest.

  3. If that Military.com link is acting weird (it was for me), here’s the Youtube link:

  4. I think i prefer the 2nd video more somehow. The dreamliners wing is impossibly beautiful though.

  5. It’s just the opposite, modern planes flown with fbw are more difficult to put in such aggressive maneuvers simply because they have a lot of “protections” given by flight computers which sometimes are disconnected to perform those shows…on the other hand an old fashioned manual controlled plane with hydraulic-mechanic controls is easier (despite maybe heavier controls, more strength needed on the yoke and pedals) to put in certain attitudes just because it does not have those protections…try to put an A320 in a 50 degrees climb like that on takeoff..

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