In 1969, GE offered a new 46,000 to 54,000 pound thrust CF6 derivative called the CF6-50 for use on the new DC-10 Series 30 aircraft.
It was announced at the 1969 Paris Airshow that the KSSU group (KLM, Swissair, SAS, and UTA) would become the launch customer for the longer range DC-10 Series 30 and that they had selected the CF6-50 to power the new aircraft.
In late 1969 the CF6-50 was selected to power the new Airbus Industrie A300. Air France became the launch customer for the A300 by ordering six aircraft in 1971.
In 1972, the U.S. Air Force selected GE's CF6-50 to power the Airborne Command Post version of the 747, the E-4A. The engine later achieved its second military application as the powerplant for the KC-10A Advanced Cargo Tanker.
The selection of the CF6-50 by the USAF opened the door for GE to offer CF6 power on the 747 in a commercial application. In 1975, KLM was the first airline to order the Boeing 747 with GE CF6 power.