GKirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24742 posts, RR: 57 Posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1361 times:
I know this topic came up recently but i really am going to miss the Tristar. I flew on several examples and they are the best aircraft i have ever flown on. Anyone agree with me. And can anyone tell me who the first customer was for the Tristar and who still operates them today. Thanks
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
Hmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2095 posts, RR: 5 Reply 2, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1241 times:
Today it is only Second and Third World airlines, and some charters that fly the L-1011. Just because of age. Ironic isn't it? That you should have to patronize these carriers in order to fly the technological epitome of civil transport. Current operators as of 24 February
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
DC-10 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1223 times:
I think Eastern was the first to operate the L1011, TWA was not far behind, they were a natural customer as they sponsored Lockheed on some other aircraft endeavors such as the Constellation. As for operators, Delta operates them, American Trans Air still uses them too. Those are the only 2 US carriers i can think of that operate them on regular scheduled services. There are some Mid-east airlines that use them Air Transat of Canada has them too.
FDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 36 Reply 5, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1203 times:
I am not a Lockheed L1011 fan. Here is my reason. In 1985 I saw a Delta L1011 land at EWR trailing a large fog of fuel behind one of its wings (I forgot which one). Come to find out the rear spar of the wing cracked. This plane was down for quite a long time while Delta mx made the repairs without any materiel support from Lockheed (according to the mechs we talked to) because Lockheed was no longer in the commercial airliner business. The parts needed for repair had to be fabricated in house by Delta we were told. We were also told this had happened before (the cracked spar). Now being an a/c mechanic I understand system failures occur on a daily basis but a failed wing spar is a whole different ballgame. Also on the C5 military transport, I understand the wings aren't up to snuff. To me this appears to be a serious Lockheed shortcoming. I would appreciate any feedback concerning this post from those in the know.
Continental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5484 posts, RR: 20 Reply 7, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1195 times:
I have flown the Tristar many times. I have many funny memories with the Tristar. I am gonna miss it a lot. Once, on Delta Airlines flight, from ATL to TPA, we were ready to leave, so they did the ol' smokey start-up, and the plane pooped out while taxiing. Yeah, I really am gonna miss it.
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3209 posts, RR: 4 Reply 8, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1166 times:
The TriStar is really a great airliner. Smooth, comfortable and very powerful, it is awesome both to look at and to fly in. I have flown BWIA's TriStars 5 times and once in an Eastern Tristar; my longest flight in one was from BGI to JFK in 1983. Then, as with my most recent TriStar flight one month ago from GEO to POS, I was impressed with the silence of the cabin and the smoothness of the flight.
BWIA's TriStars have served them well for the last 20 years on its long-haul flights to JFK, YYZ and LHR; most of these flights stop in BGI, ANU and/or UVF before reaching POS and then continue to GEO. This ability to handle the short hops in addition to the long hauls is a credit to their versatility and vindicates BWee in their choice of this remarkable plane.
It will be very sad to see the TriStars go, as they soon will. This is, after all, part of the trend away from trijets in general.
Samurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2457 posts, RR: 5 Reply 11, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1133 times:
I do miss flying on the L1011. I used to fly on Air Canada L10111-150/500s quite a bit between YEG/YYC and LHR. Also, once I flew on a BA L1011-500 from LHR to YEG in 1981. They were comfortable and fairly quiet compared to other widebodies of its time. I sure miss seeing the Arctic, the English countryside and the Rockies out of an L1011 window.
BigGiraffe From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 257 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1119 times:
FDX_Mech: While it is regretable that the spar cracked, one significant point is that you saw the aircraft land. Well-done, redundant design, wasn't it? The L1011 is a good, rugged aircraft. They aren't being retired because of worn out structure, but because of economics. So it appears that the complaint is more about customer support than it is about the design.
The worst customer support that comes to my mind was McDonnell Douglas and the DC-9. Back when the "new" regulations came out for fireproof cargo compartment liners (1990 timeframe), Douglas specified one company with their very expensive liner repair patch in the DC-9 tech data. We had found a similar patch with a much lower price, but Douglas wouldn't certify it. When we asked why, they said it was because their vendor would not appreciate it.
Cracks: All jetliners get them. If they haven't, they will. It is nearly impossible to design something like that without a weak point(s) somewhere. The key is that they either discover them in fatigue tests and devise repairs, or they discover them in service and do the same. The manufacturer will issue service bulletins, and if the FAA is sufficiently concerned then they will make them into Airworthiness Directives. Older structure is designed using the "fail-safe" method where if one part fails, the ones around it take up the load. The L1011 with the spar crack didn't actually crack the entire spar, but just a part of it, such as the lower chord (angle). Newer aircraft are designed for this kind of thing:
- Calculate critical crack length for a particular location. This is the point where the crack quits being predictable and jumps in length.
- Calculate the time it takes for the crack to reach critical length (usually in flight hours).
- Inspect for the possible crack in one half that time.
The C-5 was developed to a specific contracted weight. Lockheed notified the USAF that their design was overweight and recommended that a stronger engine be used to keep the performance. USAF directed Lockheed to make the original weight, or face action for violating their contract. So, Lockheed shaved the airframe to get the weight down. The result was the fragile aircraft. The USAF has paid far more in repairs and lost operations from getting their way about the weight than they would have if they had just gone for the upgraded engine. The C-141, where Lockheed and the USAF worked well together in the design, is a very successful aircraft. They exceeded their design life by 50% before structural problems forced the retirement of many of them.
BigGiraffe From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 257 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1115 times:
By the way, I had opportunity to work with all four (remember the good old days?) major manufacturers in the 1990 timeframe. I was very happy with the support from Lockheed on the L1011, although I admit we didn't need any major parts.
ATL Traveller From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 166 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1101 times:
I too am surely going to miss the Tristar. As a regular flyer to Florida from Atlanta, I do all I can to arrange my own schedule in order to fly a Delta Tristar to Orlando or Ft. Lauderdale. I'll be flying to San Diego in July and even though Delta offers non-stop 757 service, I instead booked myself on a connecting flight through Dallas in order to take a Tristar on the first leg (ATL-DFW). I only wish I could continue on to Honolulu with the plane. Several months ago, I was also going to San Diego. I noticed on the Delta website that one of the nonstop flights to San Diego was going to be on a Tristar. Tristars normally don't fly the route, but this one was being substituted for the scheduled 757. I skipped my original flight in order to fly standby on the Tristar. It was on this trip that I also experienced firsthand one of the reasons Delta is retiring the L-1011. Maintainace. The return flight several days later from San Diego to Atlanta was also a Tristar. I made it a point to be booked on this flight. We boarded the plane, but before we could leave the pilot announced that there was a problem with the altimeter. Since the Tristar didn't normally fly to San Diego, there was no spare Tristar parts at this airport. They would have to wait for one to be flown in from Los Angeles on a Southwest flight. Apparently it doesn't take long to replace this part because shortly after the Southwest flight arrived about an hour and a half later, we were ready to go. I wish I had checked the registration number of this Tristar that they used on the San Diego flights that week. It seems to me that you don't just pull on of these big planes out of nowhere to use as a spare. I wonder if it was a jet that was just going into retirement and before they sent it to the desert, it got a stay of execution - one more week of service to cover for another plane that was out of service for some reason. I'd would love to know if I was on one of the last flights the plane would make for Delta.
BTW, several weeks later, Delta sent a letter of apology for the delay. Noting the maintanence problem, they asked for another chance to serve me. As a resident of Atlanta I haven't got much of a choice in airlines, but it was a nice gesture. I guess it's part of their increased focus on customer service.