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L1011 Tristar  
User currently offlineGKirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 25347 posts, RR: 54
Posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1999 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!
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineTEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1899 times:

I believe the two launch customers for the L-1011 were Eastern Airlines & TWA.

User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1879 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
User currently offlineDC-10 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1861 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.

User currently offlineMCO-ATL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1852 times:

I Agree with you 100% The L-1011 is the best aircraft ever built! I fly the MCO-ATL Route a lot, and I have flown the L-1011 many times, I will be very sad so see them go.

User currently offlineFDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 30
Reply 5, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 1841 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.

You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineGUNDU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1833 times:

I will miss the 3 holer.The 3 holer is one of the most comfortable and graceful planes of its time.


User currently offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5557 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1833 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.

User currently offlineTrintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3297 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1804 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.


Hop to it, fly for life!
User currently offlineTriStar From Belgium, joined Oct 1999, 848 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 1784 times:


For info on carriers currently operating the L-1011, you may want to check out the link provided on http://home4.swipnet.se/~w-48037/. Alternatively, go straight to http://home4.swipnet.se/~w-48037/l1011index.htm

Another nice TriStar page is http://members.home.net/tristar500, and you can find a list of links on http://home2.swipnet.se/~w-26408/1011link.htm.

I hope that helps you somewhat.

Best regards,


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User currently offlineLGW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 1779 times:

I really miss the L-1011 (Tristar). Wonderful aircraft very graceful and elegent (a lot more so than the DC10) I have some photos of L-1011's on my website


Long live the Tristar


User currently offlineSamurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2461 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1771 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.

User currently offlineBigGiraffe From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1757 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.

User currently offlineBigGiraffe From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1753 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.

User currently offlineN-156F From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week ago) and read 1752 times:

My views on the L-1011 can be summed up in four words:

Thank you for your attention.

User currently offlineATL Traveller From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (15 years 11 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1739 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.

User currently offlineDeltaAgent From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (15 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1719 times:

The main reason Delta is retiring the L10s is maintenance reliability. This is why the plane was pulled from international service.

ATL Traveller, the L10 is a nice flight between DFW and HNL. I am also glad that you are happy with Delta.

Delta Agent

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