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The L-1011 And The A300  
User currently offlineRigo From Australia, joined Sep 2005, 91 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3449 times:

G'day

I have a question for our aviation historians. We had recently several threads about the L-1011, the general consensus is that the Tristar was ultimately a commercial failure because of the delays and lost market share to the DC-10. But I wonder whether and how it competed against the first Airbus, the A300.

The A300 entered into service two years after the Tristar. It offered comparable capacity with shorter range, but (presumably) superior performance. It was very successful esp. with European and Asian carriers, but hadn't the A300 been available, what would these carriers have used? I suppose some would have chosen the L-1011 (or the DC-10)? Did the A300 actually win deals directly against the Tristar, thereby not helping Lockheed's cause?

What do you think?

Regards,
Rigo

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3409 times:

Hi!

The Airbus A300 was the first 2 engine wide-body that came a bit latter than the L1011 and the DC-10, we cannot forget that both the L1011 and DC-10 started with domestic versions ( L1011-1 and DC-10-10 ) but when they arrived fuel was not an issue, the problem with the L1011 was that it had the RRoyce engine "attached exclusively" to this project, the DC-10 had the GE but also the P&W. The arrival of the A300 to the market was maybe a bit late, but because it was european it got some orders from airlines like AF and LH, also other airlines in Europe that had "overwater" versions of the DC-10 were ready to use the A300 in their european, or in other continents, in short to medium range. I'm thinking and for example, IB, SK, AZ all had the DC-10-30 and opted for the A300, SA in Africa also opted for the A300, Iran Air, Egyptair in Middle East, RG in South America, EA in USA... also opted for the A300. In my opinion was that the A300, although didn't get a huge market, it gave to Airbus the chance to boost and carry on to their future...all these orders ( and others that I don't remember ) supported the future of Airbus! If we look closely how many "domestic" versions of the L1011 and DC-10 were ordered outside North America? With the L1011 we had BEA ( latter BA ), Court Line, All Nippon...with the DC-10-10 we got THY and...and...nothing else! The A300 for me got more global orders than both the L1011-1 and DC-10-10, so in my point of view it was quite a neat sucess.
Regards


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3405 times:

A300 was a poor seller in the beginning, many white tails at Toulose, many airlines bought it after their tristars and DC:10
become too expensive to operate.


User currently offlineFanfan From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 54 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3370 times:

Bear in mind that AA's CR Smith asked DC to build a 2 engine DC10. They demurred and AA ended up with a lot of A300s many years later.

There are pics to be found of the twin DC10 mock up. (http://widebodyaircraft.nl/dc10twin.jpg)

Had the A300 not come about, somebody else may have created a big twin. But who knows? It took Boeing years later to come up with the 767 - and that was a roaring success. Now big twins are the standard.

Looking back, the decision by Airbus was brave and absolutely correct. They caught the US builders napping and have not looked back.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3370 times:



Quoting Rigo (Thread starter):
I suppose some would have chosen the L-1011 (or the DC-10)? Did the A300 actually win deals directly against the Tristar, thereby not helping Lockheed's cause?

I really don't remember the L-1011 loosing sales to the A-300. Both airplanes were really ment for different markets. As you said, the A-300 had a shorter range than the L-1011. The A-300B2 did not have (US) transcontinential range, where the L-1011-1 did. It wasn't until the A-300B4 came along that it had true transcontinential range (LAX or SFO to JFK or BOS), and the B4 version was strecthing it for LAX-BOS.

I guess the best comparison was with EA, they flew both the L-1011-1/-100 and the A-300B4 (EA never flew the B2 version, IIRC). They flew the L-1011s transcontinential (except for one SFO-IAD flight that was an A-300B4). EA also flew the L-1011s to the Bahamas. Both the A-300s and L-1011s flew the east coast big cities (BOS, NYC, PHL, etc.) to Floridafor EA.

Remember, this was the 1970s. There was nothing called ETOPS, so twin engine airplanes (A-300s, B-737s, DC-9s, etc.) could not go to far out over the water, or mountainous areas where a suitable alternate airport was more than 30 minutes away. This is where the 3 engine L-1011-1/-100/-200/-250/-500 and DC-10-10/-15/-30/-40, and of course 4 engine B-747-100/-SP/-SR/-200 had a big advantage over the A-300B2/B4, and early A-310-200/-300.

All of this changed with the introduction of the B-767-200ER/-300ER in 1984 and ETOPS, which was also applied to the A-310-300 and A-300-600R.


User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3075 posts, RR: 36
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3232 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
I guess the best comparison was with EA, they flew both the L-1011-1/-100 and the A-300B4 (EA never flew the B2 version, IIRC). They flew the L-1011s transcontinential (except for one SFO-IAD flight that was an A-300B4). EA also flew the L-1011s to the Bahamas. Both the A-300s and L-1011s flew the east coast big cities (BOS, NYC, PHL, etc.) to Floridafor EA.

They did fly A300B2Ks, 2 ex Iran Air flew Eastern shuttle services. N290EA and N291EA... alas there are no pics of 290 on A.net, but 291:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan Ljungdahl
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rudy Chiarello



And A300s popped up all over the domestic network at various times, including transcons. They were limited in flying Latin American routes however because of the "creative" financing that was used to get some of them. For Example: a300s specifically could not fly to the Bahamas or Mexico, but could fly to Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Rep... just one of those confusing things. That all changed around 87 as i recall but by that time most services to the Bahamas had been downsized anyways.

Early on, the A300s were part of the "Moonlight Special" late night no baggage cheap fare because of cargo services. It should be noted that even after EA started dumping L1011s, they kept the A300 and that the A300s were picked up by Continental... who never really liked them but they did the job.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3226 times:

Hi!

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Remember, this was the 1970s. There was nothing called ETOPS, so twin engine airplanes (A-300s, B-737s, DC-9s, etc.) could not go to far out over the water, or mountainous areas where a suitable alternate airport was more than 30 minutes away. This is where the 3 engine L-1011-1/-100/-200/-250/-500 and DC-10-10/-15/-30/-40, and of course 4 engine B-747-100/-SP/-SR/-200 had a big advantage over the A-300B2/B4, and early A-310-200/-300.

But the issue here is that the A300 was a very good platform to fly in high density routes around the world...I don't think the A300 was projected EVER to fly over the Atlantic...it was, yes, to fly in short/medium routes..that's why I remember seeing IB/AZ/SK/AF/LH flying in routes like MAD/LHR or ORY, FCO/LHR, FCO/LIN, CPH/LIS, ORY/LIS, FRA/LIS ( these are the times I saw A300 in those airports...) and surely the A300 burned "1 engine less" than the L1011 or the DC-10-10! Maybe in USA the A300 didn't have the raange, but in Europe, Africa, Middle East and South America was quite sucessfull!
Regards


User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4069 posts, RR: 33
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3192 times:

Although the A300 was about three quarters the size of a Tristar, it was still a large aircraft when introduced in Europe. I remember flying on the SK A300 LHR ARN. The SK A300 lasted one summer season then were withdrawn and put on charter flights. They were just too big for SK European routes.

User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2037 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2893 times:



Quoting Fanfan (Reply 3):
Looking back, the decision by Airbus was brave and absolutely correct. They caught the US builders napping and have not looked back.

The wide bodied twin was indeed the layout of the future, though the short haul wide bodied twin wasn't such a success - for example, how many wide bodies operate within Europe now?

It was the A320 which really turned Airbus into a major player, and indeed cemented the Airbus organisation into what became a permanent entity.



it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineLHMARK From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2866 times:



Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 8):
how many wide bodies operate within Europe now?

I took a LH A300 CPH-FRA in summer 2006. I don't know if thy still use the type on that route.



"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineTransIsland From Bahamas, joined Mar 2004, 2046 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2810 times:



Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 5):
a300s specifically could not fly to the Bahamas

EA did fly to A300 to the Bahamas:

My only ever EA flight was from Nassau to Florida on an A300.... I begged my parents to book EA (rather than our usual PA) so I would get to fly on an L-1011, only to end up on an A300 (still have the safety card) - and I have yet to find my way onto an L-1011.  Sad



I'm an aviation expert. I have Sky Juice for breakfast.
User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4069 posts, RR: 33
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2806 times:



Quoting LHMARK (Reply 9):
took a LH A300 CPH-FRA in summer 2006. I don't know if thy still use the type on that route.

I was surprised to see a LH A300 at ARN on Sunday


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