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Vanishing Of L1011s  
User currently offlineClipperNo1 From Germany, joined May 1999, 672 posts, RR: 2
Posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1436 times:

Can somebody tell me why the TriStars where put out of service by major airlines between 1995 and 1998? I mean the type was almost completly gone by from airports by 98. CX,BA,DL,AC,TW,Royal Jordanian to name some.
I know TWAs reason, but why all the others.
Well they got old and insufficent, but I've never seen a type dissappearing so fast.
Most of the L1011s were scrapped.
Was Lockheed somehow ending technical backup? Can't imagine that.


"I really don't know one plane from the other. To me they are just marginal costs with wings."� Alfred Kahn, 1977
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6642 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1398 times:

The tristar was very technologically advanced for it's time and had many many gadgets on board. As the aircraft have aged, it has become more and more expensive to maintain them, moreso than other types such as the DC10. This is why Tristars are losing out....because they were so advanced!! Ironic.

User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 1146 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1393 times:

I suspect the following factors were at work:

1) The L-1011 was expensive to maintain even in the best of times, and with an older aircraft this situation is just exacerbated. The L-1011-500, which is newer, was hit hard by competition from the widebody twins beginning in the mid-80s, and the larger-body L-1011-1s, and even the uprated versions (-50, -100,-250) for transatlantic ops were not as long-ranged as the DC-10-30 (as far as I know).

2) In passenger airline environments, tri-jets with a three man crew are considered dinosaurs. The DC-10 is seeing a better second life, I suspect in part because of those better range-payload with the DC-10-30 than with some of the standard-body L10s. The L1011-500, which has the range, was never seriously considered for conversion to cargo.

Does anybody know whether the DC-10 fuselage is showing better structural integrity over the years, much as the DC-8 seems to be holding out better vs. the 707? (I'm not flaming the L-1011, but such a scenario might explain the DC-10s relative popularity as a cargo hauler.)


User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1335 times:

The vanishing of the L-1011 has several causes. First, most L-1011's are electronic analog airplanes and not digital, so electronic upgrades are not simple and some operartors tried to maintain them as they did their primarily mechanical airplanes; second, there were fewer of them built than the DC-10 (both airplanes seeking the same niche); third, the DC-10 was produced in more varients; fourth, the difficulties with the RB21-22B in the early days of the airplane almost wiped out both Lockheed and Rolls-Royce resulting in a stained reputation; fifth, Lockheed pulling out of the commerical transport market reduced the confidence in the operators of continued manufacturer support. Admittedly, the DC-10 went through a series of major accidents that didn't help it either, but the L-1011 came out of the box with big problems; the DC-10 had some miles under its wings before the troubles occurred.

User currently offlineW_a_s_p_i_e From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1321 times:

Also, lets not forget that the Tristar was used by TWA a lot and since they shut down apparently most of them are now USAF and also as the other guys have said they are costly to maintain. Also, now you can get an aircraft with 2 engines that can go further the one with 3! Less fuel and less maintaining.


User currently offlineBWIA 772 From Barbados, joined May 2002, 2200 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1301 times:


Well I can boast and say that tommorow I will be going to Trinidad on BWIA L1011. The airline is pahsing them out with the 340-300 the first of 2 arriving in June this year. The second was schedule for delivery in November but has been delayed (dont know to when). BWIA operated 4 of the 500 type and the first was with drawn from the fleet in 2001 the second was with drawn later that years as well, the third was retired with the delivery of the first A340 but may be borught back into service with the deferral of the second 340.


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Eagles Soar!
User currently offlineN751PR From Japan, joined May 2002, 1249 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1280 times:

Well I just wish the L1011 was still built here in PMD. I would be glad to see some brand new L10s in the Plant 10 flightline but that is just a dream and sadly the places where they retire in VCV and MHV are just about 30 miles away fom thier birthplace in the same desert. I just wish I could've flew on one of those birds  Sad.


"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
User currently offlineClipperNo1 From Germany, joined May 1999, 672 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1229 times:

I'm still wondering why they were gone from the skies so damn fast.


"I really don't know one plane from the other. To me they are just marginal costs with wings."� Alfred Kahn, 1977
User currently offlineSafetyDude From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3795 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1212 times:

Most of what I would have said but this...

There was not a terrible demand for them during production, and the just of shipping the engines was also a bad financial factor - not to mention other plants had them "stocked up" so, in the long run, the other tri-jets could be delivered faster (a reason why I think they were not very popular, with the other reasons mentioned about range etc.).

Because of all of this, Lockheed made it their goal to sell 250 L-1011s, just so they could break even with production costs and did just that. Only 250 L-1011s.

So we have a small number to begin with and remember they did not have the best range and I think compared to other aircrafts available, they were not efficient.

A lot about the L-1011s "disappearance" has been brought up a lot lately when Delta retired all of theirs and they were the largest operator, so people suddenly realized that they were gone, or soon to be.

So this thread and the ones above should answer your question.

I'll miss those birds  Crying
-Will



"She Flew For What We Stand For"
User currently offlineTzMSP From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 137 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1129 times:

ATA has announced it plans to utilise its current L10 fleet much more than it has been doing; they are scheduled for retirement by 2003, but we may see heavy usage over the next year in efforts to boost revenue from our charter and scheduled service sectors. So you have another year or so to hop on one of these great historical airplanes...

If I learn any specific route info, I'll let you know.

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy tzMSP


User currently offlineTrident From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 484 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1060 times:

Production ended in 1983 so even the youngest airframes are almost 20 years old now.

User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40076 posts, RR: 74
Reply 11, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1049 times:

Trident:
Production ended in 1983 so even the youngest airframes are almost 20 years old now.

Which isn't that old.
Look at the older 727s and 747-classics and DC-9s that are still in service.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently onlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4360 posts, RR: 35
Reply 12, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 964 times:

TZmsp, let us know asap if ATA will fly the L-1011 on scheduled services. They are gone from the schedules I searched on internet, (of course the bigger Indianapolis services like CUN, LAX, LAS) so any inside info would be welcomed.


nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineTrident From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 484 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 938 times:

The point I was making was that the YOUNGEST airframes are almost 20 years old. Most are older. Also, what type of product support is there these days from Lockheed for the L1011. Don't get me wrong, I think the Tristar is a great 'plane but it got off to an unlucky start andnever really recovered.

User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 934 times:

A sad end to a sad story. I think that had the problems with the RB 21-22B not happened (and the subsequent financial issues with RR), the L1011 could have been a successful aircraft. That delay in the engine program sealed the fate of it. With MDD already delivering DC-10s, some airlines switched over to them, while a few like Delta, operated the DC-10 while waiting for the L1011. Had Lockheed not gone out of the airliner business, I think they could have developed upgrades that would make the aircraft as competitive as the modern twin jets, and perhaps with better range.

User currently offlineSAS23 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 930 times:

Lockheed Martin continue to fully support the L1011 and will do so until it is no longer operated by first tier (ie original) customers. BWIA is the last such tier one custormer.

There has been a lot of guff spouted on this thread!  Insane

Some myths and reality ...

1) The L1011 is expensive to maintain. Not really ... and as more L1011s are broken up, parts get ever cheaper. Indeed, instead of being sold by the line item, they are very nearly at the point of being sold by the ton!  Big grin

2) Two crew members are better than three. Airlines are regretting this move, big time. The cost of heavy or double crews is considerably more than that of a flight engineer.

3) The L1011 has less structural integrity than the DC10. Actually, the design life of the L1011 is considerably greater than that of the DC10 ... and many times that of the current generation of aircraft. Notably, the L1011 has not had one single hull loss related to its design. The L1011 did not, as has been claimed "come out of its box with problems".

4) The DC10 is as much of an analogue aircraft as the L1011 - though the L1011 (and in particular the -500 with its AFCS) is far more technologically advanced - yet the DC10 is capable of being upgraded to the MD10. There is no doubt that if someone had the will (and the very substantial amount of money involved) one could do similar upgrades to the L1011.

The real reason that the L1011 didn't do well in the marketplace was simple - the improved version of the RB211 was developed some time behind that of the CF6. This meant that Lockheed could not offer a long haul version of the type to compete with the DC10 until well after the DC10-30 was operational. Although the L1011-500 had far greater range than the DC10-30 (not a lot less than the B747SP) it also carried fewer passengers, which increased the seat-mile costs.

The RB211 is quieter and has lower emissions than the CF6s, which means that it is marginally Stage IV whilst the CF6 only just scrapes into Stage III compliance.

L1011s are available for peanuts - Delta is selling theirs for well under US$1m each. Of course, you'd have to invest a few million on overhauls and engines, but at the end of the day you have a great quality aircraft that will go on giving good service ... and an airframe that will outlast today's aircraft!

Viva, L1011, Viva!!  Big thumbs up  Big thumbs up  Big thumbs up


User currently offlinePapatango From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 903 times:

I would love to know where the info on the USAF having old TWA TRISTARS came from.

User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 881 times:

Just to add a little info...

It appears that there are 56 L1011s left in operation, 44 appear to be in commercial operation, and 36 of those in passenger service.

The main operators are (5 or more aircraft in service):
ATA (12)
Air Transat (9)
UK Royal Air Force (9)
Kampuchea Airlines (5)


User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 813 times:

Yes, there is scheduled TZ L1011 service. To the best of my knowledge, the route (IND-MCO-SJU, flight 433) operates once daily, seven days per week. The ATA schedule has the equipment type listed as a 753, however it actually operates with an L1011. I can confirm this, as ever time I see flight 433 on approach it is an L1011.

User currently offlineTWAL1011 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 810 times:

I would love to know where the info on the USAF having old TWA TRISTARS came from.

Yeah, I'm wondering the same thing. It should also be mentioned that TWA's L1011's were all sold or in storage long before they were bought out by AA.


User currently offlineFly_ATA From United States of America, joined May 2001, 616 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 764 times:

Tonight was the last scheduled L1011 operating that route. We even got a 500 for the last flight which was nice. The Route will operate with a 757-300 from now on.

User currently offlineKevin82277 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 763 times:

I was on one of the last L-1011 flights that Delta used from Atlanta to LAX in 2000. It was one of the best flights I ever been on. I had plenty of leg room in Coach and the ride was great. I really miss the plane in Delta's Fleet.

Kevin


User currently offlineEGPX From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2002, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 725 times:

Still plenty of Tristars to be seen in the UK - alas, all are in RAF camouflage! I think all are ex-BA examples. BA had Tristars for a number of years but the Tristar 500's didn't last long. They were fairly new when they went to the RAF to be converted into tankers.

I always found it odd that we Europeans always refer to them as Tristars whilst in America they always seemed to be known only as L1011's.

My only flight in a Tristar was about ten years ago with Gulf Air. Not particularly relevant but I just thought I'd mention it  Smile


User currently offlineTzMSP From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 137 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 700 times:

FlyNavy:

You are correct about TZ433, IND/MCO/SJU. Another one, if y'all want to hop on an L10 before they go is...

TZ403 IND-LAS is operated daily on an L10 (dep 1228P arr 215P)
TZ402 LAS-IND is operated daily on an L10 (dep 345P arr 920P)

As I said, they are stressing that these L10s will be used very heavily until they retire them. Currently they are used almost exclusively for charters. L10-500s are used solely for military charters.

ATA remains to my knowledge the largest charter airline in the world. But feel free to correct me if that is wrong, anyone.

I think I'll non-rev to IND one day just to hop on one of these before they go...

Happy travels...

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy tzMSP


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