clipperno1
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 1999 12:47 am

Vanishing Of L1011s

Thu Aug 15, 2002 11:39 pm

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
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6030
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 12:18 am

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.
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 12:21 am

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.)
 
broke
Posts: 1299
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 2:21 am

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.
 
w_a_s_p_i_e
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2002 8:43 pm

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 2:30 am

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.
 
BWIA 772
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:33 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 3:08 am


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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N751PR
Posts: 1210
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 6:06 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 3:28 am

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."
 
clipperno1
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 1999 12:47 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:05 am

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
 
SafetyDude
Posts: 3654
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 10:02 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:33 am

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"
 
tzMSP
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2002 9:23 pm

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 1:06 pm

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
 
Trident
Posts: 477
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:49 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:17 pm

Production ended in 1983 so even the youngest airframes are almost 20 years old now.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:37 pm

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
 
MEA-707
Posts: 3666
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:51 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 1:25 am

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?
 
Trident
Posts: 477
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:49 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 2:44 am

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.
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 2:57 am

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.
 
Guest

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 3:19 am

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
 
papatango
Posts: 376
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 1999 10:32 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 3:52 am

I would love to know where the info on the USAF having old TWA TRISTARS came from.
 
flyf15
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 4:32 am

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)
 
flynavy
Posts: 2177
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 1:48 am

TZ L1011 Sched. Svc.

Sat Aug 17, 2002 10:29 am

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.
Change is: one airline, six continents!
 
TWAL1011
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 12:39 pm

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 10:37 am

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.
 
Fly_ATA
Posts: 594
Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 9:10 am

RE: TZ L1011 Sched. Svc.

Sat Aug 17, 2002 2:28 pm

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.
 
kevin82277
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 5:45 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 2:33 pm

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
 
EGPX
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2002 3:57 am

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 8:34 pm

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
 
tzMSP
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2002 9:23 pm

RE: Vanishing Of L1011s

Sat Aug 17, 2002 10:01 pm

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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