Tristarfreak
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L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:48 am

I love the L-1011 tristar (as you can see from my username) and my question is why were they retired from service so soon being that DL retired theirs when they were only 20 something years (pretty average age for an aircraft) and with ATA retiring their last ones this year for some DC-10s (which are probably older) and then you have UPS retiring their 721s this year which are from the 60's and then NW still flying DC-9s that are from the 60's as well and then the 1011s didn't even get a chance at being freighters (and they would make a great one too) and they were very advance aircraft for their time and still have some advanced features that are still being used on new aircraft today even though supplies were very limited you can still find them so does anybody have an explanation as to why they were retired so soon???
 
DAL767400ER
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:55 am

In short:
Maintenance-intensive, 3-man cockpit, too many engines, and most importantly, too high fuel consumption. As sturdy and sleek the Tristars were, they also were heavy fuel guzzlers, which was the main reason they were retired rather young.
 
MCOflyer
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:56 am

I believe the white sands casino in LAS has a pair of ex Saudia VIP a/c.

MCOflyer
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1337Delta764
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:57 am

The L-1011 is a trijet, which is not as efficient as a twin. Efficiency is not the only issue with trijets, the third engine is more difficult for maintenance. For Delta, the 767-400 is a better aircraft. In addition to retiring their L-1011s, Delta has also retired their even younger MD-11s. The MD-11 was a nightmare for Delta, with high operating costs and frequent mechanical issues.

Also, remember that Lockheed is out of the commercial aviation industry, and parts for the L-1011 are now only available aftermarket, making them more difficult to come by. This is the reason why ATA is switching to the DC-10, as Boeing (who bought out McDonnell Douglas) still provides service for the DC-10.
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Superfly
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:23 am

Quoting Tristarfreak (Thread starter):
the 1011s didn't even get a chance at being freighters (and they would make a great one too)

There have been L1011s converted in to freighters.



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warreng24
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:40 am

Also, the version of engine on a majority of the L-1011's (all except the -250 and -500 version) use a first generation model of the RB211 engine.

Apparantly is is very very difficult to get spare parts for this first generation version.

Perhaps someone else can add more details to this?
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:47 am

Well, ATA currently only operates the L-1011-500. But still, parts for the L-1011 family in general are becoming more and more difficult to come by, as Lockheed is out of the commercial aviation industry.
The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
 
iflyswa
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:48 am

Quoting Tristarfreak (Thread starter):

Holy run-on sentence, man...

I loved the L1011, it was a beautiful peice of machinery to look at. I never had a chance to fly on one. I wish more had been built and that more were still around, but Lockheed's poor timing with initial rollout just weeks after the debut of the DC-10 in the early seventies sealed its fate. Even if it had been received by airlines and the public as the superior airplane that it was, September 11, 2001 and the recession and industry stagnation that followed would have done away with the L1011 just the same as it did the rest of the tri-jet fleet in the United States.

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LASoctoberB6
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:17 am

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 2):
I believe the white sands casino in LAS has a pair of ex Saudia VIP a/c.

you should see them sittin out in front of the Las Vegas Air Terminal.......beautiful..drove past it yesterday...
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474218
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:18 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 6):
as Lockheed is out of the commercial aviation industry.

Lockheed is still involved in the commercial industry, they continue provide product support for the L-1011, L-188, JetStar and all other out of production airframes.

Currently there are 38 L-1011's still operating with 25 of them being -500 models exactly 50% of the L-1011-500's produced.
 
africawings
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:19 am

What about re-engnging these things with more fuel efficint ones?
 
ReidYYZ
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:25 am

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 5):
Apparantly is is very very difficult to get spare parts for this first generation version.

True, but even worse was a problem finding an overhaul shop. RR sold off all their tooling for Tristar model engines. Shops equiped for the task are far and few in between. Even some system components are hard to come by. Sure you could go out and buy a desert queen for the parts, but if you are facing a common problem with a specific component, chances are the desert queen part is not much better. Many years ago, I heard an operator had a problem with the flex fuel line feeding engine 2 aft of the bulkhead. The OEM still managed to have the drawings and tooling to fabricate, conditional that XX number of units were to be bought. Well, said company bought the req'd number since they had a few Tristars, and ended up replacing more. The rest of stock ended up getting sold off slowly as other companies needed them. And as a sole source (OEM not into stocking them) the original operator made some cash above and beyond what they spent initially.
 
EMBQA
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:25 am

Quoting Tristarfreak (Thread starter):
so does anybody have an explanation as to why they were retired so soon???

So soon.....??? 30 years is along time.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:30 am

Well the original model came out in 1972 and the last L10 was built in 1984, so I am not in agreement that it was retired so soon.
 
VC10DC10
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:32 am

Quoting Africawings (Reply 10):
What about re-engnging these things with more fuel efficint ones?

Not as easy as it sounds... not only do you have to consider the high cost of modern engines, you would probably have to deal with different weights and loadings on the wing, changing the fore-and-aft trim of the plane (thanks to the rear engine), adapting fuel and electrical systems, avionics, etc. Pretty soon you're talking real money.
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:44 am

Quoting Iflyswa (Reply 7):
Holy run-on sentence, man...

Sorry about that I never was good about that type of stuff.

thanks to all the replies this helps some but I guess I'm still in denial about my favorite a/c having an untimely fate .(in my opinion).
 
Superfly
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:57 am

Tristarfreak:
Man you missed out! Big grin
I flew on a Delta L-1011 (LAX-ATL) waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in Nineteen Eighty Niiiiiiiiiiine.  old 
Bring back the Concorde
 
GQfluffy
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:05 am

Quoting Iflyswa (Reply 7):
but Lockheed's poor timing with initial rollout just weeks after the debut of the DC-10 in the early seventies sealed its fate.

Not exactly. The reason the Tristar didn't roll out before the DC-10 can be placed squarely on Rolls Royce.

I got to fly on an L1011 once in 1998 SLC-CVG. Big aircraft, smooth flight, loved the sound of those engines. Big grin
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
KELPkid
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:14 am

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 17):
Not exactly. The reason the Tristar didn't roll out before the DC-10 can be placed squarely on Rolls Royce.

So why exactly did Lockheed put all their proverbial chickens in one basket, then? I suppose that was the thing to do with widebody projects then:

The 747-100 was all P&W JT9D
The DC-10 was all CF-6
The L-1011 was all RB.211

However, the -200 series 747 changed that  Wink

Weren't there some P&W powered DC-10 variants, too?
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AADC10
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:20 am

The general rule of thumb for mainline commercial aircraft is that they are designed to be operated for 25 years. There is some give or take depending on the number of cycles, quality of maintenance and other usage factors. Cargo aircraft can operate for much longer since they make fewer flights and have fewer safety requirements.

The L-1011 was dropped a little faster than some other types as previously mentioned due to Lockheed exiting the business, but their lifespan was not really abnormally short, it is just that few companies are really dragging their lifespan out to the very end.
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:24 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):

I was able to fly on one via DL from SAN-OGG (the whole trip was GSO-ATL-SAN-OGG GSO ATL on the next best plane a 727) in 1996 and was possibily the best flight I have ever had
 
legoguy
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:35 am

Why have so few Tristar's been converted into freighters when such a large amount of DC-10's are now freighters?
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Leskova
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:35 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
Tristarfreak:
Man you missed out! Big grin
I flew on a Delta L-1011 (LAX-ATL) waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in Nineteen Eighty Niiiiiiiiiiine. old

You think you're old?  Wink ... I flew on a DL L1011 LAX-ATL and on another a couple days after that, MCO-LAX... and that was in 1982... Big grin ... and I flew on yet another two of them, this time with LT, in 1986, that was DUS-LEI-DUS... and, yes, I am old enough to remember those flights quite well...  Smile

They were nice - but, to be honest, I still prefer the planes that are built today.
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bps3458
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:36 am

Bit off the topic but believe my only flight on a L-1011 was sometime in 1987 or 88 flying DL from Frankfurt nonstop in to Dallas. Is my memory correct and did DL serve FRA - DFW nonstop with a L-1011 during that time ?

Cheers,

Peter
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:43 am

Quoting Legoguy (Reply 21):
Why have so few Tristar's been converted into freighters when such a large amount of DC-10's are now freighters?

my point exactly could somebody kindly answer this question for us?????
 
OceansWorld
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:45 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 18):
Weren't there some P&W powered DC-10 variants, too?


Yes, 42 in all. 22 for NW, all are dead now, and 20 for JL, most are parked in the desert, but 4 are with SU and one with JW as cargo aircraft. There's a projet with Omega Air to convert some 40s to air refueler, like the KC-10A of the USAF.

Why were the L-1011s so quickly retired ? Well, who could have needed them ? I mean, what for ? Cargo ? FedEx started to use DC-10-10Fs for domestic services twenty years ago, and its fleet has never stopped to grow until recently. They even ordered 10 new series 30F to add to their second hand fleet. Today, most DC-10 operators, outside of FedEx, are cargo airlines using series 30F and 40F offering a MTOW of about 20 to 35 metric tonnes higher (depending of the airframe) than the L1011-250/500s (not to speak about the L1011-1) because these DC-10s have the centre wheels.

Other factors like spare parts (already mentioned) played a role.

[Edited 2007-03-15 23:53:48]
 
GQfluffy
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:54 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 18):
Weren't there some P&W powered DC-10 variants, too?

Yup. As OceansWorld said, not very many. I think MD got preasured into making them because of NW and JL.

Quoting Legoguy (Reply 21):
Why have so few Tristar's been converted into freighters when such a large amount of DC-10's are now freighters?

Look below...

Quoting OceansWorld (Reply 25):
Other factors like spare parts (already mentioned) played a role.

I'd say that's probably the best reason. That and the maintenance on those old engines, which I suppose goes right back to lack of parts. Too bad, the Tristar was a great aircraft.
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
OceansWorld
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:58 am

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 26):
I think MD got preasured into making them because of NW and JL.

Northwest wanted to have an all P & W powered fleet. But their DC-10 were at first of the series 20 (very short time) and became 40 when they learned that MDC was preparing a new version. The DC-10-40s that JL got had higher performances than those of NW, like a longer range, higher MTOW, better engines...
 
legoguy
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:04 am

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 26):
Too bad, the Tristar was a great aircraft.

They have quite a good safety history with only 5 incidents.... 2 of which were actually crashes.
Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
 
IFEMaster
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:06 am

I never flew in one, but I've sat in the cockpit of one. The RAF used to fly them quite frequently (perhaps they still do?), and they had one on display during an airshow back in the late 90's. It was my first encounter with a widebody, and it was just awesome to sit on the flightdeck, surrounded by so many switches and gauges and levers etc. I wish I'd had the chance to fly on one.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
474218
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:08 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 18):
So why exactly did Lockheed put all their proverbial chickens in one basket, then? I suppose that was the thing to do with widebody projects then:

The reason behind only Rolls Royce engines was because a UK company called Air Holding was contracted to buy 30 TriStars (with 20 options). Under the agreement with Air Holdings, Lockheed would sell L-1011's in the US and Air Holdings would market it in all countries outside the United States.
 
Alibo5NGN
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:11 am

Tristarfreak

I have flown in British Airways Tristars in the early 1980s. The last time I got to fly on a Tristar was in 1998 on a Delta Airlines shuttle between the Islands of Oahu and Maui in Hawaii. There is an African Airline called Trans-Atlantic Airlines that has just refurbished an old Delta desert Queen. They hope to fly between JFK, Freetown Sierra Leone and LOS. It is still stuck in the derset as of January this year. You could not pay me enough to fly on it. Some of the maintenance issues raised on this thread were raised in the magazine that wrote about it.  scared 
It takes knowledge to make a career. It takes wisdom to live a life.
 
warreng24
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:11 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 18):
Weren't there some P&W powered DC-10 variants, too?

The DC-10-40 are PW JT9D powered.
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:15 am

Quoting Alibo5NGN (Reply 31):
Tristarfreak

I have flown in British Airways Tristars in the early 1980s. The last time I got to fly on a Tristar was in 1998 on a Delta Airlines shuttle between the Islands of Oahu and Maui in Hawaii. There is an African Airline called Trans-Atlantic Airlines that has just refurbished an old Delta desert Queen. They hope to fly between JFK, Freetown Sierra Leone and LOS. It is still stuck in the derset as of January this year. You could not pay me enough to fly on it. Some of the maintenance issues raised on this thread were raised in the magazine that wrote about it. scared

right but if it hadn't gone to the desert in the first place it wouldn't be in that kind of shape
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:16 am

The way the center entine is designed is what I love about the L1011. Great plane. Definitely earned a spot on my all-time favorite aircraft list.
Good goes around!
 
cba
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:22 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 18):

Weren't there some P&W powered DC-10 variants, too?

The DC-10-40, which was essentially a -30 model but with PW engines, was built specifically for JL and NW.

Regarding the re-engining and modernizing of the L1011, isn't the same done with DC-10's to make them MD-10's? Or is that conversion done on the flight deck only, leaving the engines unchanged.

Changing out that tail engine in the L1011 would be a bitch!
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:22 am

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 34):
The way the center entine is designed is what I love about the L1011. Great plane. Definitely earned a spot on my all-time favorite aircraft list.

Yeah me too although there is something that stands out to me i just cant figure out what it is L1011 the best aircraft ever will always be my favorite
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:11 am

dose anybody have a list of the tristars still flying???
 
OceansWorld
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:16 am

Quoting Tristarfreak (Reply 37):
dose anybody have a list of the tristars still flying???

This should give you an answer. Last updated March 2nd.

Cheers.

http://trijets.net/tristar/page/fleet.html
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:19 am

Quoting OceansWorld (Reply 38):

This should give you an answer. Last updated March 2nd.

Cheers.

http://trijets.net/tristar/page/fleet.html

thanks alot that is what i was looking for although it is very depressing to look at
 brokenheart   cry   weeping 
 
Viscount724
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:37 am

The L1011 was probably ahead of its time technically, but that also made it more maintenance-intensive in later years than, for example, the DC-10.

The L1011 and its R-R RB211 engines also virtually bankrupted both Lockheed and Rolls-Royce and required government bailouts by both of their governments, largely to ensure that their various defence programmes would continue.
 
474218
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:06 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 40):
The L1011 was probably ahead of its time technically, but that also made it more maintenance-intensive in later years than, for example, the DC-10.

I think if you read the following web site, you will change your opinion about the L-1011 and its maintenance cost.

www.texasair.net/New_Folder/economics.htm
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:26 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 42):

reading that site proves that the L1011 is one of the most advanced a/c's out there and also proves that it had much more life than what it was given in that survey the 1011's costs were in some parts cheaper even than the 762, 763, and even the 772 not to mention WAY cheaper then the DC-10 and MD-11 and is even in some cases More fuel efficient then the 772 ad 763!!!!
 
Viscount724
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:33 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 42):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 40):
The L1011 was probably ahead of its time technically, but that also made it more maintenance-intensive in later years than, for example, the DC-10.

I think if you read the following web site, you will change your opinion about the L-1011 and its maintenance cost.

www.texasair.net/New_Folder/economics.htm

But the facts speak for themselves. Why are so few L1011s still flying today compared to DC-10s? And why were almost no L1011s converted to freighters after their passenger days had ended, unlike the many DC-10s that were converted and are still flying? Economically the L1011 just wasn't competitive with the DC-10 especially the long-range DC-10-30 where there really wasn't a comparable L1011 model. They had to shrink the L1011 to obtain reasonable long range capability with the L1011-500 but the reduced capacity made it even less competitive with the DC-10-30 and it still didn't have equivalent range.

I've also read quite a few comments that Lockheed didn't provide the same degree of customer support after the last L1011 was built, compared to the DC-10 where McDonnell-Douglas was still building the MD-11 which had many common parts etc.

The world probably really didn't need both the DC-10 and L1011 as when they both went into service in the early '70s there was a huge excess capacity in the airline industry since the 747 had gone into service in 1970, closely folowed a couple of years later by the DC-10 and L1011. If only one of them had been built, the manufacturer in question might still be building commercial aircraft today and giving Boeing and Airbus some real competition.
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:46 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 45):

Right but the operating cost per hour for the both the L1011-1 and the L1011-500 is over $1,000 less than the DC-10-30 is it just me seeing that I still think they should be flying in both pax and freighter versions
 
GQfluffy
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:00 am

Quoting Tristarfreak (Reply 46):
is it just me seeing that I still think they should be flying in both pax and freighter versions

Yes. I too miss seeing the Tristar flying, but it just doesn't make economical sense. Sure, apparently you've figured out that it would cost less to fly the Tristar on some routes then the DC-10. But then again, if your Tristar breaks, where are you going to find parts to replace whatever piece that broke?
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
Tristarfreak
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:03 am

ive been able to find spare tristar parts allover the internet some in bulk
 
474218
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:04 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 43):
I've also read quite a few comments that Lockheed didn't provide the same degree of customer support after the last L1011 was built, compared to the DC-10 where McDonnell-Douglas was still building the MD-11 which had many common parts etc.

I really take offence to this statement, since I spent over 20 years in L-1011 Product Support. Lockheed's product support of the L-1011 was far superior to all the other manufactures support. In fact when Airbus was trying to sell A310's to Delta in the early 1990's, one of the requirements Delta put on the deal was that Lockheed provide the support. A team from Lockheed product support even visited Airbus in Toulouse to discuss the program. As for the support after the last L-1011 was built, it was in every sales contract that Lockheed would continue full technical and spares support as long as one L-1011 remained in the original purchasers service. Lockheed fully lived up to this prevision, as the L-1011 support center is still in operation today and there are no first tier operators of the L-1011. The major difference is the first tier operators got their support as part of the purchase price and the operators today are expedited to pay for there support.
 
WesternA318
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:21 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
I flew on a Delta L-1011 (LAX-ATL) waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in Nineteen Eighty Niiiiiiiiiiine.

I flew on my last L-1011 flight on a DL segment from SLC to LAX in 1999.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 41):
www.texasair.net/New_Folder/economics.htm

I'd have to think twice about chartering from anyone with the name of "Texas Air"
Check out my blog at fl310travel.blogspot.com!
 
SCAT15F
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RE: L-1011: Why Retired So Soon?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:28 pm

Quoting Africawings (Reply 10):
What about re-engnging these things with more fuel efficint ones?

I think the main obstacle to that would be engine #2 in the tail. MD had to redesign the tail cowling of the DC10/MD-11 to fit the larger fan of the PW4062 and CF6-80. (I'm assuming that's why no DC-10's were re-engined.

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