CF-CPI
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L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:11 pm

.... but didn't buy?

My question is prompted by an amazing item I saw a couple of years ago. Lockheed commissioned some large scale display models of the L-1011-500 in Braniff Ultra colors (someone at a convention had one for sale).

I realize manufacturers can prepare these things on a whim just to entice a carrier, but it got me thinking whether BN or other carriers ever came close to ordering the aircraft for its long thin routes. Of course BN didn't go for it, settling instead for 747SPs (I suspect the DC-8-62s and 727-200s in Latin America would have been supplanted by a 757/767 combination). I can imagine CP Air, who ordered the DC-10-30 very late, might have looked closely.

Is there anyone here with some inside info from those days? The L-1011-500 was a beauty, and incorporated a number of advanced features, but was caught in the middle, and doomed when the 767 was approved for EROPS/ETOPS in 1985.
 
LHRBlueSkies
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:17 pm

Pass, but I agree, the Tri-Star was a beauty, whereas the DC10 was definatele the ugly sister - WOOF!

I guess maybe AC could have been a possible contender, DL? BA?
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FlagshipAZ
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:23 pm

Air Canada did operate the -500. They ordered 8, but took only 6. Delta had a fleet of 17 different -500s. British Airways did operate the standard Tristar, but I'm not so sure abou the -500.
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Orion737
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:24 pm

I think Air India came very close to looking at/ordering the L1011-500. the only thing I dont like about this version of the L1011 is the lack of underfloor galley which all other Tristars had.
 
MakeMinesLAX
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:26 pm

Quoting LHRBlueSkies (Reply 1):
I guess maybe AC could have been a possible contender, DL? BA?

Both DL and BA bit, although the latter only leased -500s (according to my '85 LP Airline Fleets). I think Eastern was a candidate, but chose the DC-10-30 instead for its TATL service

[Edited 2007-12-20 12:27:42]
 
kiwiandrew

RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:27 pm



Quoting Orion737 (Reply 3):
I think Air India came very close to looking at/ordering the L1011-500.

I think that they had actually placed an order but cancelled it when they realised that production was going to cease .
 
Type-Rated
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:32 pm

It's surprising that BN didn't actually order any widebody tri-jets. In their 1973 annual report it was stated that they were already noticing the rising cost of jet fuel and were investigating ways to control that cost. And the 747-100 series were fuel hogs. A lot of airlines got rid of them quickly. But BN marched on with the few they have.

I have also heard that the reason they never investigated other aircraft is that they didn't have the money to buy any.
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CF-CPI
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:30 pm

I think the BN had considered, but rejected, the idea of an order for widebody tri-jets in the late 60s/early 70s era. At the time, they would have been used domestically, and BN instead chose multiple 727-200s, allowing for greater frequency. If I'm not mistaken, that was a smart move at the time, since it allowed pax more flexible schedules. Competitors such as AA had trouble filling their DC-10s (the economy was in recession).

It wasn't until 72/73 that the DC-10-30 was operating, and then it was mainly foreign flag carriers (LH, KL, SR). In the late 70s and early 80s, routes opened up for the American non-flag carriers and that's when you saw a window of opportunity for long range trijets in US carrier fleets.

I too had heard that Air India was close to an order for the -500, and have been told that Qantas strongly considered it to supplant their (then) all-747 fleet, presumably on account of its RR engines.
 
col
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:36 pm

BA purchased 6 units, but only operated them for a short time before they left for the RAF. One was leased by B/Airtours from memory.

I remember seeing an Air India -500 leased from somewhere when I lived in Singapore - mid 90's.

Not sure how many carriers looked at it, but the -500 had a superb range from memory. Only got to fly on one -500 DL MAN-JFK.
 
N1120A
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:39 pm



Quoting MakeMinesLAX (Reply 4):
I think Eastern was a candidate, but chose the DC-10-30 instead for its TATL service

No, actually. EA brought in some DC-10s temporarily to bridge the gap till their L1011s arrived, but it was actually the Tristar that was the backbone of the long haul fleet.
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Viscount724
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:45 pm

Quoting Col (Reply 8):
Not sure how many carriers looked at it, but the -500 had a superb range from memory.

If memory correct, the DC-10-30 has better range than the L1011-500, and carries more passengers. They had to reduce the weight of the -500 to increaase range and the shorter fuselage cut seating capcity which made it generally uneconomic for most carriers. The DC-10-30 was much more profitable for its operators than the L1011-500 was for the few carriers that operated it. As has already been mentioned, BA got rid of their -500s very quickly.

[Edited 2007-12-20 13:46:40]
 
aerokiwi
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:15 pm



Quoting LHRBlueSkies (Reply 1):
Pass, but I agree, the Tri-Star was a beauty, whereas the DC10 was definatele the ugly sister - WOOF!

Funny, I've always seen it the other way round - the L1011 had that awkward nose, stumpy engines and that itsy-bitsy tail. I know it's virtually sacrilege on this website, but I always lumped the Tristar in the same ugly category as the BAC 1-11 and Trident. YEESH!
 
474218
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:38 pm

Lockheed worked hard to sell the L-1011-500 to Braniff,

Quoting MakeMinesLAX (Reply 4):
Both DL and BA bit, although the latter only leased -500s (according to my '85 LP Airline Fleets).



Quoting Col (Reply 8):
BA purchased 6 units, but only operated them for a short time before they left for the RAF. One was leased by B/Airtours from memory.

BA purchased six L-1011-500's from Lockheed, in fact they were the launch customer. BA sold them to the RAF which still operates them plus three they picked up from Pan Am. After selling the -500's to the RAF BA then leased two Air Lanka -500's to use on their South America runs.


There were several airlines that Lockheed had high hopes of selling L-1011-500 to including Qantas and Air India. Air India did lease two L-1011-500's several years after the TriStar went out of production.
 
northstardc4m
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:55 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):

No, actually. EA brought in some DC-10s temporarily to bridge the gap till their L1011s arrived, but it was actually the Tristar that was the backbone of the long haul fleet.

No, ACTUALLY, EA bought the Dc-10 because by then:

1> the L1011 was out of production
2> the DC-10 was cheap
3> EA wasn't thrilled with the L1011 at the time (mid 80s)
4> Their existing L1011 fleet didn't have the range to do MIA-LGW (they had L1011-1s)

Also, the Texas International board may of steered EA to DC-10-30s because of COs fleet.
Eastern also wanted a plane to fly MIA-EZE non-stop at the same time, so the Dc-10 fit the bill nicely.

Originally, EA was going to acquire 747-200s from QANTAS for the service, but that fell through after one was painted when EA failed to get LHR rights and Air Florida was granted the new MIA-London flight to LGW. When Palm was in trouble, EA bought the route and got the DC-10s from Alitalia to fly it with.

EA would not of been interested in the -500, they WERE interested in the aborted -8 design, and the L1011-600 twinjet, neither of which were built.

And just so you don't think im making things up about the 747-200:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
MSYtristar
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:59 pm



Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 13):
And just so you don't think im making things up about the 747-200:

I know EA leased 747's from PA for a time. I think they were 741's.

As for the L15....awesome airplane. I got to fly on her three times in DL colors.

Pan Am pioneered L15 flights with its Houston-London nonstop service
 
WesternA318
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:01 pm

BA, DL, and PA were the biggest users of the L-1011-500 from what my memory recalls, then along came ATA, lol...
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Rj111
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:05 pm



Quoting Aerokiwi (Reply 11):
Funny, I've always seen it the other way round - the L1011 had that awkward nose, stumpy engines and that itsy-bitsy tail. I know it's virtually sacrilege on this website, but I always lumped the Tristar in the same ugly category as the BAC 1-11 and Trident. YEESH!

I agree with you on that one actually.

Was a very good plane for it's time though.
 
474218
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:48 pm



Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 15):
BA, DL, and PA were the biggest users of the L-1011-500 from what my memory recalls, then along came ATA, lol...

Just to set the record straight the following operators bought L-1011-500's from Lockheed:

British Airways = 6
Delta = 3
Air Canada = 6
BWIA = 4
LTU = 2
Pan Am = 12
Royal Jordanian = 7
TAP = 7
Air Lanka = 2
Algerian Government = 1, This was a VIP aircraft never delivered to the Algerian Government but instead when to the Saudi Royal Flight.

Delta was by far the largest L-1011-500 operator as they bought used Pan Am and Air Canada aircraft ending up with 17 at one time.
 
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TZTriStar500
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:27 am

Since this is a thread about who looked, but didn't buy, I have an old PACMIN model of a QANTAS TriStar500 as well as a large beautiful original watercolor of a TriStar500 in Nigeria Airways colors...both bought on eBay.

So, either those two airlines looked or Lockheed tried to market it to them with these items. Of course, neither ever operated the type.
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474218
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:41 am



Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 18):
Since this is a thread about who looked, but didn't buy, I have an old PACMIN model of a QANTAS TriStar500 as well as a large beautiful original watercolor of a TriStar500 in Nigeria Airways colors...both bought on eBay.

So, either those two airlines looked or Lockheed tried to market it to them with these items. Of course, neither ever operated the type.

I have several L-1011 pictures from sales old sales brochures, airliners like Trans Australian Airlines (TAA), Iraqi Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Zambia Airway, Iran Air and a couple more. I would post them if there was some easy way to post pictures on a.net, but not being a computer geek I can't figure out how its done.
 
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drerx7
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:47 am

I had the pleasure of flying on 2 DL L15s ATL-DFW and ATL-LGA - wonderful birds.
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MSYtristar
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:54 am

The L15 did not have as long of a range and obviously the payload capabilities of the DC10-30. It was really a niche aircraft which in many ways was ahead of its time.

Besides extensive service to Europe, DL of course used to fly them out of its PDX hub to Asia before they got the M11's. They also ran a LAX-ANC-HKG one-stop service with the L15.

PA used them for both Europe and some South America flights such as JFK-GIG.

UA used the ex-PA L15's for flights out of SFO to Asia...pretty sure it did SFO-NRT, for example.

And my personal favorite L15 memory: BA's LGW-MSY-MEX service with the beautiful tri jet three times weekly back in 1982.
 
Transpac787
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:11 am



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 14):
I think they were 741's.

Judging by that photo, that specific plane has JT9D-7A's, which were motors fitted only on the 741's....so, I think you are right.

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 3):
the only thing I dont like about this version of the L1011 is the lack of underfloor galley which all other Tristars had.

Why did that do that??
 
vv701
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:19 am



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 10):
As has already been mentioned, BA got rid of their -500s very quickly.

Too quickly as it turned out. The six aircraft they purchased from Lockheed were delivered between April 79 and May 80. BA used them to replace VC-10s and 707s on long haul routes where the 747s then operated by the airline were too large. These routes included services to the Caribbean, the West Coast of the USA and the Middle East.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 12):
BA purchased six L-1011-500's from Lockheed, in fact they were the launch customer. BA sold them to the RAF which still operates them plus three they picked up from Pan Am. After selling the -500's to the RAF BA then leased two Air Lanka -500's to use on their South America runs.

The sale to the RAF occurred in early 1983. It was a fire sale following a severe UK recession that left BA desperate for cash. The only way the British government was prepared to help was to buy the aircraft at a commercial price to meet an unforeseen and urgent RAF requirement. This requirement was for a very long range strategic aircraft to fly non-stop to supply British forces on the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic following the successful conclusion of the Falklands War.

But in April 1985, following the publication of a government White Paper, BA was forced to surrender its Saudi Arabian routes to British Caledonian (BCal) in exchange for their South American routes. Having disposed of its 6 TriStar 500s, BA had no suitable aircraft to operate on these relatively thin new long haul routes. So that month it leased the two Air Lanka L-1011 500s (4R-ULA/G-BLUS and 4R-ULB/G-BLUT). They remained in the BA fleet until March 1988 by which time the merger between the financially troubled BCal and the recently privatised BA had added BCal's fleet of eight DC-10-30s to the BA fleet.
 
MakeMinesLAX
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:37 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
No, actually. EA brought in some DC-10s temporarily to bridge the gap till their L1011s arrived, but it was actually the Tristar that was the backbone of the long haul fleet.

You're probably thinking of DL, which leased 5 DC-10s from UA as a stopgap. As noted above, EA borrowed a few PA 747s for that purpose. However, I was talking about the DC-10-30s which EA deployed later, once thay already had a sizeable L-1011 fleet.
 
Viscount724
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RE: L-1011-500 - Who Looked Closely.....

Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:40 am



Quoting VV701 (Reply 23):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 10):
As has already been mentioned, BA got rid of their -500s very quickly.

Too quickly as it turned out. The six aircraft they purchased from Lockheed were delivered between April 79 and May 80. BA used them to replace VC-10s and 707s on long haul routes where the 747s then operated by the airline were too large. These routes included services to the Caribbean, the West Coast of the USA and the Middle East.

My only flight on a BA L1011-500 was in December 1981, LHR-YEG-YVR. That wasn't long after BA had obtained traffic rights to western Canada. At that time I believe they operated LHR-YVR 3 times a week. One stopped at YEG and two at YYC. They dropped the YEG and YYC stops after a year or so. I recall that flight clearly as it was exactly 24 hours late due to a big snowstorm that had hit the UK 2 days earlier. At least the -500s didn't have the cramped 10-abreast Y class seating of BA's L1011-1s used within Europe.