flaps30
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Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:09 pm

I have always wondered why Lockheed did not build another type of aircraft to compliment the L1011. In my opinion the L1011 was one of the best aircraft ever built. Very safe,elegant,quiet, and smooth. I am not sure how many were built or if they were even considered a success with that type. Did Lockheed get to caught up in their military contracts to even bother with another commercial aircraft? Were there any other types on the drawing board?
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srbmod
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:23 pm

They did come up with a twin-engined version of the L-1011 to be called the L-1011-600 BiStar, but it never proceeded beyond a paper airplane (MDD also looked into a twin-engined DC-10.). One of the issues Lockheed has was that they only offered one engine option for the L-1011 and that resulted in the L-1011 being delayed due to Rolls Royce going into receivership and being taken over by the UK gov't. Had they offered a GE or P&W engine (like the DC-10), they may have gotten orders that went to MDD. The L-1011 design early on was actually a twin-jet, but the airlines requested a third engine.
 
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SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:24 pm

What other aircraft do you have in mind ? Lockheed sort off jumped from the Electra to the Tristar regarding commercial airliners, while both Boeing and Douglas built different types of jetliners before entering the widebody competition. Once the L-1011 was launched, it faced direct competition from the DC-10. A few years later the A300 arrived. Not to forget the difficulties the RB.211 produced at the beginning of the program.
 
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Polot
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:25 pm

Troubles during the L-1011's development helped bankrupted the company forcing them to receive a loan from the US government to prevent them from going insolvent. With only 250 built, while often seen as a technical success compared to the DC-10, the L-1011 was a failure on the market place. That is why Lockheed never built another commercial aircraft again.
 
fanofjets
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:52 pm

Unfortuneately, the L1011 was not a commercial success, though most of us would agree that it was a very fine aircraft. Lockheed had some machines on the drawing board, but they remained "paper airplanes."

I have seen illustrations from about 30 years ago, when there was a world econoimic recession and a fuel crisis, of two designs. One was of a stretched TriStar to accommodate liquid hydrogen tanks (a modification that certainly detracted from the aircraft's graceful profile), and another was a double-deck airplane, much like the A380, but with one level dedicated to hydrogen fuel tanks. The latter, named RECAT (Reduced Energy Commercial Air Transport) was to be powered by turboprop engines with advanced propellers; another picture shows the same plane with turbofans.

In an entirely different direction were the proposals for a Lockheed SST, an expensive, fuel-guzzling monster! And even before that, Lockheed produced a scale mock-up of a car-carrying version of its C-5A Galaxy, the L500; that was in 1968, according to a company publication. Funny thing, as the Bristol Freighters and Carvairs were carrying anything but cars around that time. Even worse, according to a 1990 Popular Mechanics front-page story, Lockheed was looking into mating two C-5 fuselages to a redsigned wing bristling with engines, similar to the Soviet "Black Sea Monster" Ekranoplan montrosities of the early 1960s - an idea Lockheed also explored!

But back to the post-1980s. Here's what I have found: An "X-30 Shuttle Transport," presumably some kind of hypersonic airliner, a sleek commuter helicopter (I have no date) whose rotors could be "frozen" to form an "X-wing," and a "flat-bed transport," kind of like a low-wing L500 or C-5 but with a flat fuselage, atop of which oversize cargo such as heavy construction machinery could be strapped. I would not even want to guess what the drag coefficient was for that crazy thing. Then, there was a "lifting-hull," medium to large freighter that also relied on the ground effect like the early Ekranoplans.

As is obvious, many of these designs also have military or space (lower earth orbit) applications. Lots of fantasy here, but my guess is that the TriStar experience (even with the -500) was so bitter, the company decided to get out of the airline business altogether and focus on military aircraft and space (hence "Lockheed-Martin," when the company merged with Martin-Marietta, a major space contractor). For us airliner fans, this is sad, when one thinks that Lockheed built some of the most beautiful airliners in the world, from its Model 10 Electra (and -12, -14 derivatives), Constellation, and TriStar.
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RWA380
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:26 am

I wish other aircraft would have taken to the entry doors going up into the ceiling, instead of opening outwards, a very cool feature indeed. Were all L-1011's built with the lower level galleys, if not, how many were built equipped with that feature?
And how many 500 series L-1011's were built, and do the manufactured figures mentioned previously, reflect the 500's as well or not?
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nrt1011
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:35 am

Of course I adored the L1011 flying it on AC many times.

Do we ever think that 3 engine large planes will make a comeback?
 
Freshside3
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:39 am

I wondered how the recent Boeing vs. Airbus competetion for the KC-135 tanker replacement would have been, if Lockheed offered an alternative product.
 
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SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:02 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 5):
Were all L-1011's built with the lower level galleys, if not, how many were built equipped with that feature?
And how many 500 series L-1011's were built, and do the manufactured figures mentioned previously, reflect the 500's as well or not?

If I remember well, all the standard sized TriStar had the lower level galley, while the 500 didn't. From launch of the TriStar until 1984, the last year of production, 250 aircraft were manufactured, of which 50 were Dash 500.
 
Burkhard
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:42 pm

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 7):
I wondered how the recent Boeing vs. Airbus competetion for the KC-135 tanker replacement would have been, if Lockheed offered an alternative product.

Airbus would not have entered the competition. Airbus got big after all competiton inside the US was destroyed by mergers.

This said, I also remember many nice flights on Tristars. It's faith and the faith of the DC10 was that there were two models which were too similar competing on a market that was nit big enough.
 
sweair
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:57 pm

They might get involved in programs in the future with their extensive experience of BWB shaped planes and flight controls and systems. Also NG are very experienced beyond the plain tube+wing.

They may not offer a plane but a substantial part being a contractor.
 
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Polot
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:19 pm

Quoting nrt1011 (Reply 6):
Do we ever think that 3 engine large planes will make a comeback?

Nope, 2 engine planes are more than capable.

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 7):
I wondered how the recent Boeing vs. Airbus competetion for the KC-135 tanker replacement would have been, if Lockheed offered an alternative product.

Largely the same, as Lockheed would have to had offer a completely new product. No way that they could compete on price and risk with that.
 
FlyPIJets
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:21 pm

Just to add to the many good points already made.

The L-1011 was the only commercial passenger offering from Lockheed since the L188 electra, and that program wasn't the success hoped for either. And the L-188 was an expensive loss for Lockheed. Both programs had engine problems (although completely different issues). Lockheed seemed to have poor timing with both programs, right, the L-188 was introduced right as jet passenger aircraft were coming to market. Hell, they had bad timing with the Connie, wasn't that ready before WWII and the war interrupted commercial service?


I wonder if the decision was made by management that, hey, the passenger service space isn't for Lockheed.

ae
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srbmod
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:20 pm

Quoting fanofjets (Reply 4):
In an entirely different direction were the proposals for a Lockheed SST, an expensive, fuel-guzzling monster! And even before that, Lockheed produced a scale mock-up of a car-carrying version of its C-5A Galaxy, the L500; that was in 1968, according to a company publication.

The L-500 was also proposed as a passenger a/c with a proposed capacity of around 1000 passengers. Lockheed also tried to market a civilian version of the C-141 called the L-300 to cargo airlines (One airline did order some and the single civilian L-300 built ended up with NASA.).
 
cargolex
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:18 pm

Remember, too, that during the time of the L-1011's production, Lockheed was an often troubled company with it's name in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Any companion to the L-1011 would have been designed in the mid-1970s, but at that time, the news of the Lockheed bribery scandals broke, and that nearly sank the entire company. Detailing the full bribery scandal would take far longer than one single post, but suffice to say that it was revealed that Lockheed and it's representatives and surrogates had been bribing foreign governments to choose their products - in particular the F-104 - over the competition even if those countries had initially preferred other products.

This scandal also extended into civilian airliners - ANA's choice of the L-1011 was the direct result of bribery and influence by the Japanese prime minister at the time, Kakuei Tanaka.

In 1976, the U.S. Senate investigated Lockheed and during this investigation it came out that Lockheed had paid more than $3 Million in bribes to Japanese officials, including Tanaka and Japanese mobster Yoshio Kodama, to make this happen. The scandal brought down Tanaka's government and I believe he's the only Japanese Prime Minister to ever have been arrested and (at least temporarily) jailed for a crime committed while in office.

The scandal extended to the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Italy, and several Middle Eastern countries were Adnan Khashoggi had acted on behalf of Lockheed.

This kept dragging on for years, by the way, with the Italian part of the scandal breaking in 1977 (Lockheed had bribed Italian officials to choose the C-130 for the Italian AF) and bringing down the then-president of Italy a year later.

The US investigation, led by Senator Frank Church, took place in 1976 and led to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices act, while West Germany's investigations and hearings came three years later. The US had bailed out Lockheed in 1971 and some of that money ended up being used for these purposes. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was a far reaching piece of legislation that, in 2012, was effecting Wal-Mart and it's bribery issues in foreign countries, but at the time it was aimed squarely at the practices of Lockheed and indeed was sponsored by Lockheed's chief antagonist, Senator William Proxmire, the leader of the opposition to Lockheed's 1971 bailout.

Lockheed remained a wounded company for much of this period, even though they were still carrying out many defense contracts and making reliable aircraft. The scandals hurt the ability of the company to raise money, and to sell aircraft to new customers who didn't want to be tainted by what had transpired.

The L-1011 and DC-10 were cannibalizing eachothers sales and the L-1011 was a money pit (even if it was a decent aircraft), and nothing could be spared to develop any kind of companion to it because of all the other problems the company was having.

It was SDI, in the eighties, that helped save Lockheed from the brink - but only temporarily.
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ExL10Mktg
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:47 pm

Quoting Polot (Reply 3):

Troubles during the L-1011's development helped bankrupted the company forcing them to receive a loan from the US government to prevent them from going insolvent.

It was a loan guarantee, not an outright loan a la TARP which is a big difference (although often misunderstood even back then.)

At the time the L-1011 program was cancelled (but offered to Boeing first) the company was secretly building what we now know to be the F-117. From an accounting standpoint, they could take the full write-down on losses from the 1011 program in one year (I believe) and offset the profits from the massive Skunk works full scale production program which helped to maintain it's secrecy. Many questions would have been asked about why the publicly held company was suddenly so profitable building only a few S-3A and P-3Cs a month.

My best guess about the permanent exit from the commercial market is that while we built superb aircraft, we were lousy at selling them for a variety of reasons. Marketing to the military is an entirely different skill set and in the end there is only one customer, the US government (not counting foreign sales of course.) I believe the decision was made to concentrate on what we were really good at and let go of what we were not.
 
LH707330
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:32 pm

To add to the engine issue point, RR wasn't able to build higher thrust variants as quickly as PW and GE, which hampered sales of longer range Tristars versus the DC10-30
 
doulasc
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:42 pm

I was wondering why Lockheed never did anything between the Electra and L-1011. They were very successful with the Constellation. For the Jet age we had Boeing 707,Douglas DC-8 and Convair 880/990 at the start,Three is a crowd, Look how unsuccessful Convair was with not many orders for their Jets.If Lockheed came out with a jet airliner in the early 1960s after the Electra ceased production,would it have been able to compete?

[Edited 2013-02-10 10:43:40]
 
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SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:56 pm

Quoting ExL10Mktg (Reply 15):
we were lousy at selling them for a variety of reasons. Marketing to the military is an entirely different skill set and in the end there is only one customer, the US government (not counting foreign sales of course.)

They had the same problem at Long Beach with McDonnell people.

Quoting doulasc (Reply 17):
For the Jet age we had Boeing 707,Douglas DC-8 and Convair 880/990 at the start,Three is a crowd, Look how unsuccessful Convair was with not many orders for their Jets.If Lockheed came out with a jet airliner in the early 1960s after the Electra ceased production,would it have been able to compete?

If Lockheed ever attempted to enter the jet age at that time, they would have had to offer a terrific product at a good price both for their sake and to attract customers. Boeing clearly was the leader, Douglas came in a year later and was never able to recover from its late start in the run. About half of all the DC-8s sold were Super 60s variants. If they hadn't offered these new variants, well... As for Convair, its aircraft were not very attractive. So imagine Lockheed jumping in that bath following all the burdens, financially wise, with the Electra.
 
SEPilot
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:27 am

Quoting doulasc (Reply 17):
I was wondering why Lockheed never did anything between the Electra and L-1011. They were very successful with the Constellation.

I do not believe that the Constellation (which has my vote for the most beautiful aircraft ever built) made much if any money for Lockheed-it was eclipsed by the DC-4 thru DC-7. The Electra was a financial disaster, as was the L-1011. Lockheed simply did not have the courage to dive into the pool again where they had been so badly burned (to mix a few metaphors.)
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
Max Q
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:39 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 5):
I wish other aircraft would have taken to the entry doors going up into the ceiling, instead of opening outwards, a very cool feature indeed.

Just book a flight on the B767, they all have those type doors.


I love the Tristar myself. It is the only Commercial Airliner that never had a design caused accident, an amazing record and just a beautiful Aircraft.


It was also the only Civilian Airliner openly admired and complimented by, of all people the Boeing company.


Wish we still had 411A around for his comments !
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doulasc
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:46 am

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 19):

I think the Lockheed Constellation would not have been as suceesful if it wasn't for TWA and Howard Hughes. If TWA went with the DC-6 and DC-7 that would have put the Connie out of production earlier.
 
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7BOEING7
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:32 am

As many have said, the Electra (L-188) was a disaster but it provided the airframe +/- that allowed them to build 650 P-3's for the military throughout the world of which I'm sure they made a few bucks off of.

[Edited 2013-02-10 18:40:51]
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:48 am

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 22):
As many have said, the Electra (L-188) was a disaster but it provided the airframe +/- that allowed them to build 650 P-3's for the military throughout the world of which I'm sure they made a few bucks off off.

757 including 107 built under license by Kawasaki in Japan.
 
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7BOEING7
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:32 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 23):
757 including 107 built under license by Kawasaki in Japan.

  
 
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RWA380
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:49 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 20):
Just book a flight on the B767, they all have those type doors

Big duh on my part, thanks. I was just on one 2 months ago too. I guess it was a big deal for me when I first started flying the Tri-Stars vs when I started flying 767's. Although I have flown many 767's all over the world, I should have thought of that, thanks!      
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Viscount724
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:22 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 19):
I do not believe that the Constellation (which has my vote for the most beautiful aircraft ever built) made much if any money for Lockheed-it was eclipsed by the DC-4 thru DC-7.

For those times, the 856 Constellations built (all models), including about 360 for military purposes, was quite significant.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:56 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 20):
Quoting RWA380 (Reply 5):
I wish other aircraft would have taken to the entry doors going up into the ceiling, instead of opening outwards, a very cool feature indeed.

The very first aircraft I saw with the roll up type of door was the SUD Caravelle way back in 1960 or so.
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Okie
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:44 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 20):
Wish we still had 411A around for his comments !

  

Quoting ExL10Mktg (Reply 15):
My best guess about the permanent exit from the commercial market is that while we built superb aircraft, we were lousy at selling them for a variety of reasons. Marketing to the military is an entirely different skill set and in the end there is only one customer, the US government (not counting foreign sales of course.)

Lockheed seemed to always have some sort of inside track to government contracts, as previously mentioned revolving around defence contracts and political connections.
The C-130 was in production for over 50 years and still is a cash cow for upgrades and specialty airframes.

Quoting doulasc (Reply 17):
For the Jet age we had Boeing 707,Douglas DC-8 and Convair 880/990 at the start,Three is a crowd,

The economics of producing enough air frames to make a profit in the commercial market made a many a company fail, combine, not enter the market or be purchased after WWII demand for aircraft ended.
Not counting UK or European manufacturers.
Curtis
Wright
Convair
McDonnell
Grumman
Northrup
Douglas
Lockheed
Martin
I am sure there are others I have forgotten.

Okie
 
Max Q
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RE: Why Didnt Lockheed Build Another Type Of Aircraft?

Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:41 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 25):

Big duh on my part, thanks. I was just on one 2 months ago too. I guess it was a big deal for me when I first started flying the Tri-Stars vs when I started flying 767's. Although I have flown many 767's all over the world, I should have thought of that, thanks!

You are welcome, the B767 is a great Aircraft but it's no L1011, I do miss the magnificent, beautiful Tristar !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.