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What Happened To The L1011?

Sat Jun 30, 2001 9:18 am


I hope this isn't an ignorant question but why did Lookheed stop production on the L1011? Was nobody interested?
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RE: What Happened To The L1011?

Sat Jun 30, 2001 10:10 am

yup. The DC-10 beat them to the market. Most of the market was already spoken for by the 10 and the L1011 didnt really get a chance to prove itself.
Chicks dig winglets.
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RE: What Happened To The L1011?

Sat Jun 30, 2001 11:31 am

... which is too bad. The L1011 is perhaps my favourite. First experience (that I remember) onboard a plane was a flight from YUL to ZRH in an AC L1011... Very impressive.


RE: What Happened To The L1011?

Sat Jun 30, 2001 11:49 am

...Largely failed due to their dependance on 1 type of engine (RR211) which was unproven at the time. By the time those delays were worked out, DC-10 dominated.
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RE: What Happened To The L1011?

Sat Jun 30, 2001 1:30 pm

I had flown on Royal Jordanian L1011-500s, and British Airways DC10-30s, I likes them both... we wants them back... L1011-500s are stronger for Royal Jordanian, but they gone... !

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RE: What Happened To The L1011?

Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:05 pm

Jtb106 has got it right, R/R had a bad time developing the RB211, it was more advanced than the JT9, and to a lesser extent, the CF-6. R/R staked a lot on a material for the fan-blades called Hyfill, very light but supposdly very strong too. In tests it was found that Hyfill couldn't stand up well to hail, let alone bird-strikes.
Development costs shot-up, and R/R went bankrupt. Lockheed suddenly found they were building gliders. R/R, being a vital defence contractor, were bailed out by a Conservative British goverment, (the irony!), and fixed the RB211, which went on to be, IMHO the best of the engines.
But the time lost allowed the definitive DC10-30, with more powerful CF6-50 engines, to take the medium/long-haul market.
Eventually more powerful RB211's became available for the L1011, and 747 too.
The short/medium haul market for the early L1011's, (and DC10-10's too), was destroyed by the advent of the Airbus A300.
Sad story, the L1011 was a fine airplane from an always innovative company. It was launched before the DC-10, but the DC-10 flew first. Later it was clear that a few corners had been cut in it's development.
Adding to the L1011's woes, was the recession of the early 1970's, all three US wide-body makers were in trouble, and were helped by the Nixon admistration. But Lockheed never really recovered, and were probably glad to get out of the market in the early 1980's.
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RE: What Happened To The L1011?

Sat Jun 30, 2001 10:12 pm

The L-1011 story is a great shame. I personally would rather fly on one than a DC-10 or A300. All three are great aircraft though.

It could have gone worse for Lockheed, they still built over 200 of them. Do you remember the Mercure 100 - Only 11 built for just one customer - Air Inter. Now that was a disaster!

RE: What Happened To The L1011?

Sun Jul 01, 2001 1:14 am

Lockheed built a very durable and well engineered aircraft that did not have a fatal crash due to poor design flaws such as the DC-10. I think Lockheed made a bad decision to stick with just the RR RB211 powerplant and not include P&W & GE to market their JT9D & CF6 powerplants like McDonnell Douglas did on the DC-10 series 30 and 40. This decision to stick with one powerplant I think will also hurt Boeing on the new 777-200LR & 300ER models with the exclusive engine deal with GE to have only the GE90 available.
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RE: What Happened To The L1011?

Sun Jul 01, 2001 1:17 am

The Mercure, now that was a commercial nightmare! Made Concorde look like a roaring commercial success.
Unusually for the French, they didn't persevere with the Mercure, and a CFM-56 powered series 200 was not built. It would have been available 4-5 years before the 737-300, wonder how it would have done?
I believe that the total L1011 production was 250, of which 249 were sold.

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