-Avro C-102 Jetliner: Flew only 13 days after the DH
-106, yet lacked a number of the comet's problems. Metal fatigue for one -- it featured a more advanced fuselage structure and ovalized windows. It was said to be in a number of ways even more technologically advanced than the later B-707. Additionally, it was the first commercial jet to be able to takeoff and land in 5,000 feet in a routine basis. It's climb performance was also apparently quite respectable as well.
-210 Caravelle: First commercial-jet to have tail-mounted engines, which reduced sonic-fatigue, overall noise in most of the fuselage, and a more efficient wing. Its wing also featured huge fowler flaps providing takeoff runs on the order of 5,000 feet with moderate loads. The Caravelle had a significantly superior passenger capacity in comparison to either the DH
-106, or C.102. It may have been the first commercial-jet to enter service with a 5-abreast fuselage. Later versions were fitted with a series of more powerful engines (including the JT8D)
, thrust reversers, some with modified cockpits, revised air-brakes, lengthened fuselages, and further increased capacity. The SE
-210 was probably the first commercial-jet to enter service
with the ability to operate out of 5,000 foot fields and was spefically designed to fly short-segments. It's climb-performance was quite good for commercial-jets of the era (Which only consisted of the DH-106, and B-707, which were abysmal and bad respectively)
-B-707: First modern commercial jet. It was the first to feature significantly swept wings, wing-mounted podded engines, a moveable tail-plane, and to my knowledge asymmetric spoiler use for roll-control. It's cabin layout and window-set up and spacing also became virtually an industry standard for years. It was the first commercial jet to feature a six-abreast fuselage, and actually was the widest for a time. It was also significantly faster, had a better range, and had a greater passenger capacity than any other planes of the era. All of these making it a success overnight. It was also a slick-looking design with elegant clean lines. It wasn't a perfect design though, with tricky low and slow performance, and dutch-roll troubles which was partially ameliorated by a ventral fin (which was eventually removed)
, and a yaw-damper (respectively)
and required very long takeoff runs with fairly poor climb-performance. Luckily airports were willing to lengthen their runways to compensate for them with the shorter-ranged versions fitted with water-injection (to boost thrust, smoke and noise at takeoff -- which was extreme. Luckily more powerful JT3C's rendered them unnecessary and got rid of the smoke and noise part)
and the longer one's simply coming really really close to the end of the runway before rotating-off into the air. As aerodynamically complex as the design was, in many respects it was actually quite simple, using control-tabs and direct-cable control initially on all control-surfaces, with balance-panels to reduce control-loads (the rudder was given a power-boost to deal with controllability trouble at low-speeds and to appease the Brits a ventral fin was also added)
. The domestic B-707 designs (-120/-138/-220)
were eventually cured of their underpoweredness and poor climb-performance with the additions of turbofans, extra kreuger-flaps (The -220 had reasonable performance actually-- but was a fuel-guzzler and were either retired or converted to the new -120B)
, and also had the addition of an inboard leading-edge glove which increased maximum and cruise speeds considerably (VMO to 378 kts, and MMO to 0.90)
, with the international -320 made more efficient instead of overpowered into the -320B, with it's JT4A's replaced with JT3D turbofans, increased fuel-capacity, a revised wing-design (full-span kreuger-flaps, a flipper/yehudi flap added in the back-- revised flap system on some models required less deflection for same left and less drag, a recontoured wing-surface, and a redesigned-tip improving low-speed performance and allowing the same high-speed performance as the -120B)
. The -320B was later revised into the -320C which featured more powerfu engines, full-LED
flap coverage, elimination of the ventral-fin, and an extra 1,000 pounds maximum weight. There was also a -320B Advanced that came later, which featured the extra LED
's I think. These modifications added a good 10 - 15 years of life to the designs, increased range, lower fuel-consumption and even added some extra speed. Not bad.
-DC-8: The B-707 may have built the first modern commercial jet, but Douglas's design was actually in many respects a better design. It was sturdier, with longevity kept in mind, designed for service lives exceeding 100,000 hrs. Douglas also went out of their way to make sure it's high-speed wing would have good low-speed performance, deciding to work on a wing with a 30-degree sweep at the 1/4 mark instead of the more extreme 35-degree sweepback Boeing decided to use. They were able to get virtually the same performance at the virtually the same cruise-speed as the B-707, with their more conservative wing-design while achieving the more docile low-speed performance -- they also managed to do it without vortex-generators, which while effective in a pinch, are a good indication that the designers screwed up. The wing to my knowledge also had drastically less severe dutch-roll problems if it had any serious problems at all. It did not feature any serious Mach-tuck problems, where the Boeing design was plagued by it. The high incidence, nose-down attitude the plane has while on the ground improves it's controllability in the event of an engine failure yielding satisfactory engine-out performance, and it also provides a lesser nose-up attitude for the same AoA, and better attitude during the flare. It's flap design did not feature gaps between it reducing loss of lift due to vortices, and actually seemed simpler for the most part except the thrust gate, and it's aileron set-up in my opinion is far better than the B-707's: Having the inboard and outboards right next to each other and controlled via a torque tube solely as a function of airspeed is a lot better than having a giant outboard aileron that ceases to work once the flaps go up. Boeing would agree with this somewhat and would use a computer system on the later Boeing designs to restrict the outboard aileron's deflection as a function of airspeed. Unfortunately, the DC-8 doesn't have roll-spoilers (the exception being if the gears are down)
or even spoilers that can be safely deployed in flight -- that in my opinion is one of the DC-8's biggest flaws. It actually was designed with a fighter-style split air-brake, but it turned out to be almost useless and they were deleted from the first model. Luckily the DC-8 is one of the few aircraft that can use it's thrust reversers in mid air for the purpose of braking and they work very well, in fact better than the designers anticipated. Like the B-707, the DC-8 came in domestic and international models including the JT3C powered -10 series (domestic)
, the JT4A powered -20 (domestic)
and -30 series (international)
, and the RR
-Conway powered -40 series (international)
, however they differed in that they were all the same length, with all but the -11 featuring the same wingspan. One of the DC-8's early sore-spots were it's leading edges, which were mis-scaled and turned out to be too blunt, at first Douglas just put in a 1-1/2 degree flap detent to increase lift, and lower AoA, figuratively flying the plane on the step. Later, they arrived at a serious solution, a 4% extension to the leading edge, sharpening the overall structure. It didn't change the plane's top speed significantly, but it made the DC-8's wings one of the most efficient of their day and even allowed small fuel tanks to be fitted within the extended wing: Virtually every DC-8 was refitted with the new leading edge. With the -50 series, the DC-8 design, like the later B-707 models, adopted turbofan power with subvariants covering every weight from the -20 to the -30/-40, and some going above and beyond to 325,000 lbs. The DC-8, with the -60 series was stretched to 187 feet on the -61 and -63 models, with the -62 stretched to 158-feet. The -62 and -63 used a new pylon which would become an industry standard, the cutback. They also used a new long-duct fan-pod which reduced drag, and noise. The DC-8-62 held a world record in range for a long period of time, until the B-747SP flew. McDonnell Douglas also successfully refitted many -61's, -62's, and -63's with high bypass-ratio CFM-56's, new pylons and a modern cabin pressurization system, into -71's, -72's, and -73's, many of which fly today with cargo airlines. Boeing had tried this with the B-707-700, but the DC-8 had better longevity and generated greater interest; the -700 was unsuccessful.
-880: It was a beautiful, slick looking aircraft with elegant, clean lines. When it first flew, it's performance was in excess of that of the B-707 or DC-8 designs (although it's MMO was the same as the B-707, it's VMO and cruise-mach number were higher)
, in virtually all areas except range: it had a superior thrust to weight ratio, climb-performance, and the ability to takeoff and land in 5,350 feet under moderate loads. The CV
-880 had a very good rate of maneuverability, with it's stabilizer and elevators located nice and far aft on the design, and powerful roll-spoilers to boost it's large inboard ailerons (for an inboard aileron, it is kind of big)
, it's maneuverability, was often likened more to that of a fighter-jet than a typical airliner. It's sturdiness was virtually unrivaled for a commercial jet, with a triple-sparred wing, and an overall sturdy-structure that could withstand brief 6G exposure without sustaining notifiable damage, and with a maximum service life that could probably safely approach that of the DC-8. It was powered by the then new CJ
-805 which was a civilian non-afterburning version of the J-79, which provided a good pressure-ratio, virtually instantaneous spool-up rate, and thrust levels nearing that of the early JT3C's which provided the plane with excellent high-speed and even high-altitude performance. It's control surfaces were kept nice and simple, allowing easy transition from older aircraft, with all of it's primary control surfaces manually controlled. The airplane's braking ability was superb, with powerful spoilers and the ability to extend the main-gears as a speedbrake at all normal flying-speeds; even after the B-720 flew, which was faster, the CV
-880 still had an advantage in the ability to brake quickly and still maintain shorter flight-times (spending more time at high-speed)
. Since it's rudder, due to it's position on the short fuselage, was not fully able to restore the heading in the event of an outboard engine failure even slightly past V1, the takeoff and landing-speeds were kind of high, and range was a bit short, the newer CV
-880M was designed with a power-boosted rudder, slats, kreuger-flaps, and modified flaps (which could be extended as high as 260 kts, vs 245 kts as before)
, extra-fuel, which ultimately became the most popular model built, and all but TWA and Delta used them.
-B-720: The B720 itself was mostly impressive IMHO for it's sheer speed (378 kts and Mach 0.906)
compared to the early B707's (The later models would be just as fast)
although it's low-speed performance was significantly improved over it, too, with it's extra kreuger flaps, and in some cases superior thrust to weight ratio, which depending on model ranged from around the same as the CV
-880, to around the same as the B707-120. The fact that it didn't use the water-injection was also a great plus. The B-720 economically was better than the CV
-880, carrying more passengers -- it's cabin was also also six-abreast using the same fuselage as the B-707. The thing that really made the B-720 shine when it was fitted with JT3D turbofans, it's thrust to weight ratio exceeded that of virtually every airliner in existence, giving it superb performance.
-10: The VC
-10 was one of the first long-range commercial jet to also be designed for good hot and high performance, featuring newer more powerful Conways and a huge-wing that yielded both good low-speed performance and excellent high-speed characteristics, and did it without vortex-generators. It may have been the first commercial-jet to possess slats, and possibly the first large one designed with rear-mounted engines. The good overall thrust to weight ratio of the design, combined with it's slats, large flaps and wings provided excellent takoff performance. Back in those days it was common that once you got out of ground effect, and once you were going to retract the gear (drag would increase as the doors open while the gears go up)
, you'd have to drop the nose a bit -- once the gear-doors were almost closed and the gears were almost all the way up, you'd bring the nose back up the rest of the way to climb-attitude; the VC
-10 did not have any such difficulty. Overall, the airplane's construction was extremely sturdy, featuring a largely integral structure, a 3-sparred wing (4-sparred inboard, 3 sparred outboard)
and due to mechanical milling, was kept within a reasonable weight. The design was also one of the biggest jets of it's day -- longer than an early-era DC-8, with the same fuselage width. The VC
-10 featured a novel powered flight-control system (Which may have been used before on the elevators on the Vickers Viscount, I think -- but to my knowledge, never to this extreme on a commercial plane)
in which the twin main-hydraulic systems powered the flight spoilers, flaps, slats, gears, tail-plane incidence (like stab trim)
and brakes, with the control-surfaces driven by four (The rudder to my knowledge, being three piece, was probably driven by three systems)
electrically-driven hydraulic-packs which utilized mechanical signaling to control-them -- it turned out to be a highly reliable system (even though it would seem that electrical systems are statistically more likely to fail than hydraulics back then at least)
, which also dramatically increased the life of the main-hydraulic controls, which had little wear and tear on them. Due to the fact that roll (asymmetric flight-spoiler use)
and pitch (tailplane-incidence)
can be provided even without the hydraulic-packs, the airplane has an added degree of redundancy to it. Passenger-wise, it was actually the most well-liked plane in BOAC's inventory, and there were more requests by people to fly on than any other. Despite how *LOUD* the RR
-Conways were, even though the were the world's first production turbofans, the plane was considered to be quite quiet, assuming you were in the front 1/2 to 2/3 of the plane. The VC
-10 came in several models, the 1101-1103 which appear to be the earlier models, the 1106 which while being the same length, has a bigger wingspan and more powerful engines (21,800 lbf vs 21,000 lbf)
, and the 1151-54 using the 1106's wings, but stretched, sacrificing range for capacity, and using 22,500 lbf engines. In terms of it's cockpit, it was probably has the comfiest of any narrowbody (and possibly some widebodies)
, with enough room on each side for the pilot to walk right to his seat and slide right in.
-B-727: Pretty much the world's first truly successful airliner, especially in the short to medium-range market it was designed for. It featured an excellent high-speed wing-design which in addition to being sturdy as hell (Design failed at 2.80 times maximum normal load -- in at least one instance the plane sustained 6 G's and survived although some damage was sustained)
allowed speeds up to 390-knots, and Mach 0.9 (Vmo = 390 on single-mode models, 390/350 on dual mode designs, Mmo = 0.90 on single mode, and 0.88 on dual-mode designs)
performance, and still produced a pretty good amount of lift for it's size. The 727 was designed with large spoiler coverage which provided a substantial degree of mid-air braking and ability to conduct quick descents, and when working asymmetrically with the ailerons, an impressive roll-rate. It was the first American airplane to feature fully-powered control surfaces (The ailerons and elevators had manual reversion, the rudder did not and had a standby system for and had a jointed split rudder for redundancy)
. The 727's use of triple-slotted fowler flaps, slats and kreuger flaps helped dramatically improve low-speed handling, allowing takeoff and landing runs which were beyond impressive. The low-speed handling of the aircraft at some flap-settings and weights were comparable to some propeller-powered aircraft. It's thrust to weight ratio was considered excellent for it's time, and allowed pocket-rocket climb performance. The B-727 was also one of the first aircraft to use the new JT8D, a turbofanned, civilian derivative of the J-52, which powered a cruise missile or two, and the A-6 Intruder. The JT8D had a very good pressure ratio and was the first commercial-jet engine certified to be able to directly-pressurize the cabin (previous airplanes used a turbocompressor to do the job)
, a dramatic improvement in aviation. It was one of the first engines to uniformly use a long-duct fan-pod, and despite it's low bypass ratio (1:1)
, it's noise levels, while not quiet, probably were no louder than a JT3D, if not quieter even though the JT3D had a higher bypass-ratio (1.4:1)
. Being that the 727 operated out of airports that were often not equipped with jetways, and equipment to operate jet-aircraft, the plane featured a lowerable set of air-stairs in the back of the plane, and initially offered the option of an APU. Later the APU became standard on the later models. It was overall an excellent plane with only a few flaws, unfortunately these flaws killed: The airplane's flaps produced lots of drag and many pilots switching over to the 727 were former piston pilots who conducted approaches differently, flew planes that were more forgiving and had engines that responded almost immediately. They were used to applying fairly small amounts of thrust during the approach, even idling it and coasting a bit. The 727 without some power on wouldn't hold the glide-path and would develop a nasty sink rate, especially at high flap-settings, it's engines, like many used on airliners, took at least 6.5 seconds, maybe 8 to reach full power from idle making it difficult to arrest such a sink rate. At night time, sometimes they didn't even realize how close they were to the ground and in three cases such crashes occured, in all except one, American 383, everybody onboard died. Luckily with revised training this stopped happening. The 727 came ultimately in 3 models, of which probably everyone's favorite was the -100. It was the original model, flying first in 1963 and entering service the following year -- it was also slightly faster than the others, had better takeoff and landing performance and was regarded by many as a pocket-rocket. The -200 was probably the least favorite of them, it was stretched by 20 feet, and featured less fuel to compensate somewhat and was meant to be more efficient, sacrificing range and even, as it would turn out, some performance to do it. One of it's biggest problems was it was underpowered, with the only two good things coming out of it was an APU was standard, and the S-duct was circular instead of oval, it first flew in 1967. The -200A is the most successful of them all, it featured more powerful engines for one, better range, and a wide-body interior more like that of the new B-747, DC-10, and L-1011's that were entering service at the time. It first flew in 1972, and until 9/11, there were many of them flying with major airlines although there were complaints about the high-fuel consumption, and even noise levels -- they were already fitted with hushkits to keep noise down to FAR
-36 III levels. Now they're pretty much all out of major airline service, but many cargo airlines, corporate companies, private owners, and third-world countries are still using them. To squeeze more performance out of them, and help them meet further noise-restrictions though several modifications I've seen come out. One involved using the RR
-Tay which is an intermediate (3:1) bypass-ratio jet based heavily on the Spey, to make it work, the S-duct has to be modified, another one is the Valsan-kit, which involves replacing the number 1 and 3 engines with JT8D-217's which power the MD
-80's, which are quieter and more powerful, and removing the number 2 thrust reverser and replacing it with an acoustically treated pipe. Many of these are called "Super 27's". There's also the Dugan Quiet Wing, of which many are also refitted with the old Valsan kit, but not all, which features a winglet, modified flaps with droopable ailerons for increased lift at altitude.
-Concorde: The world's only successful supersonic airliner. It's also a very sleek, and elegant design -- I don't think anyone can deny that the Concorde is/was a beautiful aircraft. It also had superb performance for a standard jetliner, probably possessed the highest thrust to weight ratio of them all, and also was the only airliner other than the Tu-144, that has afterburners, which were used for takeoff and transonic penetration. It's also one of the few aircraft that could sustain supersonic speeds without afterburners (The F-104, the EE Lightning, and Tu-144D are other examples)
, and for very long periods of time -- over 3 hours. It was by no means a perfect aircraft -- it had horrendously high takeoff speeds, ridiculously high operating costs and ticket prices that were insane, and it only carried 100 people.
-B-747: It was the first wide-bodied commercial jetliner to enter-service to my knowledge, and the first to use high-bypass turbofan engines. Until recently it was the biggest, widest, heaviest, and highest-capacity jetliner in the world, until the A-380 that is. It was actually quite a revolutionary design, and actually much of it's design was based upon the belief that with the SST's around, the 747 would quickly be phased out and would end up only finding a niche as a freighter. That's why it had that hump, with the cockpit raised (with the structure behind it faired into the fuselage)
, the whole nose could be configured to hinge up allowing cargo to be loaded straight in, with the ultimate fuselage width determined by how much width would be needed to fit 2 large cargo pallets side by side. It was the first Boeing aircraft to have all-hydraulic controls by virtual necessity of sufficient reliability and redundancy that no manual reversion was necessary, this would become a standard on pretty much every aircraft that would follow until FBW would replace mechanical signalling with electronic. Despite it's monster size, it is actually capable of cruise-speeds higher than that of most jetliners, up to Mach 0.88, with barber pole speeds up to 375 kts and Mach 0.92, taking advantage of a wing featuring a 37.5 degree 1/4-chord sweep. It's large vertical tail reduces the severity of dutch-roll considerably with the yaw-damper taking care of the rest. Despite it's high speed capability and highly swept wings, it's low-speed performance isn't as bad as one would think: Thanks to triple-slotted flaps, novel variable-camber flaps (which work almost as good as slats and don't cut into the wing area, and are not plagued by the problem that regular kreuger flaps have on a wing that's too thin)
and inboard kreuger flaps. It's 4-legged sixteen wheeled main-landing gear spreads the weight out to roughly the same footprint pressure as a B-707-320B even despite the substantially greater weight. It's high-bypass fans provided the monster-sized jet with enough thrust to get into the air in a reasonable distance without guzzling unbelievable amounts of gas, and still provided enough to allow for it's Mach 0.88 cruise. The plane came in several models starting out with the -100, which was the first model. It was probably the lightest of them all, with a maximum weight of up to 738,000 lbs, possessing long range however, and was exclusively powered by the Pratt & Whitney JT9D (While it would turn out to be a good engine, it was plagued with problems -- couldn't be started easily with talwind, overtemps on start were common, stalls and surges occured with too common regularity)
who's first models only produced 43,500 lbf, yielding poor takeoff acceleration, long takeoff runs, and unimpressive climb performance which compared to most planes could be rather lousy at high altitude as lots of thrust fell off in the thinner air. To augment performance, P&W modified it's engines and even used water injection to boost performance. Eventually models that could produce 45,000 to 47,000-47,500 could be produced, at least most without water injection. The original design featured a shorter duct fan-pod with blow-in-doors to augment airflow into the engine at low-speed and high RPM, later a re-contouring of the intake eliminated the need for them, and a longer fan duct was used. The heaviest models of the -100, were called -100B's grossing up to 758,000 lbs. The -200 was an increased-gross-weight and extended-range version of the 100, with a sturdier gear and wing-structure with provision for extra fuel. Originally the plane was designed to weigh 775,000 lbs, but had increased beyond that point. It also wasn't exclusively powered by the JT9D, including GE
's new CF-6 which was developed for the DC-10, and later even the RB
-211 which was similar to the L-1011's powerplant which gave the plane greater appeal with foreign airlines. The new engines to power the heavier plane were more powerful with thrust starting in the high 40,000 lbf range and graduating into the low to mid 50,000 lbf range. It's range was superior to that of the -100, which to my knowledge was already intercontinental. To improve economics, the lounge on the upper deck was eliminated with first-class seats placed there instead, and all the windows unplugged, there were -100 models that were refitted this way as well to produce a more "modern" look. The heaviest of the -200's were called -200B's. Some went up to 833,000 lbs, and a few were powered by JT9D-7R4G2 -- the most powerful P&W variant yielding 54,750 lbf. There was also the 747-SR, which was actually a -100 model without a center-wing-tank, sturdier gears and wings and possibly other mods to deal with repeated cycles, and generally operating in a two class arrangement instead of the otherwise standard three, allowing it to carry over 530 passengers over short hops. It started as a request from the Japanese for a plane that could carry huge amounts of people back and forth between the islands of Japan; a design that Boeing engineers probably never would have thought of. Interestingly, it was not powered by JT9D's, and used CF-6 engines to power it instead. The 747SP, which stood for Special Performance, was originally called the 747SB for Short Body, but it was changed after everybody started calling it "Sutter's Balloon". It was designed to compete with the smaller DC-10 and L-1011, and as an ultra-high performance, ultra-long range 747-derivative. It's design deviates the most out of any of Boeing's 747-designs, being reduced in length from 47 feet, a larger horizonal and vertical stabilzer, the latter using a jointed rudder to improve effectiveness, and requiring a redesign of the shape of the aft fuselage and tailcone, the "hump" fairing down into fuselage at mid-chord on the wing. To meet the performance they also had to eliminate the triple-slotted flaps with simpler single-slotted ones, which also altered the shape of the aileron. Whether or not it exclusively uses JT9D engines, they all seem to have 'em! They appear to be slightly high power versions used on the -100, or derated -200 engines. The -SP may be weird looking, ungainly and bear an uncanny resemblance to a football with wings, and actually not even carry as many people, but it did have unreal range. In fact to my knowledge it set a world record which actually even beat the previous champ, the DC-8-62. It also was more easily able to fly at high-altitudes than the -100 and -200 were able to and were even able to reach 0.92 during cruise sometimes. There's the SUD or "Stretched Upper-Deck" seemed to be a modification to the -200's which allowed a significant stretch of the upper deck, by something like 23 feet to carry more passengers. It either was a precursor to the -300, or was a way of re-fitting -200's into -300 like planes. The B-747-300 featured a stretched upper deck, but for most purposes seemed to be more or less a -200. I don't know if they carried less fuel, or just often flew at higher gross-weights, but they didn't seem to have the range the -200's had. The -300 may have been the first to get rid of the spiral-staircase and use a more compact and conventional starcase instead, although that might have been the 400. The -400, in addition to featuring the stretched upper deck, featured a modified wing which may have been slightly re-contoured for improved performance, constructed largely of composites with a 15-foot extention, winglets, a better wing-root wing/body fairing, more powerful engines including the PW
-4000 which is what the JT9D evolved into over the years, the CF-6-80, and the new RB
-211. The plane also did away with the flight engineer and largely re-designed the cockpit with a new computerized design allowing two people to do the work of three. The new design increased takeoff weights to 875,000 lbs, and increased ranges under some conditions to that the SP
was previously only capable of. Boeing also used a new aileron lock-out system which was based more on the 767 which used airspeed to determine lock-out, not just flaps. It would appear that some -200's were refitted with this system as well. The design turned out to be a hit, even though it was WAAAAY more expensive than previous designs, eventually it became the only B-747 model sold with the others taken out of production. As the design evolved more powerful engines came out, and increased weight models came out including the -400 ER
, which could go as high as 925,000 lbs. There was also a -400 Domestic which didn't have the winglets or a center fuel tank and was beefed up considerably, able to carry 568 people from island to island to replace the old SR
's. While I didn't mention this, there were various cargo models as well.
-L-1011: Of the widebody trijets, the DC-10 and L-1011, the L-1011 is undoubtedly the better half of the two. The plane was sturdier, had more reliable hydraulic systems that made an un-contained engine-disintegration induced total hydraulic failure incredibly unlikely with the C system placed out of the way of most shrapnel that would fly out, and a D-system to operate the plane's stabiliator and trim. In fact an un-contained failure did happen on an Eastern Airline L-1011 once and the crew managed to land on one hydraulic system. It's autopilot was way more advanced than any other for it's time, in fact, so advanced that some 767 pilots were under the impression that the L-1011's system was better than theirs or at least as good, even though the designs were built a decade apart. The fact that the aircraft was fitted with a stabilator with elevator tabs to be used not as control tabs but to actually deflect up when the stabilator goes up and vice versa to amplify effectiveness, gives the airplane remarkable resistance to mach tuck, and even the ability to takeoff with a full nose-down trim -- something they actually demonstrated in a gag-video. It also features a novel spoiler system that activates once the flaps drop through 28-degrees-- the relief flap setting, causing the spoilers to deflect between 0 and -14 degrees which goes up to 16 on the -500. The spoilers are affected by even small movements of the control column, so even though barely any pitch occurs the spoilers go up and down allowing remarkable control over the descent. The placement of the floor and fuselage construction makes the cabin two inches wider inside, and the plane overall seems to have more intenral room for seats. The DC-10 can only carry 380 in a single class set-up, an L-1011 can carry 400. Despite such capacity and such size, the airplane can takeoff and land out of the short-runways at LGA
. I know the L-1011 comes in many models, the -1, the -50, the -100, the -150, the -200, and -250, and of course the -500. The -1 is the baseline model, the -100 has a sturdier wing and a small internal center wing area for fuel; the sturdier wing allows outboard ailerons to be used at all speeds. The -50 and -150 models are essentially heavy weight models of the -1 and -100 respectively. The -200 was a hot and high model was a -100 with RB
-211-524's which at the time produced 48,000 lbf. It wasn't as effective as the DC-10-15, but it sold far more successfully. The -500 featured a shortened fuselage, an extended wingtip, active control ailerons to reduce flexing, and -524's producing thrust from 50,000 to 53,000 lbf. The -250 was a -200 with the -500's fuel capacity and 50,000 lbf -524's -- all built for Delta, 2 out of the factory, and 4 converted with the ability to be increased from the initial 496,000 lbf to 504,000 I think... it never happened though. There were plans for a stretched -500 which would basically have been either a -500 with the -1's fuselage length -- never built.
-B-757-200: The 757 puts a whole new spin on the term "Pocket Rocket". It's thrust to weight ratio at the time beat virtually every other airliner in service, and it wasn't technically even a specially designed special performance model -- all of them had incredible performance. Even with significantly reduced power takeoff's it's climb capability is at best equal to a 727, and probably superior. It's low-speed handling and maneuverability are excellent, and it has a substantial capacity -- in terms of size it's actually slightly bigger than a 707-320, which was once considered to be a large plane, and probably has superior capacity in 1-class. It shares the basic cockpit design with the B-767, and has a similar system set up to the larger jet to the point that a pilot trained to fly one can quickly be trained in how to fly another. While obviously the plane behaves better with a RB
-211 at takeoff, both work quite well. The only serious problem the B-757 has is it produces a nasty wake, so does it's bigger brother, the B-767 which are about equally bad -- I've been told that the wakes they produce are about as bad as a DC-10-10, a much heavier jet. The minor gripe I have is that it's slower than the 727... however it's still an excellent plane. I've flown on many of them and I like flying on them a lot.
-B-777: The thing I like about it most is that Boeing didn't end up doing an Airbus with it's FBW design. They designed the system in such a way that relied on pilot competence, not assuming the pilot's some bozo who doesn't know what he or she's doing. They also used a yoke which in addition to traditionality allows conventional mechanical signalling, stab trim, the rudder, the inboard aileron, a roll-spoiler or two in the event of a malfunction and also yields artificial feedback which the A-320 to A-380 has almost none. The new engines, which are at least 50% more powerful than previous engines, and more than twice that of some engines, are extremely reliable and allow the plane to fly over the ocean on two engines farther from land than was previously allowed. The aircraft also features a highly efficient wing for high-speeds as fast as the 707, using an elaborate supercritical design, and also manages to provide good low-speed performance with it's slats, it's large wingspan, it's flaps and flaperons. It essentially can do everything the old DC-10 which it was designed to replace can do and more... it's passenger capacity is greater for one, it's cabin is wider, it's fuel-burn levels are better, and one could argue the cabin design is more ergonomic in someways.