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Max Q
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Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:20 pm

A little known piece of trivia


When Cathay were looking to buy their first widebody aircraft, moving up from the 707, the biggest type they operated at the time they had decided to purchase the DC10-30



They weren’t ready to make the big capacity leap to the Classic 747 yet and the Ten offered what was seen as ideal range and payload, capable of covering all the longest 707 routes (such as HKG-SYD) and others in the planning stage


The deal was just about done until they were asked / pressured to reconsider by the UK government and go for the Rolls Royce powered L1011, in other words ‘buy British’


Even though this request had no real authority as the government had no controlling interest in the Colony’s airline it was honored and the L1011 was ordered instead, two new airframes initially directly from Lockheed followed by numerous used examples from various carriers



The Tristar was a fine aircraft but did not offer the payload / range performance of the DC10-30, in fact the Sydney route was unable to be flown non stop, at least with any payload ! It was an excellent medium range, regional aircraft however


This capability gap probably brought brought about their 747 order earlier than planned, the Classic could easily operate that route with an economic payload and other, even longer ones



Anyway, a story I thought worth mentioning as I don’t think many people knew it and I’m curious to see if anyone can photo shop a Cathay DC10 ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:28 pm

Max Q wrote:
Anyway, a story I thought worth mentioning as I don’t think many people knew it and I’m curious to see if anyone can photo shop a Cathay DC10 ?


It's not completely unfamiliar to me, but I couldn't give much detail since I head/read about it last century.

Image
 
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MoKa777
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:33 pm

Interesting topic. I guess the beauty of the DC10 was its medium size and relatively decent payload range capability at a time when limited alternatives were available.
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Max Q
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:41 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Anyway, a story I thought worth mentioning as I don’t think many people knew it and I’m curious to see if anyone can photo shop a Cathay DC10 ?


It's not completely unfamiliar to me, but I couldn't give much detail since I head/read about it last century.

Image



That looks outstanding actually

Thanks for that
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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ojjunior
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:25 am

That's exactly the kind of post I always look for.
Thanks for that.

BTW, amazing bird it would be.
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:43 am

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
Image


Very nice - well done, actually.
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A320FlyGuy
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:43 am

Interesting story....the only thing that makes me question it is that I have Lockheed market evaluations from 1968-1969 that included a LOI from Cathay Pacific for several aircraft.

Politics did play a major role in the Air Canada purchase of the L-1011...if you recall, AC was a major Douglas customer. After the crash of 2 DC-8s, relations between Air Canada and Douglas soured. When Air Canada began looking at a widebody trijet, the government specifically ordered the company not to consider the DC-10.
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LAXintl
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:50 am

The book "From Betsy to Boeing" about CX and its aircraft provides color on this order but also gives credit that the L-1011 was evaluated to be technically superior when the order was placed in 1974 for two frames.

Interestingly, while CX operated quite a few TriStars, it only ever ordered those two frames directly from Lockheed, with all remaining fleet members being acquired under lease or second-hand purchases.

Another tidbit from the book is the L-1011 was highly regarded by both crew and customers in surveys and the fleet enjoyed higher dispatch reliability than the B747-200/300, though on paper it had higher per block hour maintenance cost which was driven largely by accounting book value write down requirements the company had to employ with the fleet.
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Max Q
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:35 am

LAXintl wrote:
The book "From Betsy to Boeing" about CX and its aircraft provides color on this order but also gives credit that the L-1011 was evaluated to be technically superior when the order was placed in 1974 for two frames.

Interestingly, while CX operated quite a few TriStars, it only ever ordered those two frames directly from Lockheed, with all remaining fleet members being acquired under lease or second-hand purchases.

Another tidbit from the book is the L-1011 was highly regarded by both crew and customers in surveys and the fleet enjoyed higher dispatch reliability than the B747-200/300, though on paper it had higher per block hour maintenance cost which was driven largely by accounting book value write down requirements the company had to employ with the fleet.



The Tristar’s reliability with Cathay was in large part due to the superb engineering support received from HAECO
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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B595
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:04 am

I have to say, this a bit disappointing to learn, as I’d always assumed the L1011 found its place at major operators like Cathay on merit. How naive of me.

But it fits with the fact that was mentioned up thread, that the DC-10-30 just was more versatile than any L1011 variant. It seems Lockheed really made an outsize competitive error by not engineering more room for growth into the L1011.
 
raylee67
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:55 am

BA was "asked" by the UK govt to buy the L10 too.

While the pressure to buy L10 over DC10 may be true, I don't think it really bothers CX a lot. The only routes that DC10 can fly and L10 cannot is SYD and MEL. And when the longer range L15 arrives, CX did not buy it too for the longer range routes. Besides, it has only ordered 2 new L10. It keeps voluntarily adding used L10 then, mostly ex-EA, to its fleet. It shows that CX genuinely like the aircraft at the end.

L10 also started the love affair between CX and RR. For a while, all aircraft in CX fleet is powered by RR engines. CX launched the RR powered 744, A333, 772A and 773A. It is, by then, not pressured any more to choose RR for all those aircraft types. But it did. And it did so with great fanfare. CX ordered the A343 rather late (compare to many competitors in the region) and one of the reasons is that A343 does not offer RR engines. CX only went for it after it carefully tried the A340 type out by leasing 4 new A342 from PR.

So I would say, although CX may have started the relationship with L10 and RR reluctantly, it was very happy with both at the end. And it probably doesn't feel that it has lost anything by not being able to get the DC10.
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SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:38 am

Max Q wrote:
That looks outstanding actually

Thanks for that


FlyHossD wrote:
Very nice - well done, actually.



Just in case, since I forgot to mention it in my post, the drawing I posted above is not my work. I only found it online and linked it here. It looks oustanding, indeed.
 
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American 767
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:00 pm

I think that the DC-10 would have looked good in the then Cathay livery. My only feedback is I would paint the whole nacelle of the Nmb 2 engine in green, I think that would look better.
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SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:59 pm

B595 wrote:
But it fits with the fact that was mentioned up thread, that the DC-10-30 just was more versatile than any L1011 variant. It seems Lockheed really made an outsize competitive error by not engineering more room for growth into the L1011.


I don't recall whether CX only had -1s or some -100s, however, some 40 years, DL converted several of their Tristars to -250 variant, which gave'em a range comparable to the DC-10-30. I'm sure CX would have considered all the options if they really wanted such Trijets.
 
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klm617
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:29 pm

raylee67 wrote:
BA was "asked" by the UK govt to buy the L10 too.

While the pressure to buy L10 over DC10 may be true, I don't think it really bothers CX a lot. The only routes that DC10 can fly and L10 cannot is SYD and MEL. And when the longer range L15 arrives, CX did not buy it too for the longer range routes. Besides, it has only ordered 2 new L10. It keeps voluntarily adding used L10 then, mostly ex-EA, to its fleet. It shows that CX genuinely like the aircraft at the end.

L10 also started the love affair between CX and RR. For a while, all aircraft in CX fleet is powered by RR engines. CX launched the RR powered 744, A333, 772A and 773A. It is, by then, not pressured any more to choose RR for all those aircraft types. But it did. And it did so with great fanfare. CX ordered the A343 rather late (compare to many competitors in the region) and one of the reasons is that A343 does not offer RR engines. CX only went for it after it carefully tried the A340 type out by leasing 4 new A342 from PR.

So I would say, although CX may have started the relationship with L10 and RR reluctantly, it was very happy with both at the end. And it probably doesn't feel that it has lost anything by not being able to get the DC10.


Wasn't the original order placed by BEA not British Airways ?
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f4f3a
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:14 pm

Yes original order was bea . I thinjt he prototype had a bea livery on it at one stage. I would imagine that the l10 might have been a better fit for Bea short medium haul routes
 
by738
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:03 pm

klm617 wrote:
Wasn't the original order placed by BEA not British Airways ?

Yes, but that’s splitting hairs, given one became the other.
 
Jet-lagged
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:03 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Anyway, a story I thought worth mentioning as I don’t think many people knew it and I’m curious to see if anyone can photo shop a Cathay DC10 ?


It's not completely unfamiliar to me, but I couldn't give much detail since I head/read about it last century.

Image


What a nice looking bird. It reminds me how much I enjoyed the sight of those particular widebodies.
 
B595
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:51 am

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
I don't recall whether CX only had -1s or some -100s, however, some 40 years, DL converted several of their Tristars to -250 variant, which gave'em a range comparable to the DC-10-30. I'm sure CX would have considered all the options if they really wanted such Trijets.

Point taken about the -250, but they were very late to the game:

The DC-10-30 was produced in ‘72,
The L1011-500 was produced in ‘78,
Delta did the -250 upgrades in ‘86-‘88.

So it took Lockheed years to produce a true equivalent to the -30 (I don’t count the -500 as a true equivalent). I have to think that if the engineering of the L1011 allowed them to bring an answer earlier, they would have. But maybe this can’t be laid entirely at the foot of the airframe engineering. Maybe it just took time (too much time) for RR to develop an RB211 powerful enough for the -250.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:31 pm

B595 wrote:
SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
I don't recall whether CX only had -1s or some -100s, however, some 40 years, DL converted several of their Tristars to -250 variant, which gave'em a range comparable to the DC-10-30. I'm sure CX would have considered all the options if they really wanted such Trijets.

Point taken about the -250, but they were very late to the game:

The DC-10-30 was produced in ‘72,
The L1011-500 was produced in ‘78,
Delta did the -250 upgrades in ‘86-‘88.

So it took Lockheed years to produce a true equivalent to the -30 (I don’t count the -500 as a true equivalent). I have to think that if the engineering of the L1011 allowed them to bring an answer earlier, they would have. But maybe this can’t be laid entirely at the foot of the airframe engineering. Maybe it just took time (too much time) for RR to develop an RB211 powerful enough for the -250.

The -250 upgrade was available to all frames from 1052 upwards, although anything other than a -200 (fitted with RB211-524B engines) required a full re-engine (from the RB211-22B of the -1/-100 to the RB211-524BI). The engines, lengthened wing, active-load-control ailerons and other system upgrades had all been developed for the -500 so these were all modifications to the baseline models. You can't blame RR because the engine was available once the -500 came online (and more powerful engines in the form of the RB211-524C/-524D were developed for the 747-200/-300/SP).

For whatever reason no other operators wanted to undertake the -250 mods. Even though you had airlines like British Airways or Saudia with -200s that could have received the mods without new engines.
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SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sun Oct 04, 2020 2:57 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:
The -250 upgrade was available to all frames from 1052 upwards, although anything other than a -200 (fitted with RB211-524B engines) required a full re-engine (from the RB211-22B of the -1/-100 to the RB211-524BI). The engines, lengthened wing, active-load-control ailerons and other system upgrades had all been developed for the -500 so these were all modifications to the baseline models. You can't blame RR because the engine was available once the -500 came online (and more powerful engines in the form of the RB211-524C/-524D were developed for the 747-200/-300/SP).

For whatever reason no other operators wanted to undertake the -250 mods. Even though you had airlines like British Airways or Saudia with -200s that could have received the mods without new engines.


Perhaps no other airlines really needed these capabilies compared to DL and their ATL hub following deregulation. Also BA had the -500s for a while, then through BR acquisition they got a proper mid-size long-range fleet.
 
tnair1974
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:03 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
FlyCaledonian wrote:
The -250 upgrade was available to all frames from 1052 upwards, although anything other than a -200 (fitted with RB211-524B engines) required a full re-engine (from the RB211-22B of the -1/-100 to the RB211-524BI). The engines, lengthened wing, active-load-control ailerons and other system upgrades had all been developed for the -500 so these were all modifications to the baseline models. You can't blame RR because the engine was available once the -500 came online (and more powerful engines in the form of the RB211-524C/-524D were developed for the 747-200/-300/SP).

For whatever reason no other operators wanted to undertake the -250 mods. Even though you had airlines like British Airways or Saudia with -200s that could have received the mods without new engines.


Perhaps no other airlines really needed these capabilies compared to DL and their ATL hub following deregulation. Also BA had the -500s for a while, then through BR acquisition they got a proper mid-size long-range fleet.

McDonald Douglas proposed a RR powered DC-10 to British Airways similar to the long range -30 and -40 versions. But IIRC, this proposal was not offered until relatively late; if true, that option would have been after Cathay Pacific chose L-1011s.

As we know, British Airways selected the L-1011-500 instead, so DC-10s with RR engines never came to be. Perhaps fleet commonality was a major factor in the decision, as having -500s complimented BA's earlier medium range TriStars (as it turns out, British European Airways ordered those baseline L-1011s for mainly shorter flights...this order occurred before the BEA/BOAC merger that formed BA). This was despite the DC-10 being a generally superior long range airliner as Max Q and others touched on earlier.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:31 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
FlyCaledonian wrote:
The -250 upgrade was available to all frames from 1052 upwards, although anything other than a -200 (fitted with RB211-524B engines) required a full re-engine (from the RB211-22B of the -1/-100 to the RB211-524BI). The engines, lengthened wing, active-load-control ailerons and other system upgrades had all been developed for the -500 so these were all modifications to the baseline models. You can't blame RR because the engine was available once the -500 came online (and more powerful engines in the form of the RB211-524C/-524D were developed for the 747-200/-300/SP).

For whatever reason no other operators wanted to undertake the -250 mods. Even though you had airlines like British Airways or Saudia with -200s that could have received the mods without new engines.


Perhaps no other airlines really needed these capabilities compared to DL and their ATL hub following deregulation. Also BA had the -500s for a while, then through BR acquisition they got a proper mid-size long-range fleet.

It could well be. My point was more in response to the suggestion that it was the lack of a suitable powerplant from RR that meant the -250 came so late to the game; this was available in 1976 and for whatever reason Lockheed waited until the 1980s to offer the -250.

I'd have thought TW might have been interested. It used some TriStars on TATL routes giving it capacity between it's 767-231ER and 747 classics, but whether because of a lack of cash or just not interested it didn't upgrade any to give them the legs to do longer routes than Western Europe where a 747 might have been too much aircraft.

EA purchased DC-10s for its TATL routes from Miami rather than upgrade any of its TrisStars.

tnair1974 wrote:
SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
FlyCaledonian wrote:
The -250 upgrade was available to all frames from 1052 upwards, although anything other than a -200 (fitted with RB211-524B engines) required a full re-engine (from the RB211-22B of the -1/-100 to the RB211-524BI). The engines, lengthened wing, active-load-control ailerons and other system upgrades had all been developed for the -500 so these were all modifications to the baseline models. You can't blame RR because the engine was available once the -500 came online (and more powerful engines in the form of the RB211-524C/-524D were developed for the 747-200/-300/SP).

For whatever reason no other operators wanted to undertake the -250 mods. Even though you had airlines like British Airways or Saudia with -200s that could have received the mods without new engines.


Perhaps no other airlines really needed these capabilies compared to DL and their ATL hub following deregulation. Also BA had the -500s for a while, then through BR acquisition they got a proper mid-size long-range fleet.

McDonald Douglas proposed a RR powered DC-10 to British Airways similar to the long range -30 and -40 versions. But IIRC, this proposal was not offered until relatively late; if true, that option would have been after Cathy Pacific chose L-1011s.

As we know, British Airways selected the L-1011-500 instead, so DC-10s with RR engines never came to be. Perhaps fleet commonality was a major factor in the decision, as having -500s complimented BA's earlier medium range TriStars (as it turns out, British European Airways ordered those baseline L-1011s before the BEA/BOAC merger that formed BA). This was despite the DC-10 being a generally superior long range airliner as Max Q touched on earlier.

I believe the RR powered DC-10 would have been the DC-10-50 (the GE powered long range version being the -30 and the PW powered one the -40). BA's TriStar 1 order was inherited from BEA (six aircraft), but the first aircraft were delivered in BA colours 1974-75 (G-BBAE/F/G/H/I/J). A further three were ordered (G-BEAK/L/M) and these were delivered 1976-77 and upgraded to -50 standard in 1985.

BA itself then ordered six TriStar 500s (being the launch customer) and these were delivered 1978-79 (G-BFCA/B/C/D/E/F) and were sold to the RAF in 1983.

BA didn't take delivery of the TriStar 200 until 1980 with two aircraft (G-BGBB/C) followed by a further six aircraft 1980-81 (G-BHBL/M/N/O/P/R).

In the mid-1980s BA upgraded its remaining TriStars with Atlas Galleys, all installed on the main deck to increase cargo capacity with the lower galley complex removed. This was before the BA purchase of BCal and given the upgrade of three of the nine TriStar 1s to -50 standard I guess this is when, if it were to have come about, BA could have considered upgrading its aircraft to -250 standard. It never did, and obviously then picked up the longer range DC-10-30 with the BCal acquisition. It's interesting to consider how long the TriStar might have remained with BA if it had had upgraded them given that it would have had an aircraft with the range/capacity of the DC-10, which would have also had a decent resale value. As it was the TriStars, in the main, were replaced at BA by the 767-336ER (both shorthaul and longhaul) roughly 1989-91 whilst the DC-10 would effectively be replaced by the 777 in the late 1990s.

I know this has digressed from the original topic. It's just interesting that a number of TriStar operators could have had aircraft upgraded to operate longer/thinner longhaul routes where the 747 was too much in the mid-1980s yet only DL did where it obviously needed something with the legs to reach Europe from ATL.
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:55 pm

For some reason I want to say DL specifically helped fund/develop the -250 variant. It was only certified in the mid 80s after production ended and I’m not sure if it was really ever available for anyone else. IIRC it was also a rather significant conversion process, and could only be done on late production aircraft.
 
tnair1974
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:02 pm

B595 wrote:
SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
I don't recall whether CX only had -1s or some -100s, however, some 40 years, DL converted several of their Tristars to -250 variant, which gave'em a range comparable to the DC-10-30. I'm sure CX would have considered all the options if they really wanted such Trijets.

Point taken about the -250, but they were very late to the game:

The DC-10-30 was produced in ‘72,
The L1011-500 was produced in ‘78,
Delta did the -250 upgrades in ‘86-‘88.

So it took Lockheed years to produce a true equivalent to the -30 (I don’t count the -500 as a true equivalent). I have to think that if the engineering of the L1011 allowed them to bring an answer earlier, they would have. But maybe this can’t be laid entirely at the foot of the airframe engineering. Maybe it just took time (too much time) for RR to develop an RB211 powerful enough for the -250.

Although the TriStar was an excellent overall airliner, the L-1011-500 was said to be somewhat of a compromise design as author REG Davies and others pointed out. Unlike the somewhat heavier DC-10, the lighter structure of earlier L-1011's could not have taken the weight of a long range version without significant all around (and very costly) strengthening. So among other changes such as a bigger wing, Lockheed settled on beefing up limited areas of the TriStar for the -500. Of course, the most visible change was the L-1011-500 fuselage being greatly shortened 747SP style. Unfortunately, shrinks tend to drive up operating costs on a per seat basis. Besides BA, only a few other operators like TAP Air Portugal and the original PanAm (by then falling from grace) ordered -500s.

As a side note, I appreciate how posters have explained the -250 conversion of the L-1011. I knew little about the -250 and how systems like active-load-control ailerons that made -250s more competitive with long range DC-10s were originally used on the -500. But as others have stated, the -500 and -250 were late and by that time longer range twins like the 767 (and later 777) and A300-600 (and later A330) were starting to signal the general end of airliners with more than two engines.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:22 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:

EA purchased DC-10s for its TATL routes from Miami rather than upgrade any of its TrisStars.


Perhaps was it more cost-effective instead of the expensive conversion. If EA was already part of Texas Air, maintenance and training could have beenshared with CO, not sure though.

FlyCaledonian wrote:
I believe the RR powered DC-10 would have been the DC-10-50 (the GE powered long range version being the -30 and the PW powered one the -40).


I remember reading DC-10-30R. Was it official or only a temporary designation...?
 
airtropolis
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:17 am

 
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747classic
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:04 am

B595 wrote:
SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
I don't recall whether CX only had -1s or some -100s, however, some 40 years, DL converted several of their Tristars to -250 variant, which gave'em a range comparable to the DC-10-30. I'm sure CX would have considered all the options if they really wanted such Trijets.

Point taken about the -250, but they were very late to the game:

The DC-10-30 was produced in ‘72,
The L1011-500 was produced in ‘78,
Delta did the -250 upgrades in ‘86-‘88.

So it took Lockheed years to produce a true equivalent to the -30 (I don’t count the -500 as a true equivalent). I have to think that if the engineering of the L1011 allowed them to bring an answer earlier, they would have. But maybe this can’t be laid entirely at the foot of the airframe engineering. Maybe it just took time (too much time) for RR to develop an RB211 powerful enough for the -250.


The L1011 was never a true equivalent for the long range DC10-30, not even in it's -250 variant, because the MTOW of the L1011 was limited by it's landing gear configuration.
Space for additional tanks was available and more engine thrust was available (both used at the -250), however the increased T/O weight could not be absorbed by the L1011's existing landing gear.
Only two main gear struts with four (4) wheel assy's were available and no room for a center gear, like the DC10-30.
Lockheed proposed the L1011-8 in which six-wheel main undercarriage bogies were to replace the four wheel units of the original Tristar and the wing was to be redesigned to house the larger undercarriage.
The price for this new variant, however, exceeded that of the DC10-30 and Lockheed could not find a launching customer.

Source : Lockheed Aircraft since 1913, René J Francillon, page 456-465

L1011-250 MTOW 496.000 lbs.
DC10-30 MTOW 565.000 up to 590.000 lbs
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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PM
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:44 am

It's a long time since I read it but Beyond Lion Rock by Gavin Young is a good history of Cathay Pacific and certainly deals with the DC-10 / L1011 story.
 
kaitak
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Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:07 am

PM wrote:
It's a long time since I read it but Beyond Lion Rock by Gavin Young is a good history of Cathay Pacific and certainly deals with the DC-10 / L1011 story.


It's an excellent book! So it Syd's Pirates by Chic Eather, who was a captain until the mid to late 1970s; he flew the L1011 as one of the early group to convert to it. The Tristar was a much loved aircraft at CX and I have to say I always regret not having flown on CX's Tristars!

On the issue of CX selecting the L1011, another factor was that CX was starting to look beyond Asia and while there was nothing "official" or "agreed", it was felt that buying an RR powered aircraft would help with their application to fly HK-London. The UK government was proposing to add a second carrier on the route, which pitted CX against BCal and Laker. Ironically, BCal won - because it was flying GE powered DC10s (as indeed, Laker would have). So, there was a lot of anger at CX and they appealed - successfully, and finally began the route in 1978, with RR powered 747s. I always recall the captain on their first flight to LGW (which flew via BAH) was a Capt. Gratwick!
 
B-HOP
Posts: 836
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 8:09 pm

Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:08 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
B595 wrote:
But it fits with the fact that was mentioned up thread, that the DC-10-30 just was more versatile than any L1011 variant. It seems Lockheed really made an outsize competitive error by not engineering more room for growth into the L1011.


I don't recall whether CX only had -1s or some -100s, however, some 40 years, DL converted several of their Tristars to -250 variant, which gave'em a range comparable to the DC-10-30. I'm sure CX would have considered all the options if they really wanted such Trijets.


Apart from 2 that came directly from the factory (HHK/HHL) are -100, all the other were -1, -100 only managed to do Sydney with serious payload restrictions and was pulled away from the route soon after.
Live life to max!!!
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 7054
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:56 pm

B-HOP wrote:
Apart from 2 that came directly from the factory (HHK/HHL) are -100, all the other were -1, -100 only managed to do Sydney with serious payload restrictions and was pulled away from the route soon after.


I just did a quick search about CX L10s and indeed, besides the two brand new -100s delivered in 1975, all the others were second hands and -1s except for one VR-HHG (1056) that was converted to -100 before delivery in December 1976, ex. N328EA. However it only remained until 1980.

By the end of 1979, CX had a grand total of nine L1011s. Another joined in 1980, then nothing before eight additional between 1987 and 1989, one more in 1990 and the last in 1993 for KA. Of the second hands, two were former UL/AC, two former Court, one former BA and one former EA/LT. All the others were former EA and most of the -1s were manufactured before msn 1052.
 
B595
Posts: 229
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:52 am

Re: Cathay Pacific DC10 order

Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:05 am

Appreciate all the replies regarding DC-10-30 versus L1011-250.

The difference in MTOW is striking. Wikipedia (for what’s worth) and another site suggest the -250 had a MTOW of 510k, a little more generous than what was said above. But even granting the 510k, it’s still no contest compared to the 590 for the DC-10-30. Operationally, An 80k gap is enormous.

BTW, the Wikipedia entry for the -250 says, “The conversion allowed the L-1011 to match the performance of the long-range McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30.” Based on what has been said above and the 80k gap, it’s hard to imagine a payload/range scenario where this statement would be true. Seems like a Wikipedia falsehood.

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