acjbbj
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Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:37 pm

As all of you (most, anyway) know, Lockheed built the L-1011, and Douglas built the DC-10 and later the MD-11. The YouTube channel Skyships, in one of his videos, stated that the Russian aviation industry were able to continue building civilian airplanes because they "did not make the mistake of Douglas and Lockheed by building a wide-body trijet".

No other manufacturer other than Airbus or Boeing had wide-body twinjets enter production in the 1970s and 1980s, as far as I know.

Do you think we might have had more than just two companies (maybe a "Big Four" of <Airbus, Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, Lockheed-Martin>) had Douglas and Lockheed built their own twinjet widebodies instead of trijet widebodies? Maybe a twinjet alongside a trijet so that ETOPS would mean that a NEO or Next Gen version of the twinjet would replace the L-1011 and DC-10?

What kind of (two-engine) plane would the L-1011 have evolved into? New Rolls-Royce engines?

What (two-engine) plane should the MD-11 have been?
Douglas Aircraft Company
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LH707330
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:57 pm

Both MD and Lockheed built essentially the same plane, which the market couln't support. One of them should have built something like the A300 instead, but then Airbus did, and the other two went out of business.
 
acjbbj
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:38 am

What if both MD and L did what AB did?
Douglas Aircraft Company
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strfyr51
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:32 am

acjbbj wrote:
As all of you (most, anyway) know, Lockheed built the L-1011, and Douglas built the DC-10 and later the MD-11. The YouTube channel Skyships, in one of his videos, stated that the Russian aviation industry were able to continue building civilian airplanes because they "did not make the mistake of Douglas and Lockheed by building a wide-body trijet".

No other manufacturer other than Airbus or Boeing had wide-body twinjets enter production in the 1970s and 1980s, as far as I know.

Do you think we might have had more than just two companies (maybe a "Big Four" of <Airbus, Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, Lockheed-Martin>) had Douglas and Lockheed built their own twinjet widebodies instead of trijet widebodies? Maybe a twinjet alongside a trijet so that ETOPS would mean that a NEO or Next Gen version of the twinjet would replace the L-1011 and DC-10?

What kind of (two-engine) plane would the L-1011 have evolved into? New Rolls-Royce engines?

What (two-engine) plane should the MD-11 have been?

Lockheed/Martin could right today build a twin Jet if they chose to, There's nothing stopping them and they have the know how as well. MD? is Boeing...
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:02 am

the two didn't "die" because of the choice of tri-jet production. this is a coincidence.
Boeing built the successful 727, which despite being a narrow body, was intended for overwater/long range routes as was L-1011/DC-10.
and don't forget that Douglas had the DC-9 and variants which did well.

the tri-jet design was perfectly valid at the time (see the MD-11's still flying freight); they didn't survive in the commercial space for primarily commercials reasons -including but not limited to the RB211 delays, the over-reliance on single model, the penny pinching in development, etc.

when it comes right down to it - big widebodies are glamorous, but as it turned out, the steady money is really in smaller jets.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 am

With about 4.5 hours endurance, I don’t think the 727 was designed for long, overwater kegs, unless you think SJU-BWI is long.

GF
 
Yikes!
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:10 am

During the time (late 60's/early 70's), wide bodies were a novelty - the only one in existence at the time was the 747. Given the state of engine design and the thinking of the time, a minimum of three engines was required for long-haul, oceanic flight. The race to industry lead Douglas to take short-cuts resulting in Lockheed's "late into the game" with its 1011. The DC10 paid a price with several hull losses due to design faults as a result. Few if any 1011's were lost due to design malfunctions to this date.

Regardless, the "we need 3 engines to cross the pond" mentality disappeared with the introduction of ETOPS due to the enhanced reliability of large turbofan engines.

So, in direct answer to your question, NO, because at the time, they were unable to.
 
747Whale
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:14 pm

acjbbj wrote:

Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?


They tried, but nobody wanted to buy them in pairs.

acjbbj wrote:

What (two-engine) plane should the MD-11 have been?


Definitely not an MD11. It does okay on two engines, but lose one of those, and the race to the bottom begins.
 
LH707330
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:41 pm

acjbbj wrote:
What if both MD and L did what AB did?

Hard to say, maybe both would have been successful, and the A300 would never have left the drawing board. The reality was that they were too similar and the market couldn't support both.
 
Natflyer
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:12 pm

And I thought the Douglas DC-9 was a twin jet...
 
strfyr51
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:22 pm

Yikes! wrote:
During the time (late 60's/early 70's), wide bodies were a novelty - the only one in existence at the time was the 747. Given the state of engine design and the thinking of the time, a minimum of three engines was required for long-haul, oceanic flight. The race to industry lead Douglas to take short-cuts resulting in Lockheed's "late into the game" with its 1011. The DC10 paid a price with several hull losses due to design faults as a result. Few if any 1011's were lost due to design malfunctions is date.

Regardless, the "we need 3 engines to cross the pond" mentality disappeared with the introduction of ETOPS due to the enhanced reliability of large turbofan engines.

So, in direct answer to your question, NO, because at the time, they were unable to.


During the Trijet era? ETOPS didn't exist until the very end, The B767 started as a domestic only airplane. The reporting system for ETOPS was put in place Because there was so much concern about reliability of engines and systems by the FAA as ETOPS was)a US invention. The Reporting is still strict, But? It has now been expanded to EROPS and applies to ANY airplane on Extended range operations No matter HOW many engines. The B777 didn't come about until ETOPS was well established. If you remember? Richard Branson was dead set against Twin Engine Overwater operations and even said so on the side of his airplanes. (as he was also dead set against BA/AA working together in Oneworld as well (BA/AA No way)
 
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Stitch
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:57 pm

acjbbj wrote:
Do you think we might have had more than just two companies (maybe a "Big Four" of <Airbus, Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, Lockheed-Martin>) had Douglas and Lockheed built their own twinjet widebodies instead of trijet widebodies? Maybe a twinjet alongside a trijet so that ETOPS would mean that a NEO or Next Gen version of the twinjet would replace the L-1011 and DC-10?


Both Douglas and Lockheed looked into twin-engine versions of their tri-jets to compete with the Airbus A300B4. The DC-10 Twin was in discussion in 1973 and the L600 TwinStar was floated in 1977. Boeing and Aeritalia were also investigating various twin-engine and tri-engine widebody concepts. Lockheed just could not afford to develop new versions of the L1011, much less the TwinStar and the customer interest for the DC-10 Twin was hampered by airline financial woes due to the oil shocks and embargoes. Airbus also had first-mover advantage with the A300B4 and Boeing launched the 767-200 in 1978 with the intention of growing it's operating weights to allow intercontinental range while working on the FAA to extend ETOPs (the FAA director at the time was dead-set against ETOPS beyond 60 minutes) so by then the window had pretty much closed on Douglas and Lockheed.
 
ELBOB
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:08 am

And don't forget the MD-11 Twin, could just have slipped in ahead of ( and slightly below ) the 777 but the bean-counters said no, twice.
 
strfyr51
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:16 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
With about 4.5 hours endurance, I don’t think the 727 was designed for long, overwater kegs, unless you think SJU-BWI is long.

GF

some of the later B727-200ADV airplanes had a pretty good range. Enough so they could cross the Atlantic or fly in the Pacific. When I was in the navy My P3 broke down in Kwajalien. We called the Squadron and told them what we needed. We thought they'd send another P3 to deliver the part. Lo and Behold? A Continental B727
lands and pulls up near where we were parked. The aft airstair drops and the Flight engineer walks over and hands me the part I needed. Got back on his airplane and they departed. We saw them a few days later in Guam when we returned to Guam. They had Island hopped al the way to Manila and Back,
 
747Whale
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:19 am

ELBOB wrote:
And don't forget the MD-11 Twin, could just have slipped in ahead of ( and slightly below ) the 777 but the bean-counters said no, twice.


Ever flown an MD11 on two engines?

Ever flown it on one? It's a reasonable question, because if you start with a twin, it's got to operate on one...and the MD11 doesn't.
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:24 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
With about 4.5 hours endurance, I don’t think the 727 was designed for long, overwater kegs, unless you think SJU-BWI is long.

GF


I could have made my point a bit more clearly. Longer ranged than its most obvious contemporary (DC-9) and yes, over water requirements satisfied by its tri-jet design.
Last edited by FlyHappy on Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
stratclub
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:34 am

Moot point. If they had built the MD-11 as a twin, It would have been a twin with the engineering required to make it work. A little shorter forward of the wings for CG considerations, a re-design of the tail and a re-design of hydraulic and electrical systems.
 
747Whale
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:46 am

stratclub wrote:
Moot point. If they had built the MD-11 as a twin, It would have been a twin with the engineering required to make it work.


Not a "moot" point.

If it had been re-engineered, it wouldn't have been a MD-11, but something else, which makes it irrelevant.
 
stratclub
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:02 pm

Certainly. because an MD-11 is a 3 engine aircraft. If MD bean counters hadn't nixed the idea, the MD-11 could have been re-engineered into a twin. if they had just removed the center engine, The MD-11 would have had a serious CG problem. True, it would not really have been an MD-11 anymore because the engineering changes would have been substantial.
 
brons2
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:04 pm

Redesigning the DC-10 into a twin with 744 type range was more money than the beancounters at MDD were willing to spend in the 80s. It would have required a redesigned wing and empennage, and engines in the 90Klb class to give it nominal range in the ~7000nm neighborhood.

Boeing saw the opportunity a few years later for a large twin that MDD did not, and the rest is history...
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
747Whale
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:00 pm

stratclub wrote:
Certainly. because an MD-11 is a 3 engine aircraft. If MD bean counters hadn't nixed the idea, the MD-11 could have been re-engineered into a twin. if they had just removed the center engine, The MD-11 would have had a serious CG problem. True, it would not really have been an MD-11 anymore because the engineering changes would have been substantial.


The aft #2 actually gives an aft CG; the aircraft calls for 30,000 lbs fuel in the upper aux tank if towed empty without any other ballast. It's efficiency is due to an aft CG, and the purpose of the tail tank is to adjust CG for efficiency in operation, to the ideal 32% Mac.

Putting more thrust in the wing mounted engines creates greater asymmetric thrust in an engine-out situation, requiring changes to rudders, etc. Substantial changes in the aircraft would be required for hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical, structure, and other facets, which would move toward a clean sheet design, and it would no longer be an MD11.

If the company had called a clean sheet design a MD11, it would be superfluous as it would be an entirely different airplane.

The MD11 is unimpressive on two engines. It's considerably less on one.
 
stratclub
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:48 am

Certainly. A twin would be pretty close to a clean sheet design but I would imagine MD would have recycled as much engineering as practical just as Boeing did with the 707,720,737 and 757. Since the MD-12 model number was already taken, for luck they could have called it an MD-13. :biggrin:

Making the fwd fuselage shorter or the aft fuselage longer would be completely doable and would move the CG moment forward to make up for the weight lost and the change in CG moment moved from not having a center engine. You probably know the math better than me. CG = weight X arm. From there they could compute MAC range versus center of lift for the wing.
 
747Whale
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:25 am

The rearmost engine, #2, on the MD11, aids in achieving an aft center of gravity, which is always the goal in that aircraft, for efficiency.
 
jagraham
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:49 am

Another problem for DC10 and L1011 was engine size. They started out with 40k lbs engines similar to what the 747 used, and that size engine was new with the 747 (and C-5, although the TF-39 was only used on the C-5). The JT8 series powering existing jetliners other than the 747 was not big enough.

Big twins did not really happen until the A330 and 777 in the 1990s.
 
stratclub
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:35 am

747Whale wrote:
The rearmost engine, #2, on the MD11, aids in achieving an aft center of gravity, which is always the goal in that aircraft, for efficiency.

True. the M-11 as a twin could have the same aft CG advantage. MD would address the CG range by where the wings are placed in relation to Station number. Certainly an MD-11 twin would be very close to a clean sheet design.

Give me some good engineering drawings and a drill motor and my feeble brain could probably make you an MD-11 twin. The downside is that economically speaking, it would make no sense.
 
luckyone
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:31 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
With about 4.5 hours endurance, I don’t think the 727 was designed for long, overwater kegs, unless you think SJU-BWI is long.

GF

some of the later B727-200ADV airplanes had a pretty good range. Enough so they could cross the Atlantic or fly in the Pacific. When I was in the navy My P3 broke down in Kwajalien. We called the Squadron and told them what we needed. We thought they'd send another P3 to deliver the part. Lo and Behold? A Continental B727
lands and pulls up near where we were parked. The aft airstair drops and the Flight engineer walks over and hands me the part I needed. Got back on his airplane and they departed. We saw them a few days later in Guam when we returned to Guam. They had Island hopped al the way to Manila and Back,

As you mentioned "island hopping," those are short runs within the 727ADV 2,500mi range. Just for reference KWA-GUM is 1,500mi. but the routes flown as you say were typically shorter than that. It would be an exaggeration to describe that aircraft with that range as "crossing the Atlantic or Pacific," because it clearly cannot operate what would be described as transatlantic or transpacific routes, and other than potentially multistop charter operator routes no one did. To my knowledge it wasn't even regularly operated on transcontinental US routes. What it could do was operate from and between islands in the Pacific, which was done by Air Mike starting in the late 1960s before the 200Adv was placed into service.
 
Armadillo1
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:56 am

Okay, they can build small quad thinking like 330/340
 
acjbbj
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:54 am

Armadillo1 wrote:
Okay, they can build small quad thinking like 330/340

They could, for those who prioritise safety over profits...
Maybe as an executive jet, L-1011 NextGen?
Douglas Aircraft Company
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Died: 23 May 2006 (Long Beach, CA), age 84 years 10 months 1 day
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:26 am

It’s pretty well proven that more engines, in and of itself, do not create a safer plane. And no one is building a L-1011, of any generation, as a private jet.
 
rigo
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 am

I don't think it would have made much difference. The DC-10/MD-11 and the Tristar didn't fail (only) because they were trijets. A DC-10 with two engines would still have the same terrible cargo door design and it would still have damaged the manufacturer's reputation to a point where it never really recovered from. A L-1011 "Duostar" would still have been late to the market due to RR's delays, it would still be too expensive and it would still need to compete against the DC-10 on a market segment that was not large enough for two manufacturers at the time.
 
FatCat
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 pm

Natflyer wrote:
And I thought the Douglas DC-9 was a twin jet...

It's not, it has APU!
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triple3driver
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:17 pm

MD did, multiple of them too. Ever heard of the DC9, MD80, MD90, 717, 787, 777X, 737MAX?
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LMP737
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Re: Lockheed and Douglas - Should they have built twinjets?

Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:18 pm

stratclub wrote:
Moot point. If they had built the MD-11 as a twin, It would have been a twin with the engineering required to make it work. A little shorter forward of the wings for CG considerations, a re-design of the tail and a re-design of hydraulic and electrical systems.


I't would have cost more to make a twin out of it to be sure. Still cheaper than a clean sheet design. In the end MD did neither because St. Louis did not want to spend the money. That was always their problem.
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