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rjsampson
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What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:08 am

Does anyone think that Lockheed would still be making commercial aircraft today?

...one can only dream!
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:20 am

No, and neither’s Douglas. The A300 and the B767 put paid to large wide bodies.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:26 am

rjsampson wrote:
Does anyone think that Lockheed would still be making commercial aircraft today?


Not a chance. Both manufacturers still chased after the same market, with McDonnell-Douglas pursuing the failed "three-holer" strategy via the MD-11.

A better question, if you ask me, is:

What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

I think the L1011 would have been a sales success, but the DC-10 would still beat it in the long run since it turned out to be a far more capable airframe, as it could fly a lot farther with similar capacity as the L1011-1, and the L1011-500 was too late to the game and too small to really be a worthy contender against the DC-10-30 and DC-10-40.
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rjsampson
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:26 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
No, and neither’s Douglas. The A300 and the B767 put paid to large wide bodies.


Very good point. Douglas had NBs in the pipeline already to sustain them for a few more years; Lockheed must not have been interested in the "long game" for commercial aircraft, outside of their engineering marvel (albeit one that came too late to market).
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
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rjsampson
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:24 am

OK... GA and Galaxy answered my question pretty effectively, I do have another. Perhaps Galaxy and/or others may have insight into this.

I cannot find a decent explanation on Google.

What was the impetus for Lockheed to get back into the civil commercial airliner business with the L1011? If I recall correctly, their only previous offering to that market had been the Electra back in the 50's. (Excluding exec/VIP bizjet market with the Jetstar).

It's as if: All of a sudden: Lockheed builds this big, hulking state-of-the-art widebody for the airlines 30 years after the Electra. Already having vast, vast contracts with the military... What was the thinking? Did Lockheed want to play on the same field as Douglas and Boeing long-term again? There's gotta be a story there. Any insights?
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
rbavfan
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:15 am

EA CO AS wrote:
rjsampson wrote:
Does anyone think that Lockheed would still be making commercial aircraft today?


Not a chance. Both manufacturers still chased after the same market, with McDonnell-Douglas pursuing the failed "three-holer" strategy via the MD-11.

A better question, if you ask me, is:

What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

I think the L1011 would have been a sales success, but the DC-10 would still beat it in the long run since it turned out to be a far more capable airframe, as it could fly a lot farther with similar capacity as the L1011-1, and the L1011-500 was too late to the game and too small to really be a worthy contender against the DC-10-30 and DC-10-40.


Yes and the delays in the RB211-524 series vs CF6 series were the reason. If the 524 had been around earlier the L1011 would have seen a grater range improvement faster and gained more share. It was a far better built & safer plane in the long run.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:11 am

rbavfan wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
rjsampson wrote:
Does anyone think that Lockheed would still be making commercial aircraft today?


Not a chance. Both manufacturers still chased after the same market, with McDonnell-Douglas pursuing the failed "three-holer" strategy via the MD-11.

A better question, if you ask me, is:

What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

I think the L1011 would have been a sales success, but the DC-10 would still beat it in the long run since it turned out to be a far more capable airframe, as it could fly a lot farther with similar capacity as the L1011-1, and the L1011-500 was too late to the game and too small to really be a worthy contender against the DC-10-30 and DC-10-40.


Yes and the delays in the RB211-524 series vs CF6 series were the reason. If the 524 had been around earlier the L1011 would have seen a grater range improvement faster and gained more share. It was a far better built & safer plane in the long run.

MTOW was still an issue. Even with the 524 the L-1011-200 only had range similar to the DC-10-10, granted it had a smaller wing than the -500. I don’t know enough about the airframe to say how easy it would have been to boost the MTOW ~25t over the L-1011-500 to match the DC-10-30.

There is also the fact that McDD could package the DC-10 with the DC-9/DC-8 in sales pitches, while Lockheed has no other commercial jets.
 
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eta unknown
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:21 am

I believe someone posted in another thread recently the the DC-10 was significantly cheaper to purchase than the L1011, so even if the Lockheed program wasn't delayed there was still a cost factor.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:55 pm

I have to imagine that, even if the RB211 had not been as delayed as it was, and even if the economics would have worked a bit better on the L-1011, there would have been further problems with continuing the line. The DC-10, by having its center engine mounted in a nacelle on the vertical stabilizer, had an easier engineering path for powerplant upgrades that would include larger and larger fans. The L-1011, having its center engine buried in the tail, had a hard upper limit on fan size that would require significant modification to the fuselage to remedy. As a result, there was always going to be a HARD upper limit on the size of the basic airframe and its total passenger capacity. As the A-300/310/330 family grew, and as the 767 family grew in capability and size, they were always going to eclipse the L-1011 in capability and efficiency.

So, the basic idea that I have is that, with a flawless EIS with respect to schedule and powerplant, the L-1011 would have only seen modestly better sales at the expense of the DC-10. It may have had a profound effect on the future, however. Take away enough DC-10 sales, and perhaps MD doesn't decide to invest in the MD-11 as the program's profits would have been significantly lower. In a world without an MD-11, you maybe get a more modestly warmed over DC-10 upgrade at the end of it's life (if that's really possible...) and Boeing manages even more 777 sales. As for Lockheed, I just don't see them ever selling enough L-1011s to justify pumping in enough money to make the changes needed to enlarge it for the market. At best, they might have taken the L-1011, and, seeing the larger engines that were becoming available on the market, kept the fuselage cross section and nose, but redone the tail and wings to better support those engines for another plane of similar capacity and range. But, in the end, I don't think that it would have been "better" than the 767 or A-330 in any way and would have tanked on the market, likely not even leaving the prototype stage.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:11 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
No, and neither’s Douglas. The A300 and the B767 put paid to large wide bodies.


Not exactly. The 767 only became available a good 10 years after the L1011 and DC-10 and while the A300 was available at the same time, Airbus was not yet an OEM that airlines were willing to "bet the farm" on. It wasn't until 20 years later that Airbus became a true competitor in this segment.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:37 pm

rjsampson wrote:

What was the impetus for Lockheed to get back into the civil commercial airliner business with the L1011? If I recall correctly, their only previous offering to that market had been the Electra back in the 50's. (Excluding exec/VIP bizjet market with the Jetstar).

It's as if: All of a sudden: Lockheed builds this big, hulking state-of-the-art widebody for the airlines 30 years after the Electra. Already having vast, vast contracts with the military... What was the thinking? Did Lockheed want to play on the same field as Douglas and Boeing long-term again? There's gotta be a story there. Any insights?


The Lockheed Constellation says hello!

In the 1940s and 50s Lockheed was a very big player in commercial aviation with the Connies. I think they fell out of the market as they could not catch up with the jet age. They also could not compete with Boeing and Douglas, who took over the market with the 707/DC-8.

But Lockheed did catch up with the big jet air transports eventually. They built the C-141 and the C-5 in the 1960s. Maybe then they thought that they could enter the big-jet civilian market again with the L1011.
Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:54 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
No, and neither’s Douglas. The A300 and the B767 put paid to large wide bodies.

The A300 has a better claim to putting widebodies out to pasture since EU and Asian carriers had less strict requirements with overseas operations with twin engines, and came years before the 767. By the time the 767 began flying with extended ETOPS restrictions, the A300 had begun replacing (or complementing) widebodies for these carriers. Yes, the 767 has outsold the A300, but because the A300 entered the market first, it likely was a major strike against trijets, and once extended ETOPS was a thing in the US, the trijets' days were numbered.

eta unknown wrote:
I believe someone posted in another thread recently the the DC-10 was significantly cheaper to purchase than the L1011, so even if the Lockheed program wasn't delayed there was still a cost factor.
Douglas saved money by using some of the technology in its DC-9 series. Lockheed, however, decided to build an airplane ahead of its time. So, yes, the L-1011 was more expensive to develop.

rjsampson wrote:
It's as if: All of a sudden: Lockheed builds this big, hulking state-of-the-art widebody for the airlines 30 years after the Electra. Already having vast, vast contracts with the military... What was the thinking? Did Lockheed want to play on the same field as Douglas and Boeing long-term again? There's gotta be a story there. Any insights?
There's a video on YouTube that showcases the L-1011. You have to think: why was Lockheed sitting out the commercial aviation side (after producing several piston-driven airplanes back in the day) when it was producing state of the art military equipment like the SR-71 and U-2? Surely, if they had the engineering and technology to develop this, they could take one last crack at the civil aviation market. The problem was that Douglas was also chasing the same market, and this was Lockheed's first attempt at a civilian JET aircraft (meaning that, despite their history in the aviation market, this was uncharted territory for them). When picking a producer, do you go with the new player or with the one who already has some experience?
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:40 pm

L10 (even the L15) was not able to fly trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe routes like the DC10-30ER does. That helps to broaden the appeal of DC10 too. On the short haul side, it later faced competition from A300 and 767-200, which certainly outclassed it. The Asian carriers certainly chose to go with A300 on regional routes en masse. The only ones choosing L10 are ANA and CX, while KE, PR, SQ, MH, TG, JD and CI all went for A300.
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:59 pm

Here is a very informative video about this beautiful aircraft that also gives some answers why it never really became successfull. As others have mentioned: the DC-10 was easier and faster to implement for certain airlines. A shame though, because the TriStar was loved by almost everyone; pilots, flight attendants and passengers
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:03 pm

I think Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas would be in reverse. I can't see a scenario where there would actually more three howlers would be sold, so perhaps the L1011 and the DC-10 ratio would be different, but that's it.
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:05 pm

A twin-engine L1011-600 would have made things interesting, but Lockheed/RR lost so much money on the existing models that the resources necessary to reverse-engineer a twin never would have been available. Still, the engine technology of the late 1970s/early 80s would have made the heavy airframes of the L16 or DC-10 Twin either too short-ranged, or too small to make money with on long haul.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:09 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
No, and neither’s Douglas. The A300 and the B767 put paid to large wide bodies.

The A300 has a better claim to putting widebodies out to pasture since EU and Asian carriers had less strict requirements with overseas operations with twin engines, and came years before the 767. By the time the 767 began flying with extended ETOPS restrictions, the A300 had begun replacing (or complementing) widebodies for these carriers. Yes, the 767 has outsold the A300, but because the A300 entered the market first, it likely was a major strike against trijets, and once extended ETOPS was a thing in the US, the trijets' days were numbered.


You're minimizing the role of extended ETOPS in the death of tri-jets -- a role lead by TWA and 767s, not operators of A300s.

It's the same way 777-200ERs (see CO non-stop EWR-HKG in 2001) and 777-300ERs killed off 747s and A380s: sufficient range, good CASM, and smaller increments of capacity.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:29 pm

The A300 was a good product but was not very capable. Its capacity and cross-section were great, but the wing was small and therefore the range was poor. It was good for going around Europe or the US East Coast. But that was about as far as two turbofans of that era could take you. The 767 was more capable, but remember that that 762ER came into its own in the mid/late 1980s and was fairly small, and the 763ER that we know and love today didn't emerge as such until the early/mid 1990s. Also, ETOPS was still a matter of wide debate well into the 1990s and the market was slowly working itself into it.

Yet I would say that it would have been plain to see in 1980 that the TriStar was doomed. And so I don't think ETOPS or even the 767 had a hand in killing it. Maybe DC-10 and 747 had performed the job already during the mid/late 1970s?

Now for DC-10 and MD-11, definitely yes, the 767, A330 and 777 definitely nailed down its coffin. But TriStar was gone well before those came along.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:31 pm

DIJKKIJK wrote:

The Lockheed Constellation says hello!

In the 1940s and 50s Lockheed was a very big player in commercial aviation with the Connies. I think they fell out of the market as they could not catch up with the jet age. They also could not compete with Boeing and Douglas, who took over the market with the 707/DC-8.

But Lockheed did catch up with the big jet air transports eventually. They built the C-141 and the C-5 in the 1960s. Maybe then they thought that they could enter the big-jet civilian market again with the L1011.


And there was the Constellation II L-193 jetliner design of the fifties, that never materialised. Lockheed also designed an air tanker based on this concept, and this design actually won the USAF Strategic Air Command competition for a jet-powered aerial refueling tanker, leaving Boeing and its 367-80/KC-135 design behind. However, as Boeing could deliver their tanker much earlier than Lockheed, the USAF decided to order a limited number of Boeing tankers as a stop-gap measure until the Lockheed tankers would be available, and they were very pleased with those. In the end, nothing was heard of the Lockheed design anymore and the USAF ordered vast numbers of tankers from Boeing. As the 367-80/KC-135 was closely related to the 707, this tanker order helped Boeing enormously in getting the 707 in the air and in taking the lead position in the civil airliner market.

What would have happened if Lockheed had built their tanker and had been able to develop their civil variant out of it, with the tax payer funding a large part of the development cost through the tanker orders? Would this have allowed Lockheed to take the lead and be the first? I think this was a decisive moment in aviation history. The L-1011 TriStar would have been a logical successor to this L-193 that never was, much like the DC-10 followed up the DC-8 and the 747 built on the success of the 707.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_L-193
Last edited by TurboJet707 on Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.
 
B-HOP
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:33 pm

No, if RB211-524 could deliver 53100lb in the form in D4 by late 70's, with extra fuel tank in the cargo hold in placee of the gallery, with the same fuselage length as -1 all together, then maybe it has a chance vs DC10-30, otherwise, L1011 is always at an disadvantage. But still, a twin is a twin and once ETOPS rules is relaxed it always has an upper hand. In fact, RB211-524G/H fitted on 747-400 were smaller in dimension then 22B fitted on L1011-1

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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:40 pm

codc10 wrote:
A twin-engine L1011-600 would have made things interesting, but Lockheed/RR lost so much money on the existing models that the resources necessary to reverse-engineer a twin never would have been available. Still, the engine technology of the late 1970s/early 80s would have made the heavy airframes of the L16 or DC-10 Twin either too short-ranged, or too small to make money with on long haul.


Take a nicely sized airframe, put two mid-1970s JT9Ds on it and what do you call it? A300 - with all of its benefits and limitations. They designed a great fuselage for A300, but lack of engine power meant that range was not going to happen, and therefore the wing was fairly small - no sense in having a big wing if you can't use it. And so the A300 had its limitations - but it was doing what it could with the power available at that time.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:50 pm

smithbs wrote:
codc10 wrote:
A twin-engine L1011-600 would have made things interesting, but Lockheed/RR lost so much money on the existing models that the resources necessary to reverse-engineer a twin never would have been available. Still, the engine technology of the late 1970s/early 80s would have made the heavy airframes of the L16 or DC-10 Twin either too short-ranged, or too small to make money with on long haul.


Take a nicely sized airframe, put two mid-1970s JT9Ds on it and what do you call it? A300 - with all of its benefits and limitations. They designed a great fuselage for A300, but lack of engine power meant that range was not going to happen, and therefore the wing was fairly small - no sense in having a big wing if you can't use it. And so the A300 had its limitations - but it was doing what it could with the power available at that time.


Which is why the L16 and DC-10 Twin proposals were shortened barrels closer in pax capacity to the 767-200, but with more airframe to haul around. The object wasn't even long haul transoceanic (ETOPS was little more than theoretical, at that time), but rather year-round transcontinental USA... barely realistic with the A300B4 and a non-starter with the earlier B2.
Last edited by codc10 on Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Transpac787
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:55 pm

raylee67 wrote:
L10 (even the L15) was not able to fly trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe routes like the DC10-30ER does.

The L1011-500 was absolutely able to fly trans-Pacific routes.

United operated them on SFO-NRT, SFO-OSA
Delta operated them on PDX-NRT, PDX-SEL

Standard DC10-30’s (non-ER variants) routinely crossed the pacific, too. Northwest used them on SEA-KIX, PDX-NRT, SFO-NRT.
 
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Byron1976
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:22 pm

I don't think the L1011 could beat the DC-10 on sales on any hipothetical scenario, and the explanation is simple by 2 facts: Douglas (McDonnell Douglas) was at the time a very well stablished comercial airplane builder, with very loyal customers from around th world and a strong presence around the world. Lockheed, no. Douglas (McDonnell Douglas) had narrow bodies products to articulate their wide body product. Lockheed, no. So no matter how good the L1011 was, the DC-10 sales would be higher.
 
Sokes
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:19 pm

Interesting topic.

einsteinboricua wrote:
...When picking a producer, do you go with the new player or with the one who already has some experience?

It's quite ironic that you are right.

"On September 22, 1981, Eastern Air Lines Flight 935 departed Newark, New Jersey, and suffered an uncontained failure of its number two (tail) engine at 14,500 feet (4,400 m), while en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico.[78][79] The fragments from that engine damaged three of its four hydraulic systems resulting in fluid loss in them. The rudder pedals also jammed. The fragments struck but did not puncture the lines for the other hydraulic system; the captain was able to safely land the aircraft at John F. Kennedy International Airport, with some limited use of the outboard spoilers, the inboard ailerons and the horizontal stabilizer, plus differential engine power of the remaining two engines. There were no injuries. The L-1011 having four hydraulic systems (instead of three like the DC-10) allowed for a safe landing."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_ ... _incidents

" Despite its poor safety record in the 1970s, which gave it an unfavorable reputation,[63] the DC-10 has proved to be a reliable aircraft with a low overall accident rate as of 1998.[64] The DC-10's initially poor safety record has continuously improved as design flaws were rectified and fleet hours increased."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell ... _incidents

But why should the makers of Blackbird not be able to design a passenger plane?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
enplaned
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:35 pm

I think the right question to ask is "what if the DC-10 had been a twin-engine aircraft". It's my recollection that Douglas, during the design phase, did think about a two-engine version of the aircraft. Not only would it have allowed the L1011 a clean-shot at the small international-capable widebody market, but almost certainly a widebody twin by Douglas would have found far more acceptance (and likely would have been a more capable aircraft) than the product of the nascent Airbus consortium. Meaning it wouldn't have left much of a niche for Airbus.
 
tnair1974
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:04 pm

From what I've read, another factor that slowed the L-1011's progression into a longer range airliner was its lighter airframe. While this made the L-1011 a tad more fuel efficient than the DC-10, the TriStar was also less versatile to accepting some design changes. The DC-10 could take extra fuel tanks and other additions with relative ease. But similar additions on the L-1011 would have required much structural strengthening. Faced with the effort and expense that such beefing up of the L-1011 would have needed, Lockheed elected to go with the L-1011-500. Along with higher rated engines and a bigger wing, the -500 combined some structural strengthening with a greatly shortened fuselage. However, shrinks tend to result in higher fuel burn rates per seat as many of us know. This and other factors limited the -500's sales.

BTW, I did not know the -500 entered service quite late (1979). As others have already pointed out, this allowed competitors to get a larger market share. Not to mention that by 1979, longer range fuel efficient twins were not far on the horizon.

When I was a kid, I remember doing a double take upon seeing a pic of an EA DC-10! Eastern of course had L-1011s and early A300s, but the DC-10-30's superior range better allowed EA to fly routes like MIA-LGW during the late 1980s.
 
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:23 am

TurboJet707 wrote:

And there was the Constellation II L-193 jetliner design of the fifties, that never materialised. Lockheed also designed an air tanker based on this concept, and this design actually won the USAF Strategic Air Command competition for a jet-powered aerial refueling tanker, leaving Boeing and its 367-80/KC-135 design behind. However, as Boeing could deliver their tanker much earlier than Lockheed, the USAF decided to order a limited number of Boeing tankers as a stop-gap measure until the Lockheed tankers would be available, and they were very pleased with those. In the end, nothing was heard of the Lockheed design anymore and the USAF ordered vast numbers of tankers from Boeing. As the 367-80/KC-135 was closely related to the 707, this tanker order helped Boeing enormously in getting the 707 in the air and in taking the lead position in the civil airliner market.

What would have happened if Lockheed had built their tanker and had been able to develop their civil variant out of it, with the tax payer funding a large part of the development cost through the tanker orders? Would this have allowed Lockheed to take the lead and be the first? I think this was a decisive moment in aviation history. The L-1011 TriStar would have been a logical successor to this L-193 that never was, much like the DC-10 followed up the DC-8 and the 747 built on the success of the 707.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_L-193


Wow, thanks for the information!

I didn't know that the VC-10 ad IL-62 were based on a Lockheed design!
Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
 
raylee67
Posts: 937
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:33 am

Transpac787 wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
L10 (even the L15) was not able to fly trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe routes like the DC10-30ER does.

The L1011-500 was absolutely able to fly trans-Pacific routes.

United operated them on SFO-NRT, SFO-OSA
Delta operated them on PDX-NRT, PDX-SEL

Standard DC10-30’s (non-ER variants) routinely crossed the pacific, too. Northwest used them on SEA-KIX, PDX-NRT, SFO-NRT.


Sorry, should be more clear. I mean trans-Pac beyond Japan and Korea. e.g. DC10 could be used to TPE and HKG from West Coast direct.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI LX
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
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tnair1974
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:29 am

It could also be asked what would have happened if the 1970s didn't have as much economic upheaval across the world. For that matter, no dramatic jump in oil prices and fuel shortages, especially during the early 1970s and to a lessor extent the late 70s. Would all this have allowed enough extra DC-10 and L-1011 sales (before large twins became more established) so these tri-jets programs would have hemorrhaged a lot less money if not break even?
 
WA707atMSP
Posts: 1927
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Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:44 pm

Another big "what if" moment is what would have happened if Lockheed had modified the L-1011 to accept GE CF6s

John Newhouse's "The Sporty Game" says that United was wary of the RB 211, and asked Lockheed to offer the CF6 as an alternate engine. Lockheed refused to pay the additional expense of designing the L-1011 to accommodate the larger CF-6, and as a result, United ordered the DC-10.

Delta also preferred the CF6 to the RB-211, but chose to buy the L-1011 despite their concerns.

If Lockheed had offered a CF6 powered L-1011, United would have ordered it, and the DC-10 would not have been launched. The Sporty Game says Lockheed chairman Dan Haughton later said not offering the CF6 on the L-1011 was one of the two worst mistakes of his career.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 6529
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: What if the L1011 had beat DC-10 to market, and the RB211 program was flawless?

Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:38 pm

That was in hindsight, the engineering problem was that the RB211 was the shortest engine and designed for the L1011 while the CF-6 was the longest engine of the three. It would have been a significant challenge t9 fit the CF-6 in the center position and the S-duct. That’s why Douglas mounted them center engine in the vertical stabilizer. That’s why there was never anything but RB211s on the L10. Good book, btw.

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