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falter
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L1011/DC10 general questions

Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:52 pm

Okay,

So for my writing project I'm sort of leaning towards the L1011 but perhaps the DC10 as it stayed in service longer (2007 vs 2001). I'm hoping this is the appropriate sub-forum for this. Wasn't sure if it fit better here or Civil Aviation. I apologize if not here.

I just have some general questions. I flew on both planes as a kid (and the L1011 as a young adult) but my memories are dim.

Okay so here's the questions for the L1011:

1) How long did the lower galley persist for US airlines? I understand a lot of them were converted to cargo over the years and the kitchens moved upstairs. I don't recollect much as my last L1011 flight was 20 years ago but I seem to recall there being no downstairs kitchen on those planes in the late 90s. Would it be plausible to have one in the 80s still?

2) How many people (assuming no cart) could fit into one of the elevators at once? (and no, I'm not planning something r-rated here ..haha)

3) I'm wondering if my memory from 35+ years ago is accurate. I seem to remember being on flights where, when at cruise, some lucky passengers/kids were allowed to visit the flight deck, even sit up there for a while -- while flying. Am I remembering that right? It seems insane now... because of 9/11 I've gotten so used to the idea of the cockpit being off limits I've begun to doubt my own memory on that. Point of my question - is there any situation where a passenger might have been allowed or given a tour down to the lower galley on the L1011?

4) Purely from a technical standpoint, is it even theoretically possible, given that the L1011 requires a 3 man crew, for one person to start one up and get it moving? This is assuming things like wheel chocks, etc weren't in your way.

For the DC10:

1) These also sometimes had lower galleys too, right?

2) Would the elevators have been more or less same size/capacity?

3) Same questions for 3) and 4) above.

For both:

Is it possible either of these planes could have persisted in passenger service in the US significantly longer than they did? Or were there physical/regulatory limits that basically made them unflyable as such? In my fictional setting I'm picturing a flagging 'legacy' carrier that for whatever reason hasn't upgraded their fleet. Assuming there wasn't a hard reason an airline had to ditch either type, would there have been any upside at all or reason to keeping them going longer than they did?

I do remember my last flight on an L1011 being memorable - it was an Air Transat flight from Toronto to Vancouver in 1998, and it was in pretty bad shape. Actually when we took off, the whole left side of my seat including armrest fell off. Seriously. :)
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:16 am

3) Visiting the flight deck was very common. All you had to do was ask and in many cases, it was not a problem. If you were lucky, you could even get to sit up there for landing. In context, a tour of the lower galley would seem eminently plausible.

4) You could absolutely start up an airliner with 1 crew. It would just take a bit of extra time. I haven't flown the L-1011 but I can't imagine it requires any weird 2-crew or 3-crew simultaneous switch/pushbutton sequence while starting up. I suppose you'd have to go back and forth between the left seat and the FE seat a couple of times, or remain standing. If you skipped all the panel checking, walkaround, inertial platform alignment, flight plan entry, cross-checking and so on, you could probably start engines going from a "dark airplane" in less than 5 minutes. The most restrictive bit time-wise on an older jet is probably inertial platform alignment, which might take 20 minutes.

Just to be clear, I'm saying you could. I'm not saying it is safe or clever. :D


The reason the L-1011 and the DC-10 were retired was economics. There's nothing about the aircraft themselves that forced retirement, apart from maybe noise regulations.


You'll often see aircraft interiors close to retirement "falling apart" a bit. Why bother with the "nice to have" work in the cabin when the whole thing is going to be retired soon?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
falter
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:38 am

Starlionblue wrote:
3) Visiting the flight deck was very common. All you had to do was ask and in many cases, it was not a problem. If you were lucky, you could even get to sit up there for landing. In context, a tour of the lower galley would seem eminently plausible.


Excellent! That makes me feel better about my memory. Yeah I was pretty sure I remembered stuff like that. I have a dim memory of being maybe 7 or 8 and standing there while my parent(s) chatted with the pilot, another non-crew person was in the jump seat and it was some kinda special thing they did for him. Hard to believe that was even possible, or considered a good idea back in the day! I think they used to offer it sometimes too to people who were anxious flyers -- helped them take their mind off their fear.


4) You could absolutely start up an airliner with 1 crew. It would just take a bit of extra time. I haven't flown the L-1011 but I can't imagine it requires any weird 2-crew or 3-crew simultaneous switch/pushbutton sequence while starting up. I suppose you'd have to go back and forth between the left seat and the FE seat a couple of times, or remain standing. If you skipped all the panel checking, walkaround, inertial platform alignment, flight plan entry, cross-checking and so on, you could probably start engines going from a "dark airplane" in less than 5 minutes. The most restrictive bit time-wise on an older jet is probably inertial platform alignment, which might take 20 minutes.

Just to be clear, I'm saying you could. I'm not saying it is safe or clever. :D


Hah.. yeah definitely not something I want to try. I'm not actually a great flyer - usually end up having to take lorazepam or something to relax a little. I had really bad flight some years ago that rattled me. But for fictional purposes this is good to know. You don't want to go out there with a plot device like that and then have all the people in the know shaking their heads. I work in IT and always do that when they fire up a modern laptop and the sound they have it make is an overdub of a 30 year old Mac Classic.


The reason the L-1011 and the DC-10 were retired was economics. There's nothing about the aircraft themselves that forced retirement, apart from maybe noise regulations.

You'll often see aircraft interiors close to retirement "falling apart" a bit. Why bother with the "nice to have" work in the cabin when the whole thing is going to be retired soon?


[/quote]

Yeah -- I'm wondering if there would be an economic case to keep an old plane like that flying a little longer -- ie if your company was stretched, could the cost of replacement be a barrier, or if the economics of switching to a new plane are just overwhelming and it makes absolutely no sense to keep an older jet flying.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:01 am

Cockpit visits went away definitively with 9/11, but IMHO that was going to happen anyway for another reason. Your average 1970s passenger was not hopping on a low cost to Majorca wearing his flip-flops and wife-beater. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the public demeanor of many present day passengers has made the concept of cockpit visits in the cruise fraught with risk, even if the visitors have no nefarious intent.

Cost of replacement would indeed be a barrier. If you've paid off the old jet and all the structures such as crew training and maintenance are in place, it takes a long time to pay off the cost of a new type with fuel and other savings. Plenty of old jets flying about.

To write a plausible "fast start", you might want to find an old FCOM and read through the startup procedure, then figure out which bits are actually needed to start engines. Having said that, judging by your average blockbuster thriller, 99.9% of the audience would probably not care very much so it all depends on how far you want to take it. Even most of those in a particular industry tend to accept dramatic license as long as the story is good.
Last edited by Starlionblue on Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
falter
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:06 am

Many thanks. Yes I was looking about for a startup checklist - I've even watched videos but it goes a bit too fast and it's hard to see what's going on sometimes. I've always been of the attitude with something like sci-fi, the more realistic you can make the setting, the easier it is to suspend disbelief for the rest.
 
acjbbj
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:59 am

Starlionblue wrote:
Your average 1970s passenger was not hopping on a low cost to Majorca wearing his flip-flops and wife-beater.


Lol wut
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Starlionblue
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:12 am

acjbbj wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
Your average 1970s passenger was not hopping on a low cost to Majorca wearing his flip-flops and wife-beater.


Lol wut


Singlet, undershirt, tank top...
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WPvsMW
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:37 am

Onslow, in "Keeping Up Appearances". BBC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjAaOPdBofk
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:08 pm

falter wrote:
1) How long did the lower galley persist for US airlines? I understand a lot of them were converted to cargo over the years and the kitchens moved upstairs. I don't recollect much as my last L1011 flight was 20 years ago but I seem to recall there being no downstairs kitchen on those planes in the late 90s. Would it be plausible to have one in the 80s still?



The lower galley lasted until the end for most airlines. IIRC, only British Airways had moved their lower galley to the main deck. Converting an L-1011 lower galley to cargo required raising the galley floor to match the cargo floor which required much sheetmetal work. The oddball PSA L-1011s had a lowered Cargo floor to match the lower galley in order to accommodate the lower deck lounge. Remember, the -500 airplane never had a lower deck galley.

falter wrote:
2) How many people (assuming no cart) could fit into one of the elevators at once? (and no, I'm not planning something r-rated here ..haha)


Two people could fit in a lift, but there was a weight limitation of about 250 lbs.

falter wrote:
For the DC10:

1) These also sometimes had lower galleys too, right?

2) Would the elevators have been more or less same size/capacity?


1) Yes, some DC-10s as well as early 747s at AA, UA and QF. The lower galley on the DC-10 and 747 were somewhat similar in that they were a module that was loaded into the cargo compartment. If you search photos of DC-10s being serviced, you can find catering trucks loading meal carts into the forward cargo compartment. The L-1011 had a separate galley service door.

2) The 747/DC10 had one cart lift / one personnel lift. The setup can be seen here:

http://youtu.be/3pECyaYUUns?t=74

falter wrote:
Is it possible either of these planes could have persisted in passenger service in the US significantly longer than they did?


For the L-1011, spares were getting scarce at the end. However, Lockheed pledged full support for the airplane as long as original operators flew the aircraft (BWIA was the last original operator).
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.

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falter
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:10 pm

New question - I just read of PSA's lower deck seating. I've seen an artist depiction of it. I'm curious if anyone has any more info about how this was set up - it looks sort of like half of it was passenger seating and then the back half was crew quarters of some kind. Does anyone have any more detailed real life photos?

I'm also curious about the seats... they aren't classic passenger seats - basically they look like those cocktail glass-style barstools... I'm surprised these passed safety requirements, even back then.. were these real or just the artist's depiction? The way they were oriented in the depiction didn't look like a very efficient use of space.

Finally, was there anyone else out there that used the lower deck in the L1011 or DC or 747 for passenger seating?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:20 pm

Two people could fit in a lift, but there was a weight limitation of about 250 lbs.


That’d be ripe upgrading nowadays!

GF
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:00 am

falter wrote:
Does anyone have any more detailed real life photos?


There are a lot of Lockheed mock-up photos of the lower deck lounges. The real L-1011 lounge photos have "exit" signs in them.

falter wrote:
Finally, was there anyone else out there that used the lower deck in the L1011 or DC or 747 for passenger seating?


Only the five airplanes built for PSA and any secondary users of those planes. Here is a good post about the lower lounges on the L-1011 (including posts by 474218, former L-1011 production line engineer).

https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=369719
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.

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Tristarsteve
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:29 am

You can start up a Tristar on your own. I have done it many times. You sit at the F/E panel until the engines are running, then if you needed to taxy you could move to the Capt seat. All the controls for APU and engine start were easily accessed from the F/E seat. If you open the engines above idle then you need a helper in the Capt seat.
 
falter
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:28 am

Tristarsteve wrote:
You can start up a Tristar on your own. I have done it many times. You sit at the F/E panel until the engines are running, then if you needed to taxy you could move to the Capt seat. All the controls for APU and engine start were easily accessed from the F/E seat. If you open the engines above idle then you need a helper in the Capt seat.


Many thanks! Could you get the thing moving at speed on your own though or is that a two man job?
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:42 am

falter wrote:
Tristarsteve wrote:
You can start up a Tristar on your own. I have done it many times. You sit at the F/E panel until the engines are running, then if you needed to taxy you could move to the Capt seat. All the controls for APU and engine start were easily accessed from the F/E seat. If you open the engines above idle then you need a helper in the Capt seat.


Many thanks! Could you get the thing moving at speed on your own though or is that a two man job?


I'd say it would not be an issue. Tristarsteve would be the expert, but as he said you'd move to the left seat. Once the engines are running you need the thrust levers on the pedestal, the park brake handle, the tiller and the brake/rudder pedals. All accessible from the left.

Before boarding, you'd want to check that the park brake is on and the brake accumulator charged. Then you could remove the chocks. Modern aircraft have a park brake engaged light on the nose gear comms panel but I don't know if the Tristar did.

You can see the tiller to the left of the seat near the pillar between the windows. I don't know where the park brake handle is on a Tristar but on most planes it is on the pedestal somewhere.

Image
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Tristarsteve
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:14 am

The park brake is similar to a B737. To release the brakes you just push on the pedals. To engage the park brake you push on the pedals, then pull up the park brake knob.
You can see this knob in the photo. Capt side, left of the engine ignition switches, and below the yellow bar (flying control isolate)
 
stephanwintner
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:07 pm

Those seats look like something out of an L1049 not an L1011. I hope they are more comfortable than they look.
 
Tristarsteve
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:17 pm

stephanwintner wrote:
Those seats look like something out of an L1049 not an L1011. I hope they are more comfortable than they look.

That is a simulator, and they are not L1011 original chairs
 
stephanwintner
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:13 pm

Tristarsteve wrote:
stephanwintner wrote:
Those seats look like something out of an L1049 not an L1011. I hope they are more comfortable than they look.

That is a simulator, and they are not L1011 original chairs


Glad to hear it ! I knew it is a simulator (the screens give that away), I'd just have expected the real seats in the simulator too, though I suppose it's not required.
 
FlyingColours
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:57 pm

Try and find a copy of "Passenger 57" on DVD, a Tri-Star features heavily in it (well their cabin simulator features heavily) but it includes the lower galley. Back when Hollywood would actually spend some money on painting an aircraft up and boy do they get some gratuitous shots in this film :)

Phil
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DL_Mech
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Re: L1011/DC10 general questions

Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:49 pm

DL_Mech wrote:

The lower galley on the DC-10 and 747 were somewhat similar in that they were a module that was loaded into the cargo compartment. If you search photos of DC-10s being serviced, you can find catering trucks loading meal carts into the forward cargo compartment.


Here is a video showing the loading of lower galley compartments (with carts inside?) on an AA 747. Watch the first seven minutes of the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cNefEnJXs
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.

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