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747400sp
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Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:28 am

When looking at first gen wide bodies, and determining which one of the four was better built. I realize, that both the Tristar and A300 was well built, but which one was the better a/c?

I believe it was L1011.
 
stratosphere
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:09 am

Although I have never worked on either I have flown on both. I prefered the L1011..A net member PGNCS will tell you how well the L1011 flew..Out of all the a/c he has flown I believe he stated this was his favorite. But some of the mechanics that I know that worked on them said they could be a pain. But I am sure it was not the maintenance pig that the DC-10 was. I just believe from all that I have read that the L1011 was well built..
 
B777LRF
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:45 pm

No western manufacturer, not even Douglas, built their flying machines as solid as Lockheed; superb engineering and build quality. That level of quality sadly came at a price, and in a world ruled by bean counters ....
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Jetlagged
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:01 pm



Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
When looking at first gen wide bodies, and determining which one of the four was better built. I realize, that both the Tristar and A300 was well built, but which one was the better a/c?

The better aircraft overall was the A300 in my opinion, much as I like the L1011. This is demonstrated by the longevity of the type in production and service. The L1011 was technically very good (as was the A300), but economically did not do as well as its contemporary widebodies.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 2):
No western manufacturer, not even Douglas, built their flying machines as solid as Lockheed; superb engineering and build quality. That level of quality sadly came at a price, and in a world ruled by bean counters ....

There were some very solidly made superbly engineered British aircraft in the 1960s like the VC10 and the One-Eleven.
The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
 
MD-90
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:07 pm



Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 3):

The better aircraft overall was the A300 in my opinion, much as I like the L1011. This is demonstrated by the longevity of the type in production and service.

But the longevity of the A300 family can't really be compared to the L-1011 which had other factors working against it. The A300 received updated engines and a 2-man cockpit--you can't compare a more modern -600R against any -1/-100/-200/-250/-500 L-1011 with a 3-man cockpit and old engines.
 
A342
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:42 am



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 4):
But the longevity of the A300 family can't really be compared to the L-1011 which had other factors working against it. The A300 received updated engines and a 2-man cockpit--you can't compare a more modern -600R against any -1/-100/-200/-250/-500 L-1011 with a 3-man cockpit and old engines.

Well, the fact that the L1011 did not receive such upgrades underlines its lack of appeal on the market. Obviously, even improved variants wouldn't have been competitive.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
474218
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:23 am



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 4):
But the longevity of the A300 family can't really be compared to the L-1011 which had other factors working against it. The A300 received updated engines and a 2-man cockpit--you can't compare a more modern -600R against any -1/-100/-200/-250/-500 L-1011 with a 3-man cockpit and old engines.

Lockheed did not halt production of the L-1011 because there were more technologically advance airframes available. They made a business decision that the L-1011 production space could be use more efficiently if used for there military programs.

None of the L-1011's contemporaries, the 747, DC-10 and A300 had all the features that the L-1011 had standard. Direct Lift Control (DLC), Flight Management System (FMS), Flying Stabilizer, Stage 3 Noise Certification, Cat 3 Auto Land were all standard on every TriStars plus Active Controls on the -500's. On its competitors those features were either options or simply not available.
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:08 pm



Quoting 474218 (Reply 6):
None of the L-1011's contemporaries, the 747, DC-10 and A300 had all the features that the L-1011 had standard. Direct Lift Control (DLC), Flight Management System (FMS), Flying Stabilizer, Stage 3 Noise Certification, Cat 3 Auto Land were all standard on every TriStars plus Active Controls on the -500's. On its competitors those features were either options or simply not available.

So it seems that no airline needed those features badly enough to justify buying the economical inferior L1011. With this fact underlying, it couldn't it very well be that Lockheed overdesigned and overfeatured the aircraft? If nobody pays for your toys its a recipe for economic failure.
Enslave yourself to the divine disguised as salvation
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MD-90
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:12 pm



Quoting NicoEDDF (Reply 7):
So it seems that no airline needed those features badly enough to justify buying the economical inferior L1011.

The L-1011 wasn't economically inferior for airlines like Delta that operated them. How many major airlines kept flying a large fleet of original A300s up until 2001 like Delta did with their Tristars?

The L-1011's chief problem was the competition from the DC-10, both chasing a market that was too small to support both aircraft. What if Boeing had created a new VLA to compete with the A380 and today both were being marketed, ordered, and delivered? Imagine what a fiscal bloodbath that would've been for Airbus and Boeing.
 
411A
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:42 pm



Quoting NicoEDDF (Reply 7):
So it seems that no airline needed those features badly enough to justify buying the economical inferior L1011.

ROFL...

It seems that some don't know much about the airlines that ordered the L1011 specifically because of its very advanced features.

BEA, is but one example.
SVA is another.

In addition, a senior DAL VP has told me personally that Delta made more money from their L1011's than ANY other airplane in their fleet.
Bar none.

Of course, we might expect rather uninformed statements from some here who have no idea about....facts.

LOL
 
474218
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:16 pm



Quoting 411A (Reply 9):
In addition, a senior DAL VP has told me personally that Delta made more money from their L1011's than ANY other airplane in their fleet.

In 1986 Lockheed held an Operator/Supplier conference in Burbank. During that conference a Delta VP stated that each L-1011 in their fleet generated over $50,000 a day in profit, so it was imperative that Lockheed and the suppliers continued to support L-1011.

Quoting NicoEDDF (Reply 7):
So it seems that no airline needed those features badly enough to justify buying the economical inferior L1011. With this fact underlying, it couldn't it very well be that Lockheed overdesigned and overfeatured the aircraft? If nobody pays for your toys its a recipe for economic failure.

Your statement about the L-1011 can today be applied to the A380, IMO an other program doomed to failure.
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:27 pm



Quoting 474218 (Reply 10):

Your statement about the L-1011 can today be applied to the A380, IMO an other program doomed to failure.

We will see...  Wink

Quoting 411A (Reply 9):
Of course, we might expect rather uninformed statements from some here who have no idea about....facts.

Actually, the fact is that Lockheed built a highly sophisticated product which couldn't turn market favour to themselves with the 1011 while DC built a less sophisticated aircraft being reasonably profitable.

So is the market the fact or is your bias the fact?

Well, coming back to what 474218 wrote ...

Quoting 474218 (Reply 10):

Your statement about the L-1011 can today be applied to the A380, IMO an other program doomed to failure.

...if he is right with his prediction then I am happy to say that Airbus screwed it royally.

But then again, what has the 380 to do with anything in this thread?  Yeah sure
Enslave yourself to the divine disguised as salvation
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A342
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:46 pm



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 8):
How many major airlines kept flying a large fleet of original A300s up until 2001 like Delta did with their Tristars?

If you include freighters, many did and still do. In terms of passenger aircraft, you had JAS/JAL and Iran Air, plus a few others.

Quoting 411A (Reply 9):
In addition, a senior DAL VP has told me personally that Delta made more money from their L1011's than ANY other airplane in their fleet.
Bar none.

That didn't stop it from being replaced by the 767.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:55 am



Quoting A342 (Reply 12):

That didn't stop it from being replaced by the 767.

Even the best built plane eventually becomes uneconomic due to age. The length of time that Delta flew the L-1011 is probably only exceeded by NW's DC-9's. As to the original question, from what I have learned the L-1011 was probably the best built jetliner ever. I have a friend who has a brother who was a mechanic for Eastern, and then went to TWA after Eastern folded. He said that the Airbuses that Eastern had were a nightmare to work on; and had a very low opinion of them. Granted, that is third hand information; I never actually met the man. But I do believe that the L-1011 was a much better airplane; the fact that it was a commercial failure is due to other factors, most notably the fact that it was late, and competing in a market segment that was too small to support two competitors. The fact that the DC-10, while technically definitely inferior, outperformed the L-1011 didn't help.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
411A
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:15 am



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
Even the best built plane eventually becomes uneconomic due to age.

Of course it does, and it happens with every airplane.
Except, perhaps...if the airplane is sold to another operator, and that operator is still able to generate a reasonable profit, whilst operating the type.
Consider for example, the company I presently work for.
The company owns outright four L1011 aircraft, three ex-DAL -250 models, one ex-TWA -100 model.
Three are in revenue service.
I flew one yesterday TIP-ISB-LHE and the charter customer couldn't be more pleased with the airplane.
Plenty of room for under floor cargo, and...the airplane, on a seat/mile cost basis, is the same cost as a B747-200...in fact, just a tad less expensive, for their use.
They have now signed a two year contract extension.

SVA purchased the L1011 because...they wanted the most advanced/fully automated wide body airliner they could find...and they got it, at the time.
They purchased 17, and...when I flew these airplanes for SVA, they had a dispatch reliability of more than 99%.
Consistantly, for over ten years.

What we have here on this forum is a very few individuals who, in reality, know next to nothing about airline ops/aircraft cost of operation...I suspect they just appreciate the pretty paint designs...then consider themselves a so-called 'expert'.

ROFL...
 
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Jetlagged
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:43 pm



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 4):
But the longevity of the A300 family can't really be compared to the L-1011 which had other factors working against it. The A300 received updated engines and a 2-man cockpit--you can't compare a more modern -600R against any -1/-100/-200/-250/-500 L-1011 with a 3-man cockpit and old engines.

Even ignoring the -600 version the A300B4 outlasted the L-1011 in production. Had the L-1011 continued in production it would surely have had similar upgrades (engines, avionics, etc).

Quoting 411A (Reply 14):
What we have here on this forum is a very few individuals who, in reality, know next to nothing about airline ops/aircraft cost of operation...I suspect they just appreciate the pretty paint designs...then consider themselves a so-called 'expert'.

Steady on 411A, other opinions are allowed and some of us aren't just planespotters you know. I'm a great admirer of the L-1011, but commercially the A300B4 did better.
The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
 
MD-90
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:35 pm



Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 15):
I'm a great admirer of the L-1011, but commercially the A300B4 did better.

Which no one disputes, but that's not the topic of this thread.
 
mandala499
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:54 am

Gotta love the L-1011... if I have to choose between a L-1011 and a DC-10, I think I'd rather commit suicide... but then let's keep the DC-10 out of this reply.

Lockheed made a damn good plane, which made money if the airlines used it right... and I think many did. Whilst I think L-1011-1 was a dud (sorry, that's just my personal opinion)... well it was designed as a short-medium hauler... the -50, -100, -150 made it better...

The -200 to me was the beginning of the Tristar showing its potential with the RB211-524Bs...
The -250 made the -1s converted show a its teeth in performance...
The -500 is in my opinion... THE Tristar... 43,000ft ceiling, and the range put it on a class of its own...

DLC, Cat IIIc Autoland, and INS based FMC and VNAV... and later active controls... the Tristar in its age was like the A320 when it came out (although Tristar put these not in go)

4 HYD systems... that was perhaps the overbuilt stuff... nice, but was it necessary?
VNAV was a damn nice toy when it came out. It saved so much money for the airlines operating Tristars (-500s?) that I think Lockheed didn't make it an option for the -500.

What replaced the Tristar? A333... another awesome aircraft... the 772... another awesome aircraft, and the 764... well, not so awesome in my opinion but did its job... and the 764 as we all know is an oddjob derivative of the 767... a plane that took many of the future plans Lockheed had for the Tristar... such as EFIS, 2 man ops (yes we all know how boring the FE position was on the Ansett 762s, and I heard the FEs at the Tristar "enjoyed" a milder "boredom"  Smile ). What almost made me fell of the chair was being offered a Tristar 500 for lease at a rate cheaper than a B763ER, and the resultant DOC was lower... I was impressed with that one. Pity the end user cancelled themselves out of the industry.

It could have an airstairs to allow boarding like the Il-86 and the 742s used as the flying white house... nice idea, but bye bye cargo space.

As the age enters the "ripe for cargo conversion" stage, I was quite disappointed to read it's "second life" achillees heel... the main deck floor strength was inferior to the DC-10  Sad

The A300B4s were nice... The B4-200FFCC and B4-220FFCC were nice too... 2 man crew Airbus B4-200s. It basically did what the DC-10 and Tristar did for short-medium haul. I guess, credit must be given to the A300 as the first twin-engined widebody.

Love or hate the A300s... it proved that twin-engined widebodies were feasible and safe.

One thing I love seeing about the Tristar is the rolling trimme on the yoke... you don't see that anywhere else !  Smile
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
AirbusA6
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:07 am



Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 15):
Steady on 411A, other opinions are allowed and some of us aren't just planespotters you know. I'm a great admirer of the L-1011, but commercially the A300B4 did better.

But it took a long time to overtake the sales of the L-1011, the A300B was a sales flop for many years after launch, and it was well into the 80s before it outsold the L-1011, by which time Lockheed were closing down the production line...
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:58 pm



Quoting 411A (Reply 14):
Consider for example, the company I presently work for.
The company owns outright four L1011 aircraft, three ex-DAL -250 models, one ex-TWA -100 model.

I do not know anything about your company, but I suspect your aircraft are not being flown 12 or more hours a day every day as I suspect is the norm in mainline airline service. As you get away from that kind of utilization purchase price becomes a much bigger factor than operating economy, simply because payments have to be made regardless on how much the plane is used, while operating costs are only incurred when the plane is actually operating. So for lower utilization rates older planes become the economic choice, as the cost of new ones is so exorbitant. The price of older aircraft is going to depend largely on demand for each type, and since the number of L-1011's was quite low, the demand for them is going to be low as well, as the primary users are freight operators, and the big ones will not want to buy a type which may come into short supply. Therefore it makes perfect sense to me that a charter operator may well find the L-1011 to be a real bargain.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
trex8
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:57 pm



Quoting 411A (Reply 14):
I flew one yesterday TIP-ISB-LHE and the charter customer couldn't be more pleased with the airplane.
Plenty of room for under floor cargo,

what were you guys carrying, uranium centrifuges back to Pakistan?? Big grin
 
Viscount724
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:33 pm



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
The length of time that Delta flew the L-1011 is probably only exceeded by NW's DC-9's.

Many airlines have operated other types much longer than DL flew the L-1011. And NW has only operated the DC-9 for 23 years (since they acquired Republic in 1986), significantly less than the alost 28 years that DL flew the L-1011.

UA recently retired the 737 after almost 42 years service with the type, and UA operated the 727 for 37 years.
 
ex52tech
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:30 am



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 4):
The A300 received updated engines and a 2-man cockpit--you can't compare a more modern -600R against any -1/-100/-200/-250/-500 L-1011 with a 3-man cockpit and old engines.

One might point out that the manufacturers of Airbus airplanes are subsidized by their respective governments. Lockheed, as far as the L-1011 was concerned was not.
"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
 
ex52tech
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:39 am



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 21):
And NW has only operated the DC-9 for 23 years (since they acquired Republic in 1986), significantly less than the alost 28 years that DL flew the L-1011.

Splitting hairs? Many of the operations, maintenance, and management people came over in the MERGER.
"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
 
474218
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:16 am



Quoting Ex52tech (Reply 22):
One might point out that the manufacturers of Airbus airplanes are subsidized by their respective governments. Lockheed, as far as the L-1011 was concerned was not.

When Rolls Royce went bankrupt and the cost overruns on the C-5 program were out of control Lockheed had to borrow $250,000,000 from banks with loans guaranteed by the US government to remain in business. However, the loans were repaid and the US government even earned a little money on the deal.

Every now and then an "L-1011 MEANS JOBS" button will show up on e-bay. There were passed out by Lockheed to make sure congress made the money available.
 
747400sp
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:20 pm



Quoting 474218 (Reply 6):
None of the L-1011's contemporaries, the 747, DC-10 and A300 had all the features that the L-1011 had standard. Direct Lift Control (DLC), Flight Management System (FMS), Flying Stabilizer, Stage 3 Noise Certification, Cat 3 Auto Land were all standard on every TriStars plus Active Controls on the -500's. On its competitors those features were either options or simply not available.

I know the 747s were loud in the 70's, but I thought the DC10 and A300 was both in Stage 3 Noise Certification, or at least near it.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:50 pm



Quoting Ex52tech (Reply 23):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 21):
And NW has only operated the DC-9 for 23 years (since they acquired Republic in 1986), significantly less than the alost 28 years that DL flew the L-1011.

Splitting hairs? Many of the operations, maintenance, and management people came over in the MERGER.

My point was that NW would probably have never operated the DC-9 (or MD-80) without the Republic merger.
 
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:56 pm



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 21):
Many airlines have operated other types much longer than DL flew the L-1011. And NW has only operated the DC-9 for 23 years (since they acquired Republic in 1986), significantly less than the alost 28 years that DL flew the L-1011.

UA recently retired the 737 after almost 42 years service with the type, and UA operated the 727 for 37 years.

I did not realize that NW had not been flying DC-9's from their introduction; thanks for the correction. I would not count the 737's, as for this purpose the 737 Classics are not the same as the 737 Jurassics. The L-1011's and DC-9's were all the same, as were the 727's; that one would count.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
A342
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:57 pm



Quoting 747400sp (Reply 25):
I know the 747s were loud in the 70's, but I thought the DC10 and A300 was both in Stage 3 Noise Certification, or at least near it.

I believe all versions of both the DC-10 and A300 are Stage III capable by default. In fact, Airbus certified the original A300B2/B4s according to Stage IV a few years back, due to requests by express cargo airlines. Only minimal, if any, modifications were needed to achieve this.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
ex52tech
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RE: Which Is Better Built, L1011 Or A300?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:30 am



Quoting 474218 (Reply 24):

Every now and then an "L-1011 MEANS JOBS" button will show up on e-bay. There were passed out by Lockheed to make sure congress made the money available.

Didn't I state "as far as the L1011 was concerned" . those buttons were from a time when the L1011s were being built, not later modified and upgraded as with the A300. I think it would have been an entirely different story if any or all of the Airbus airliners would have been upgraded at a cost to the manufacturer had they not been subsidized. The US government had a stake in the C-5 program. Lockheed borrowed money, then paid it back, instead of operating from an open check book with no worry of having to pay it back, and some people say Capitalism doesn't work.

Quoting A342 (Reply 28):

I believe all versions of both the DC-10 and A300 are Stage III capable by default

We were always told the DC-10s were Stage lll from manufacture.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 26):
My point was that NW would probably have never operated the DC-9 (or MD-80) without the Republic merger.

More than likely they would not have operated the DC-9, NW's philosophy was three or more engines, P&W engines only, and the pilot's union was three man cockpit only.
"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"

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