View Full Version : Best 6-abreast trijet

22nd May 2007, 15:47
What is the best 6-abreast trijet?

The original, Hawker-Siddeley Trident?
Boeing 727?
Tupolev 154?
Yakovlev 42?

22nd May 2007, 18:09
VC10 with one engine out!


22nd May 2007, 19:14
Now what a waste of the taxpayers money that was! After the RB211 trials, during which the two RR Conway engines on the left side of XR809 were replaced by a single RB211, it was flown by Rolls Royce into the MU at RAF Kemble.

Rolls Royce proceeded to winch the RB211 off the aircraft, put it on a truck and set off through the main gate.

"Wait a minute" said the RAF "The aircraft had four Conways on it when you borrowed it so can you please put the original engine beam back on and give it back to us exactly as you found it".

"Where does it say that in the contract that you signed with us?" said RR. It didn't and XR809 was scrapped with very little time on the airframe just because some pillock screwed up the terms of the contract and it was going to cost an arm and a leg to put things back to normal.

P.S. Sorry in advance for the thread creep.

22nd May 2007, 23:02
I had a work colleague, a very frequent traveller, who swore blind that the Trident had the most comfortable, passenger-friendly pressurisation system in the sky.

Can't say I ever notived. I used to avoid the rearward facing seats, though. Didn't like them.

Every Tu-154 I've flown used the 'curvature of the earth' take off technique. Scary.

23rd May 2007, 08:13
Thats a good dit, but I thought that the reason that XR809 was grounded was because, during the trials of the RB211, with an early FADEC, it suffered a runaway, and the sudden application of assymetric thrust caused a buckle in the fuselage.
Happy to be corrected if my memory is wrong!


23rd May 2007, 12:10
On an early RB.211?


Hmmm, might be true, I suppose.
Having said this, the only 'FADEC' on the specific type I've noticed is the fuel control amplifier, which has been known to act up a time or three...or more.:uhoh:

23rd May 2007, 12:32
Memory does plays tricks .....

Text lifted from http://www.vc10.net/history/Individual/xr809.html

At that time no aircraft was available that could accommodate the large girth of the RB211 beneath the wing and still have some ground clearance left, the mounting on the side of the fuselage of the VC10 did provide this clearance. Also with the clean wing and relatively high fuselage mounting the RB211 was in clean air and therefore the test results would be universally acceptable. To be able to attach the RB211 the engine beam was strengthened to accommodate the higher weight and aerodynamic effects of the larger frontal area. Also as the RB211 was designed for a pylon mounting some other modifications were needed to adapt to the side-mounted VC10 pylon. All went well and on the first flight of the three-engined VC10 took place on 6th May 1970. On take-off, the two starboard Conways were marginally more powerful than the one RB211.
http://www.vc10.net/Memories/Images/File0014_small.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:MM_openBrWindow('../../Memories/Images/File0014.jpg','','width=820,height=660'))
G-AXLR with RB211 at Hucknall, Nottinghamshire

Reregistered as G-AXLR the aircraft commenced on an extensive flight test programme. Initially it flew from Hucknall, but from May 1972 on the aircraft was based at Filton from which many more flights were made. One hair-raising flight was the test bed's 44th flight on 7th august 1974. The thrust reverser on the RB211 was not used at this point but for some reason the reverser sleeve was not positively locked in the forward position. With an expected flight time of six hours the aircraft took off laden with fuel. An incremental climb was carried out, pausing every so often for re-lights on the RB211. Following a re-light with the aircraft flying at 240 knots at 20,000 feet, the cold stream reverser of the RB211 slid back into the reverse position, sealing off the bypass duct. The effect of this was a reverse idle which produced a slight lurch on the aircraft. Shortly afterwards, a more violent lurch occurred, followed by aircraft buffet. There was adverse yaw and roll, and level flight could not be maintained with full power on the Conways. The aircraft began descending at 2,500 feet per minute and, as the crew had no control over the reverse selection, the RB211 was shut down. This slowed the rate of descent but the aircraft was still descending at about 1,500 feet per minute.
http://www.vc10.net/Memories/Images/File0013_small.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:MM_openBrWindow('../../Memories/Images/File0013.jpg','','width=820,height=640'))
The RB211 test engine mounted on G-AXLR

Fuel jettison was initiated as the equation was quite clear to all on board - the aircraft would hit the ground in approximately twelve minutes unless the weight could be brought down to a value that the Conways could cope with. In such circumstances the time that the Conways can spend on take-off rating become academic. At 1,000 feet the aircraft weight equaled the thrust, and a safe landing was eventually made. After this modifications were carried out to the reverser to ensure a more positive locking system.

On 26th September 1975 the aircraft was delivered to RAF Kemble. Initially the aircraft would return to RAF service but it was found that the airframe was distorted, and repairs were deemed too costly. In the end the airframe was used for SAS training purposes and was left to decay at the site, eventually being scrapped. When later on Rolls-Royce needed to flight test the RB211-535CF and RB211-535E variants the Boeing 'house' 747 had to be hired for two 30 hour demonstrations at a total cost that just fell short of $10 million.

23rd May 2007, 13:14
Very interesting and excellent work by the crew, but I`m fairly sure that weight didn`t equal thrust even at 1000'.

24th May 2007, 09:45
but I`m fairly sure that weight didn`t equal thrust even at 1000'.
You are correct, and the text on the page has now been changed, see here: http://www.vc10.net/History/Individual/XR809.html

As far as I know the reason for scrapping the aircraft was airframe damage, but I wouldn't be surprised if the original engine beam and engines themselves were not immediately available upon completion of the tests. They won't have gone missing. No-one would throw away two serviceable Conways just like that, they were probably used as spares by the RAF.

24th May 2007, 14:26
Getting back to the original question, undoubtedly the Trident. By the way SSK, only the 2E variant had a few rear facing seats as they were originally 'owned' by BKS and/or Channel Airways; as far as I know all original BEA ones were configured with forward facing seats.
It was faster and smoother than any other airliner of its day and we had great fun on our ATCO Cadet course when we went to Viking House and 'flew' the systems trainers.

24th May 2007, 19:17
The BKS and Channel Tridents were 1Es - I seem to remember Channel dubbed theirs "1E-140" - because they were cramming in close on 140 PAX.

2Es were sold to BA, and I think CAAC.