View Full Version : BA TriStars - fleet exit date?

Rhino power
15th Feb 2012, 17:16
Afternoon all, firstly, I hope this is the appropriate section of the forum for this question, apologies if not...

Can anyone tell me when BA's last TriStar left the fleet? Much googling seems to suggest that G-BLUS (which i understand was leased from AirLanka in 1988) was the last one active with BA, which then went to SriLankan on 1/7/99. Other results suggest different dates, so, can anyone clarify please?


15th Feb 2012, 21:32
According to this British Airways Lockheed L-1011 TriStar historical fleet - Planesregister.com (http://www.planesregister.com/airline/British%20Airways-history-l10.htm) it was G-BLUS in 1999

Rhino power
15th Feb 2012, 22:40
Thanks for the link, that was the date i found most in my own searches...


Liffy 1M
17th Feb 2012, 20:15
I think people are misinterpreting that source. It actually indicates that G-BLUS left the BA fleet in April 1988. This is supported by the airliners.net photo database, which shows lots of photos of this aircraft during the 1990s as 4R-ULA.

BA's own website says that the last L-1011s were retired in October 1991. British Airways - Explore our past: 1990 - 1999 (http://www.britishairways.com/travel/history-1990-1999/public/en_us)

Several retired machines may have "remained on the books" for a time after this, while in storage pending disposal.

17th Feb 2012, 23:43
I thought it was 1991 as well. However several of the fleet had been transferred to Caledonian, who BA did not sell off until 1995. I believe they were still on the BA AOC for some time (and they certainly came back to Heathrow for maintenance). It was also BA practice to use the Caledonian fleet to supplement the mainstream fleet in the winter when charter traffic was down, not sure if they used Tristars for this or just 757s.

The two -500 aircraft leased in from Air Lanka in the 1980s were needed for long haul thin routes (which ones ?) after BA had over-zealously sold off all their original -500 fleet to the RAF.

The last Caledonian Tristar was withdrawn on 31 October 1999 (I discovered later). I didn't ride on it, but I saw it, at Faro, waiting to depart for Gatwick. Friends were on it going home as well. It was already about 6 hours late by early evening, and still stuck there AOG as we left; presumably the engineering agents had got rid of their Tristar spares.

18th Feb 2012, 13:38
BLUS and BLUT were leased from Air Lanka for the South American route Heathrow Rio San Paolo - different mod state from the BA L1011's which caused some fun amongst the crews - different FMC and the -500 behaved somewhat differently from the -1 and -200. The guys who hadn't flown one found it somewhat exciting, especially at light weight.

19th Feb 2012, 10:08
In 1992, after the 1st Gulf war, BA operated a DC10 and a Tristar from Kuwait on contract to Kuwait Airways for about 3 months (june, july, august).

I think the Tristar had been returned from storage in the desert (America).

I was on the DC10 at the time.

I'm afraid I do not know the Tristar's registration but the DC10 was G-NIUK.

It was good fun - how fast and how low can you do KWI-BAH in a DC10.

For me it made a change to the boring 5 DFW, ATL, LOS etc. per month and I spent most of that summer 2 weeks on, one week off in Kuwait.

24th Feb 2012, 09:24
frieghtdog2000 is correct in saying that the two TriStar 500s leased in from Air Lanka were to service the South American routes which BA had acquired from BCAL as part of a swap for BA's Saudi routes in 1984. BA's existing -200 fleet lacked the range for LHR-GIG and GIG-LHR nonstop and the B747 was considered too big for the route at its early stage of development. Loads were very light at first.

The Rio/Sao Paulo route only accounted for two rotations per week and so the two 500s were also used on other routes including (IIRC) Baltimore, Montreal, Antigua and Caracas/Bogota.

Swedish Steve
24th Feb 2012, 18:36
I'm afraid I do not know the Tristar's registration but the DC10 was G-NIUK.

Two Tristar 200s were leased to Kuwait Airways from June to October 1992.
Reg were BHBR and BHBM. They had been stored at Cambridge for about 8 months before this lease. I was working with some of the BA Engineers later and they said they were the most unreliable aircraft. They did not appreciate that 8 month parking.

The last BA schedule Tristar service was the MAN and GLA to JFK route until the end of the summer season 1991. After this all flying was with Caledonian, and aircraft were leased to them and Air Lanka before being sold, mostly to American International.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
24th Feb 2012, 19:47
Ah yes, back in the day when our national carrier used to fly out of more than 2 UK airports (other than shuttles). :rolleyes:

My first flight to NY was from MAN on a Tri Star. I got the jump seat for the t/o and was amazed at the size of the cockpit windows. I felt like I was sitting next to a massive patio door, and involuntarily ducked as we punched up through the strato-cu!