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Old 16th Jul 2017, 10:40   #1 (permalink)
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Lockheed Tristar flies yesterday (15 Jul 17) Tucson to Kansas City

The guys have got it going

N910TE ? FlightAware


I hear 411A was blowing them a favourable following wind from above
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 19:03   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting, what are the plans for this aircraft?
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 20:14   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
Interesting, what are the plans for this aircraft?
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 13:45   #4 (permalink)
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Nice video showing off that lovely rock steady Tristar approach, such a nice stable aircraft to fly on
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 23:07   #5 (permalink)
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The Direct Lift Control (DLC) which the L-1011 had made it look like it was running on rails as it approached for landing. Contrast it with a B-727 or others which had to change pitch angle to control the rate of descent. The L-1011 on approach partially deployed its flight spoilers. Moving the control column did not move the horizontal stabilizer (another great feature) but raised and lowered the spoilers directly varying the lift and therefore the rate of descent. No nodding up and down of the nose.
Still, all the advanced features of the Tristar made it a tough and expensive airplane to maintain. Its lack of heavy-weight versions, lack of engine manufacturer choice and easy conversion to cargo configuration limited its sales, let its less sophisticated competitor outsell it and sent it to a relatively early retirement.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 08:51   #6 (permalink)
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TT: that's one view of causes for DC-10/MD-11 outselling L1011...but:
the root issue was splitting the market by launching both, EA+DL L1011-1, AA/UA DC-10-10. Both programs lost megabucks, contributing to Lockheed's exit from Commercial, and to MDC's absorption by Boeing. Just contemplate the chaos if Lockheed had announced a civil variant to follow very quickly after C-5 In-Service Date. That dribble of 747 deliveries after first rush would have been a drought, maybe devastating Boeing.

Engine out ex-Denver was the 1967 reason for trijet, and that became insignificant as big fans became so reliable. Every other operator was happy with 2 or with 4 engines.

2 very political impositions of Pratt as DC-10/40 did not make wider impact, nor were the cargo conversion aftermarket programs crucial at the point of initial selection for pax operation. British-contract-designer-influenced, L-1011 was heavier, so its apparent operating economics inferior to DC-10.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 20:53   #7 (permalink)
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You are of course correct in saying the "root issue was splitting the market by launching both,... two essentially identical aircraft." There were a lot more though that impacted Lockheed.
The Rolls Royce receivership caused a layoff of engineering staff at Lockheed. When Rolls was bailed out there was a terrible loss of continuity as new people tried to pick up the design threads. At Eastern, we used to joke we were maintaining an aircraft built by two bankrupt manufacturers.
The decision to size the center engine inlet duct for the smallest of the three new large fan engines meant that re-engining the L-1011 was not possible. The fin structure would not allow it. The best that could be done was upgrading to the RB-211-524 which fortunately was a far, far, far better engine and more powerful than the problem plagued RB-211-22B.
The initial engine model was the derated Rolls Royce RB-211-22C. The -22B which replaced it early on had two catastrophic uncontained failures of the fan disk (EAL and TWA). Most luckily the heavy parts did not go into the fuselage although a fan blade did penetrate and lodge in the outer pane of a pax window. This caused frequent replacement of fan disks, 150 cycles seems to be in my head but its been a long, long time.
Starting the 22B in cold weather resulted in fogging out the ramp in unburned kero smoke. It was painfully slow to start as I demonstrated to one of our Miami based powerplant engineers. I shamed him to come up to Toronto one moderately cold night. I started engines off the APUat about 2AM. The cold-soaked engines took, in the worst case, six and a half minutes (6 1/2) from initial press of the start button to reach ground idle. Later that AM the engineer and I witnessed the EAL L-1011 and an AA DC-10 pushed back from their gate simultaneously. I kid you not, the DC-10 was on takeoff roll before the third engine on our airplane started and the ramp area was wreathed in while smoke.
The 22B had a poor compressor stall margin and I think I have, in other threads described how I witnessed three center engine stalls in one day with loss of turbine blades during a freezing rain storm at KBDL. A week later I was riding a cockpit jump seat when another center position -22B spit out fire and blades in freezing rain at KBDL The tower asked us if the pyrotechnics were a usual feature of L-1011 takeoffs. In the short term a mandatory 2 1/2 minute warmup at high power just prior to takeoff alleviated the condition. It made us unpopular with the control towers.
The topper was the -22B N1 location bearing which could partially fail, then catch fire internally and release the whole fan assembly. We did experience that. This led to the AD requiring the installation of a movement detector to warn of the initial stage of a bearing failure. It was very expensive and led to the retirement of N311EA (MSN 1012) from Tradewinds. It was the sole -1 freighter conversion.
Lockheed, being out of the commercial market for so many years after the L-188 Electra had training problems. I was in the second training class at Palmdale in 1971 and many instructors were ex-USAF with no commercial background who found themselves facing very experienced airline technical people instead of recruits.
While MDC made provision for a center landing gear on the DC-10, Lockheed did not, limiting the maximum gross weight. Proposals for a third wheel on each axle would have made the aircraft look pregnant with bulged landing gear doors. To get range LAC had to go to the short -500 model with wing extensions which then required active ailerons for stress damping.
LAC never built any Tristars with main deck cargo door while MDC made many pure freighter and Combi DC-10 models. There were even more DC-10 after-market conversions while the Tristar had very few. UPS had studied L-1011 freight conversions but decided against them. There were (I think) only seven civil freight conversions, one -1 and six -200 models.
The rear spar suffered failures. In my office at one time, I had a large piece of dural plate that had cracked right across, a piece of rear spar web removed from N311EA. It was not the only one. Post 2000, the FAA came up with additional requirements for structural mods to the wings which also must have pushed the aircraft out of service.
The L-1011 certainly had a more advance flight control system and pilots uniformly loved its handling qualities. The AFCS was ahead of its time.
However, the comparison of sales figures tells a story. So does the comparison of after-market freight conversions. Telling too is the disappearance of the aircraft from service. May 411A forgive me.

Last edited by tonytales; 22nd Jul 2017 at 23:44.
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Old 19th Jul 2017, 16:45   #8 (permalink)
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"Starting the 22B in cold weather resulted in fogging out the ramp in unburned kero smoke."

I can remember one starting up at LHR one cold night ....

The pilot standing next to observed "didn't know Rolls built diesels....."
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Old 20th Jul 2017, 00:28   #9 (permalink)
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Actually RR did make diesels, but these were for the early DMU trains, and they smoked quite a bit.

I also remember the early RB211s with the smokey starts and the buzz during light off and acceleration to idle.
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Old 20th Jul 2017, 04:53   #10 (permalink)
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The RB-211-22B had a overly simple fuel nozzle that used the same nozzle ports for starting as for takeoff unlike other engines with duplex nozzles. At starting flow it basically dribbled. Coupled with the fluidic amplifier of the fuel control and a starting regulator it was very, very marginal. The complaints from the northern region of Eastern about hard starting in winter were ignored by the engineering folk sitting under a palm tree in Miami. Rolls told them that Air Canada was having little trouble but omitted mentioning they were using JP-4 fuel which is wide cut kerosene/gasoline.
The droning noise during startup was an infallible indicator that the start was going well. If you heard a "pssst" and the droning stopped, reach for the HP cock and abort the start for the rpm's going down and the temp is going up.
I was called to LGA one day for a #1 that would not start. It was borescoped, FFR and start regulator replaced, inlet guide vanes checked and still no start. The engine would do what I mentioned above. I noticed the HP pneumatic bleed light flickered at the "pssst". In desperation I had the LGA mechs mechanically lock it out. Engine started. Onto the gate, fuel it, load it and it started fine and off it went to FTL. Was to ferry to MIA then but the engine wouldn't start. They played with it, ferried it to MIA and finally removed the engine. It was put in a test cell. They could not start it. Final determination that the IP and HP compressor were incompatible and should never be put together again.
All is forgiven with the later -524 and most especially the -535E4 models. Sort of like comparing the Wright R3350BA (B-29/L-049) to the BD (L-749) model if you are old enough to remember them.
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Old 20th Jul 2017, 06:55   #11 (permalink)
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There was criticism at Lockheed in the early days about the "British" standards of the engine. However ...

The various flight management systems described above, and particularly the autopilot and its autoland capability, were principally concepts by design engineers from the Trident at Hawker Siddeley, who had lost their jobs when development of the Trident, and its pioneering autoland, was run down on completion of the design work, just at the time when Lockheed and its main subcontractors were staffing up for the Tristar. Much was made at the time of the "brain drain" in the UK, which included a number of these key players from the Trident autoland project, who Hawker Siddeley had decided were now no longer needed, and who left Hatfield for the bright (?) lights of Burbank.

The L-1011 on approach partially deployed its flight spoilers.
Is this what Embraer did 40 years later to adapt the E190 for the steep approach into London City ?
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Old 20th Jul 2017, 11:11   #12 (permalink)
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The purpose of the TriStar DLC was not to steepen the approach path but to provide a pitch stable final approach by modulating the position of the inner spoiler sections. If the pitch demand exceeded DLC authority then the aircraft would pitch accordingly by stabiliser movement.

I believe the steep approach mode of the E190 simply deploys the spoilers to increase the descent rate, but an Embraer qualified pilot should be able to confirm.
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Old 20th Jul 2017, 19:35   #13 (permalink)
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The use of DLC which resulted in a stable pitch angle also served to prevent tail strikes on landing. One Captain for unknown reasons disliked this feature and routinely cancelled it. The aircraft then behaved like all the others requiring pitch changes to control the descent. He managed to pull off a tail strike that wore away some aft section skin and got into the rear pressure bulkhead. An expensive repair.
A lot of credit for the excellent handling of the L-1011 must be given to the flying horizontal stabilizer. It was interesting to compare the size of the horizontals on the L-1011 versus the DC-10. The MDC stabilizer was an order of magnitude bigger. I also have wondered if some of the MD-11 landing problems wouldn't have been alleviated if they had adopted the L-1011 "flying tail" and the DLC?
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Old 20th Jul 2017, 22:57   #14 (permalink)
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Always wanted to meet someone, or meet someone who knew someone who had heard of someone who ever got a good landing on a Tristar .....

Miss the old machine !
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Old 21st Jul 2017, 09:53   #15 (permalink)
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I used to like to listen to the growl of the RB211 when it would start up. A deep throated sound that reverberated across the ramp. One time I saw two of them pushback and start at the same time beside each other. The sound waves interfering with each other made an interesting wah-wah-wah kind of noise increasing in frequency for several seconds which sounded very cool.
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Old 21st Jul 2017, 21:02   #16 (permalink)
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I used to like to listen to the growl of the RB211 when it would start up....
As did thousands of Servicemen at RAF Mount Pleasant on their way home!

But why did the TriStar always turn south from the westerly runway on departure? VC10K crews just checked the army range activity and if they were 'cold', climbed with full power at best angle and then turned north.

We though that the TriStar had better climb performance than we had?
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Old 21st Jul 2017, 21:04   #17 (permalink)
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Tony Tales , thanks for your historical notes . Much appreciated , and explained things the 5 month conversion course did not .
Tristar came to us in '74 , 320 peeps to Paris , 300 to Tel Aviv . I'd only left school 3 years B4 , and our skool only had 310 pupils ! Local cinema much less ...
25 years later seniority gave me a Tristar tour . 25 year old Dash 1s , were '' thrust bumped '' to Dash 100s ; apart from one remaining Dash 1 [ rolled off the runway down the slope and into the bundu at Leeds ] .
Now 393 peeps [ + babes in arms ] + a 1 tonne spares pack ... fly for 6 hrs , quick gas 'n go , fly another 6 hours to a beach a long way from Blighty . Really great wing and yes the a/p had Trident touchs ; 'tho a/land in max x-wind magic . Brill , to at last be looked after by Flight Engineers .
Maarstrict ATC centre , knew we could go fast ....But [ once above FL250 ] not up ; VS100fpm ! We explained pax interested in fast flight and no interest in altitude .
GBS , thought you might be able to introduce me .......
'' to meet someone, or meet someone who knew someone who had heard of someone who ever got a good landing on a Tristar ..... '' .
Had never planned a flight with 1/2 an engine down B4 take off . Never since either !
Cannot remember the name 'tho '' EPR shortfall procedure '' ..Maybe .
DLC spoiled me for the '' If it's not Boeing , I'm not going course '' . 75/76 sim ; 1st few approaches ...
Training file said '' Uses Pitch and Putt , Not power and attitude ... Ex L1011 '' And I'm not a golfer .

Thanks all for the memories .

rgds condor .
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Old 21st Jul 2017, 21:14   #18 (permalink)
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Beags , hope previous explains Yellow Dog Airways climbs .
Trooping flights out of Yugo were also interesting ; bit like Highland Division .
But with Sunshine and Kilts .

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Old 21st Jul 2017, 21:23   #19 (permalink)
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As indicated earleir I loved the tristar /1011 as pax and flew on it many many times.
Much comes back from those years as well as the rock steady approach and also ultra smooth cruise immeasurably better than the T7 which wallows around the sky engines forever hunting up and down to keep the speeds .

Cold winter days at LHR on my way back to Bermuda'sunshine , the 'smoke pouring out from the big (by the standards of the day ) fans

the strange low frequency noise on start up , my then Gf later wife who lived in Cranford and heard but didnt complain about late night or early morning 211 engine runs at the BA base, she called them crying elephants which i thought was quite poetic

And finally the smoothest of smooth long curved approach to a very short final at Bermuda on a Dl 1011 flown by the FO , a grizzled old FO who stood by the exit door while they juggled with the steps in the style of DL in the 80s who I congratulated on such a nice graceful piece of flying. I asked if he was ex Navy which he answered how did I know and I answered him with hand gesture simulating a carrier landing approach which brought a big smile and said how much he loved the 1011 for its handling and places like BDA where a hand flown approach was the norm and he recall his carrier days.

Much as I like the 380, and love the 744 and 757 the Tristar will always be my favourite airliner, it carried me and my family many many thousands of miles on several different airlines and thanks for this thread to remind us they are not quite extinct
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Old 21st Jul 2017, 23:33   #20 (permalink)
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L-1011 produced a love-hate relationship among those working it. In 1972, the first year in service, EAL started Tristar (Whisperliner) service to BDA Because the aircraft at that time was a flying "glitch" I, or one of my tech supervisors had to fly on the single round trip each day. So for four summer months I sat on the best cockpit jump seat in the world every day making a round trip to BDA from JFK. The view was superb, huge side window right next to me and I had perfect vision forward over the Captains shoulder.
No sightseeing time in BDA though, I had to sort out problems aiding our Bermuda mechanics and am proud to say never took a delay or cancellation in coming back. Next summer, because we were operating three flights a day I had to suffer and stay down there for three weeks. I grudgingly split the rest of the summer's duty with my tech team.
The first L-1011 EAL disposed of was MSN 1012 (N311EA) which was notorious for its wiring problems. It was the last of the hand wired ones where they laid the wire looms in the aircraft and then tried to find the right place to put each indivi9dual wire. On the DITMICO test they found several thousand faults, corrected them but didn't repeat the test. We were still finding wiring glitches years later.
The aircraft was sold to a group for conversion to a freighter. A Miami repair station started the conversion, stripped the interior, removed all the pax window frams, scabbed over them and then abandoned the job. By then I was Director of Contract Maintenance in Miami and we towed the stripped hulk over to our hangar. We tied the structure back together, prepped it for ferry and it went off to PEMCO in Dothan Alabama.
It was converted and languished for a while for, being a early -1 model it had limited lifting capacity. It was finally leased to Tradewinds of Greensboro, North Carolina and operated happily for many years. It had been stripped of all its passenger goodies, one air conditioning pack was removed and itd didn't do autolands so no need to do Gold Wire checks. Strangely, I became the DQC there.
It was cheap to operate. We didn't overhaul engines. We bought stored, out of service L-1011's, stripped the engines which still had a few hundred cycles and hours of service left and used them. Scrapped the aircraft of course. Tradewinds operated some ex-Gulf Air -200's for a while but the pax charter market was too tough.
That is where I learned to like the RB-211-524. Eventually, some expensive AD's caught up with the Tristar and we went to A300's. N-311EA went to Asia.
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