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Posted: 5/24/2008 7:10:49 AM EST
why did they have such a short service life in passenger airline fleets?
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 7:19:16 AM EST
They weren't produced in the largest numbers ever, for one, but were reliable enough that they were constantly in the air, making money and building time and cycles on their airframes.

Some are still in freight service, but I think they're all but gone from regular passenger service.


CJ

Link Posted: 5/24/2008 7:23:30 AM EST
I always thought the low manufacturing numbers was due to poor timing in the market and a so-so safety record.
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 9:41:29 AM EST
They were produced in relatively low numbers because they were essentially the same airplane competing with each other for the same market. Douglas designed their airplane to accomodate both the GE and Pratt engine, while the L1011 was designed around the RB211 and wouldn't accept any other engine without major redesign. When RB ran into severe technical issues and delays with composite fan blades, they lost prospective customers to Douglas. There's a book out called "The Sporty Game" or something like that which describes the competition between the two airplanes--published at least 20 years ago.

From the airline folks I've delt with over the years, I believe that the L1011 was considered a superior airplane once they got their stuff together, but by then the market had been lost to Douglas. The DC-10 had some serious design issues which resulted in some airplanes being lost. Don't think the L1011 had issues that had the same tragic problems.
Link Posted: 5/24/2008 10:56:57 AM EST
The L-10 was/is superior to the DC-10 in all ways.

The problem with the L-10 was that it was designed and built by Lockheed. Lockheed had such a history of making planes for the military that the same line of thinking carried over to the civilian L-1011.

There were too many redundencies.

There were 13 different hydraulic pumps, engine driven, electric, bleed air, and even ram air.

3 different ways to drop the gear.

About 87 billion fuses per hydraulic system, and there were 4 different hydraulic systems.

All that added weight, which cut payload and range.

But man oh man, what a machine. Truly a gentleman's airplane.

Link Posted: 5/24/2008 5:20:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By Pickle:
The L-10 was/is superior to the DC-10 in all ways.

The problem with the L-10 was that it was designed and built by Lockheed. Lockheed had such a history of making planes for the military that the same line of thinking carried over to the civilian L-1011.

There were too many redundencies.

There were 13 different hydraulic pumps, engine driven, electric, bleed air, and even ram air.

3 different ways to drop the gear.

About 87 billion fuses per hydraulic system, and there were 4 different hydraulic systems.

All that added weight, which cut payload and range.

But man oh man, what a machine. Truly a gentleman's airplane.



My father loved the 727 like a son, but the L1011 like a wife.

The biggest problem that both the L10 and the DC10 was the 767 and the advent of ETOPS.

Two engines and two pilots are always cheaper that 3 and 3.
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 3:56:29 AM EST
The L-1011? Take the NASA moon program,and turn it into an airliner,that's how I describe the 1011.

A non-rever's delight,you knew there'd be a seat for you on the big bird,it's replacements couldn't carry near as much pax.

McD,at the start of the DC-10 program,offered 3 models,the -10/-30/and for those Pratt lovers,the -40. The -30 and -40 were intercontinental versions,whereas the -1011 was offered,initially,in only one domestic model.

Sad to see movies like SWAT,seeing all those Delta 1011s out there at Mojave,slowly being reduced to scrap.
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 6:23:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/25/2008 6:25:54 AM EST by DeltaAir423]
Nothing like that RB growl on startup, and cruise was I think 7.5 deg nose up for level flight. Really made for some interesting looks between passengers that never flew on one before.


Mtc taxi convos on L-1011's usually ran something like this.

Turn two
N3, N1, and oil pressure up
fuel on
ITT coming up
enrich, enrich, enrich!
Number two started, and skeeters are gone!
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 10:27:11 AM EST
I liked taking the L-10 into some far flun foreign place that had never seen an L-10 before.

Then when we started the first engine, the tower would start screaming "AMTRAN AMTRAN YOU ARE ON FIRE YOU ARE ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!"

We would just laugh and laugh........

Love that smokescreen.
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 10:33:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:
and cruise was I think 7.5 deg nose up for level flight.



As I recall, it wasn't that high in cruise. The flight attendants would have flipped about having do drag the carts uphill that much.
But when you were at (or within like 10 or so kts of) your min. man. for whatever flaps you had out, that did result in some high deck angles, you had to put some flaps out so you could see what was ahead of you.

The best thing about the L-10?? The DLC. That is where the 7-8 degrees ANU number seems more correct (again, IIRC, it has been over 7 years and 3 airplanes since I flew the L-10).

In a nutshell, the DLC used spoilers initially before the elevators to adjust high or low conditions on an approach, the nose stayed right where it was, the speed stayed right where it was, only the descent rate changed.

Link Posted: 5/25/2008 4:27:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Pickle:

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:
and cruise was I think 7.5 deg nose up for level flight.



As I recall, it wasn't that high in cruise. The flight attendants would have flipped about having do drag the carts uphill that much.
But when you were at (or within like 10 or so kts of) your min. man. for whatever flaps you had out, that did result in some high deck angles, you had to put some flaps out so you could see what was ahead of you.

The best thing about the L-10?? The DLC. That is where the 7-8 degrees ANU number seems more correct (again, IIRC, it has been over 7 years and 3 airplanes since I flew the L-10).

In a nutshell, the DLC used spoilers initially before the elevators to adjust high or low conditions on an approach, the nose stayed right where it was, the speed stayed right where it was, only the descent rate changed.



Even in cruise it was a pretty significant nose up attitude, enough that I noticed it walking from the lavs in the back up to my seat.

Speaking of lavs, I remember working with a guy up in IND as a contractor at ATA. He couldn't get the lights cards to test right, and got pissed. He went to kick the nearest thing to him, and that ended up being the forward lav tank. Blue juice running everywhere in the E&E.
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 7:13:52 PM EST
I wouldn't say it had a short service life. I used to watch L10s spool up at STL in '97 Holy Crap, what a smoke cloud. It was Al Gore's worst nightmare. It looked exactly like a Platoon of M1 Tanks with the Smoke Generators on, and that is exactly what it was: Hundreds of pounds of unburned Jet A being turned to vapor. The New Hire F/O's always wanted to call the Crash Fire Rescue guys for an aircraft fire.

Like the 747's, and the Concord, they were remarkable feats of engineering, but were money losing machines for most of their service life.
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 8:03:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By BillofRights:
I wouldn't say it had a short service life. I used to watch L10s spool up at STL in '97 Holy Crap, what a smoke cloud. It was Al Gore's worst nightmare. It looked exactly like a Platoon of M1 Tanks with the Smoke Generators on, and that is exactly what it was: Hundreds of pounds of unburned Jet A being turned to vapor. The New Hire F/O's always wanted to call the Crash Fire Rescue guys for an aircraft fire.

Like the 747's, and the Concord, they were remarkable feats of engineering, but were money losing machines for most of their service life.



I wouldn't quite call the 747 a money losing machine. The 747 still is the best heavy lifter out there in constant service. Granted more and more of it's work is moving towards cargo. If you ever get a chance to see a 747 pull into a cargo ramp, and completely offload, you'll see that there is quite a bit of money there.
Link Posted: 5/26/2008 3:42:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:

Originally Posted By BillofRights:
I wouldn't say it had a short service life. I used to watch L10s spool up at STL in '97 Holy Crap, what a smoke cloud. It was Al Gore's worst nightmare. It looked exactly like a Platoon of M1 Tanks with the Smoke Generators on, and that is exactly what it was: Hundreds of pounds of unburned Jet A being turned to vapor. The New Hire F/O's always wanted to call the Crash Fire Rescue guys for an aircraft fire.

Like the 747's, and the Concord, they were remarkable feats of engineering, but were money losing machines for most of their service life.



I wouldn't quite call the 747 a money losing machine. The 747 still is the best heavy lifter out there in constant service. Granted more and more of it's work is moving towards cargo. If you ever get a chance to see a 747 pull into a cargo ramp, and completely offload, you'll see that there is quite a bit of money there.
747s didn't do very well on domestic routes,Delta never did make much $$$ on them.L-1011,and DC-10 were much more "right sized" for DL's routes. Funny,if DL/NW goes through,Delta will again have 74's,wonder if the DC-9s will show up too.Now that would be funny!
Link Posted: 5/26/2008 4:10:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By MattyMattel:wonder if the DC-9s will show up too.Now that would be funny!


Probably will.

They're paid for, and they carry more people than a 50 seat RJ.
Link Posted: 5/26/2008 6:07:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/26/2008 6:10:57 AM EST by DeltaAir423]

Originally Posted By MattyMattel:
747s didn't do very well on domestic routes,Delta never did make much $$$ on them.L-1011,and DC-10 were much more "right sized" for DL's routes. Funny,if DL/NW goes through,Delta will again have 74's,wonder if the DC-9s will show up too.Now that would be funny!




There's the key. Delta was using 747's on short domestic routes, just as they were using the 777 on the ATL-MCO run. You have to run your equipment on routes that they were designed for. The 747-100 was an intracontinental aircraft, to later become an intercontinenctal after fuel tank mods. How was Delta running the 747? ATL-DFW-LAX The 747-100 would have been much better utilized in the ATL-SFO-HNL, ATL-LAX-HNL, and ATL-HNL routes. Now the -200 and on up? All international baby!


ETA: As far as the rumors surrounding the fleet are going, the DC-9-10's, and -30's will be sent to the desert. The -40's and -50's will stay. All the 757's will stay, all the Airbuses will stay, and all the 747's will stay and be converted over to full time cargo service.
Link Posted: 5/26/2008 9:56:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:

Originally Posted By MattyMattel:
747s didn't do very well on domestic routes,Delta never did make much $$$ on them.L-1011,and DC-10 were much more "right sized" for DL's routes. Funny,if DL/NW goes through,Delta will again have 74's,wonder if the DC-9s will show up too.Now that would be funny!




There's the key. Delta was using 747's on short domestic routes, just as they were using the 777 on the ATL-MCO run. You have to run your equipment on routes that they were designed for. The 747-100 was an intracontinental aircraft, to later become an intercontinenctal after fuel tank mods. How was Delta running the 747? ATL-DFW-LAX The 747-100 would have been much better utilized in the ATL-SFO-HNL, ATL-LAX-HNL, and ATL-HNL routes. Now the -200 and on up? All international baby!


ETA: As far as the rumors surrounding the fleet are going, the DC-9-10's, and -30's will be sent to the desert. The -40's and -50's will stay. All the 757's will stay, all the Airbuses will stay, and all the 747's will stay and be converted over to full time cargo service.
Delta did fly one international route,an interchange with Pan Am. DL 747 would go ATL/IAD/then on to Heathrow. The Pan Am would do the same,sometimes even used in Delta's system.Delta didn't go to HNL at the time.

Didn't even think about air cargo! Damn,Delta's getting back into an air cargo dedicated fleet.

Link Posted: 5/27/2008 7:56:46 AM EST
IIRC, the UK Royal Air Force is still flying L-1011s out of Brize-Norton.
Link Posted: 5/27/2008 8:01:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/27/2008 8:02:24 PM EST by Armed_Scientist]
There is at least one L-1011 still flying regular commercial service in the US


Orbital's modified L-1011 'Stargazer'
Link Posted: 5/28/2008 2:04:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
There is at least one L-1011 still flying regular commercial service in the US
lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/mission/SORCE_Launch_Photos_files/sorce_launch_2_logos.jpg

Orbital's modified L-1011 'Stargazer'


That's a Pegasus booster, isn't it?
Link Posted: 5/28/2008 2:22:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Brohawk:

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
There is at least one L-1011 still flying regular commercial service in the US
lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/mission/SORCE_Launch_Photos_files/sorce_launch_2_logos.jpg

Orbital's modified L-1011 'Stargazer'


That's a Pegasus booster, isn't it?


Yep, the first launch vehicle developed entirely by a private corporation.

An interesting bit of trivia is that the Pegasus launcher was developed specifically to launch the SDI's Brilliant Pebbles and Brilliant Eyes. Had deployment gone ahead with those programs the Pegasus would have offered the lowest cost to orbit of any launcher, it was designed for high flight rates and short turn aruond times.

Unfortunetly without SDI the market for sub 4,000lbs LEO sats isn't that big.
Link Posted: 5/29/2008 2:23:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/29/2008 2:24:56 PM EST by GLHX2112]
I had the chance to climb into that one a couple times at Vandenberg AFB, and I saw at least three launches. She's called "Stargazer"....

If I remember correctly, if you take a Pegasus upper stage, mounted on a Peacekeeper first stage, then you end up with a Taurus. Saw a few of those launch also.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 1:37:02 PM EST
The L1011 was ahead of it's time. My gramps was the main man for inspections at MCI's TW O/H base and he thought they were technologically amazing. The guys who actually turned the wrenches thought otherwise.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 2:50:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
There is at least one L-1011 still flying regular commercial service in the US
lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/mission/SORCE_Launch_Photos_files/sorce_launch_2_logos.jpg

Orbital's modified L-1011 'Stargazer'



Does that fin on the rocket fold down or is their enough ground clearance when the plane is on the ground?
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:27:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By Frank_The_Tank:

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
There is at least one L-1011 still flying regular commercial service in the US
lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/mission/SORCE_Launch_Photos_files/sorce_launch_2_logos.jpg

Orbital's modified L-1011 'Stargazer'



Does that fin on the rocket fold down or is their enough ground clearance when the plane is on the ground?



I have never seen it in person, however from looking at the pictures, I'd say that the aircraft has enough ground clearance. I doubt that those fins would even extend past the bottoms of the wing engines.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 6:30:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By MattyMattel:



I wouldn't quite call the 747 a money losing machine. The 747 still is the best heavy lifter out there in constant service. Granted more and more of it's work is moving towards cargo. If you ever get a chance to see a 747 pull into a cargo ramp, and completely offload, you'll see that there is quite a bit of money there.
747s didn't do very well on domestic routes,Delta never did make much $$$ on them.L-1011,and DC-10 were much more "right sized" for DL's routes. Funny,if DL/NW goes through,Delta will again have 74's,wonder if the DC-9s will show up too.Now that would be funny!

Reminds me of America West using the 747 to fly from Phoenix to Las Vegas, then off to HI. It makes me wonder who plans some of the flight routes and their lack of common sense in determining the right plane for the right job.
Link Posted: 6/7/2008 2:46:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By SuperSixOne:
The L1011 was ahead of it's time. My gramps was the main man for inspections at MCI's TW O/H base and he thought they were technologically amazing. The guys who actually turned the wrenches thought otherwise.


The L-10 was the first plane certified for autoland.

It was also designed to be taken off with the auto-pilot. The Feds never agreed to that though, but as any old TWA guys will tell you, TWA was certified to take off the L-10 in a sub mode of the auto-pilot called "Control Wheel Steering", or CWS.

Basically it just held the controls where you left them. You could overpower it with normal control inputs, and then when you let go it would hold that, until you moved them again. All it held was control position.

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