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Lockheed L-1011 Tristar twin derivatives

Skybolt

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Well it all started with model 1600 in 1973. Deleting an engine wasn't a bad idea, you lower the operation costs by a third (actually less, let's say 20 per cent). MDD did that very same design studies more than once with DC-10 derivatives. The raison d'etre of the threes was actually to permit for the basic twin design dictated by the American Airlines requirement for a wide-body domestic airplane (in 1966) to operate from high and hot, like Denver, or short and encased airports, like NY La Guardia. In Europe the third engine was actually redundant by the late '60s. The 1600 was originally proposed by Lockheed to Air Canada (cold weather and large plains) And the Dash-600 projects were more than simply L-1011-200 minus the third engine. The wing was very different, for example. Morever, Lockheed in 1977 was trying to build a family of liners from the L-1011: they envisaged a -300, a -400, a -500 in addition to the -600. Only the -500, long range, was actually built. Not lazy, but low in orders and investment money, IMHO.
For some more info http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1977/1977%20-%203002.html
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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I would have thought they would have figured out a better way to design the tailcone than that.

KJ Lesnick
 

alertken

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P/R: (L1011) was doomed...because of its RB-211 engines and its delayed development. No, P/R: in the same timeframe, 1970/71, as UKGovt was bailing out RR's cost/time incompetence "in the National Interest", so USG was doing the same on C-5 cost/time screwup. Lockheed faced bankruptcy too. If L1011 had been designed around JT9D it would have died with Pratt's emphasis on 747 get well, 1970/71; GE, novice civilian, could not have done TF39 +CF6/DC-10, plus CF6/A300B2, plus CF6/L1011. No RB211, no L1011.

Just when Lockheed announced suspension of production (1981, with an Intent/Options backlog greater than, say, total VC10 sales - Air India/Qantas about to sign up) I asked the designer why he had sold fewer than DC-10, which was in every engineering sense inferior. He cited the poorer economics of his heavier structure: e.g double belly skin. Overflow from galleys/lavs collects in bilge, causing corrosion. One skin/no bilge in 10. Lower empty weight was the stated reason for K-10 winning over K-11. He had an axe to grind, but was implying that it was all the fault of us Brits. After Wilson's cancellations, early-65 (TSR-2/HS1154/681) a herd of nomads became hourly-contract Agency staff in Burbank, and footled a standard Brit brick dunny.

Lockheed's share price rose when they announced programme phase-out. MDC merrily went into MD11...and expired. In retrospect...that ordering orgy, when Eastern/TWA launched L1011 and American/United launched DC-10, split the market and ensured both failed commercially. Nothing to do with Airbus - and I was unaware of any such assertion. A300-600R was sold to AA in 1985 after L1011 phase-out. PanAm/EA bought both types.
 

TinWing

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alertken said:
Lockheed's share price rose when they announced programme phase-out. MDC merrily went into MD11...and expired. In retrospect...that ordering orgy, when Eastern/TWA launched L1011 and American/United launched DC-10, split the market and ensured both failed commercially. Nothing to do with Airbus - and I was unaware of any such assertion. A300-600R was sold to AA in 1985 after L1011 phase-out. PanAm/EA bought both types.

The MD11 has less to do with MD's merger with Boeing than the final failure of the MD-NG bid for the JSF. The former McDonnell defense arm generated the profits at MD, and St. Louis mismanaged and underfunded Long Beach, failing to generate a truly successful DC-9 successor before the entry of second generation 737 and the heavily subsidized A320. Single aisle airliners are the heart of the business, generating the volumes and cash flows for higher margin widebody projects. The slow death of MD's commercial division stems from the failure to shift away from the JT8D in a timely manner, then two desperately bad engine selections for the MD-90 and MD-95. The MD-12 wasn't launched because MD made a very honest and accurate estimations of the market and development costs, not overselling the type as Airbus did with the very similar A380.

After the long hiatus between the unsuccessful Electra turboprop and the L-1011, Lockheed faced an uphill battle in re-entering the commercial market. In hindsight, Lockheed invested far too much in Burbank, overengineered the L-1011 itself and ultimately failed to appreciate the risks in single sourcing a technologically advanced turbofan from a troubled foreign supplier that was itself re-entering the mainstream of the commercial market. Rolls Royce killed the L-1011, but the project was sick from the very start.

Of course, the tale of the DC-10 and the L-1011 only underlines just how strong American anti-trust laws were during the 1970s. It is ironic that airlines were legally obliged to engage and price fixing and other forms of anti-consumer collusion by the regulations of the era, but the airlines were protected from similar anti-competitive practices by the airliner manufacturers. Considering the overall size of the market for widebody tri-jets, there was only room for a single competitor, but the formation of a monopoly, even in this emerging, relatively unimportant widebody tri-jet market segment would have been difficult, if not impossible due to anti-trust concerns. A monopolist, taxpayer subsidized commercial aviation sector remains unthinkable in the United States even today, although a monopolist, private sector approach has been tolerated since 1997.

The current WTO complaint apparently dates from no earlier than 2004, although it must be admitted that previous U.S. administrations were woefully slow to respond to patently unfair subsidies of Airbus. I honestly don't know if any statute of limitations applies to WTO claims, or precisely how it is claimed that unfair trade practices on the part of Airbus supposedly drove both Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas from the commercial airliner market.
 

taildragger

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The EC's complaint regarding decades of DoD subsidies to Boeing (in the form of defense procurement and R&D contracts) has always struck me as a little rich. Throughout the Cold War, the bulk of US Defense spending was oriented towards the defense of Western Europe. The EC, which now calls it an unfair subsidy, was the beneficiary of this spending.
I wonder if an anti-trust action can be taken with regards to the Berlin airlift? Certainly hauling all that material in by air at below market fares must have distorted the marketplace and damaged someone's interests.
 

alertken

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TD: you are right and I had not focussed on your point. We Euros also forget the corporate memory and tools-tangible benefit of MSP-renewal of plants which serve Airbus. This WTO Case serves none but lawyers. EU/US agreed in 1992’s Large Transport Aircraft Financing Undertaking to stop grants. Let it rest there. Go back far enough and Boeing's bankruptcy was staved off by £ for Fortress I and Francs, through Douglas, for DB-7.
 

Triton

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Triton

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Model of Lockheed L-1011-600 or Dash 600.

Source:
http://www.art-aviation.com/VENDRE/Vendre_HTLM/L1011-600proto-desk-model.htm
 

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Caravellarella

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That's a blast from the past. I used to manage the factory where those little 1/200 Lockheed BiStar models were manufactured. I remember putting boxes of them thriugh the band-saw to clear space on the storage mezzanine about 9 years ago!

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

Triton

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Caravellarella said:
That's a blast from the past. I used to manage the factory where those little 1/200 Lockheed BiStar models were manufactured. I remember putting boxes of them thriugh the band-saw to clear space on the storage mezzanine about 9 years ago!

Terry (Caravellarella)

Shame to hear that they were destroyed.
 

Caravellarella

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I know; I had to order the destruction lots of things. Sometime the models/patterns/masters/moulds were the proprietary property of the aircraft/weapons system manufacturer and were to be disposed of for valid reasons. More often than not here just wasn't room; there's no point storing dozens on Lockheed BiStar models from 1978 in a factory that is bursting at the seams in 2000......

a 1/8 scale Eurofighter model is far more valid than a 1/200 BiStar......

We put models through the bandsaws to stop kids/people rummaging round in our bins for model aircraft......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

Stargazer2006

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Gosh! I can't blame them. Your bins seem to be just the kind I'd love to go rummaging through myself if given a chance!!!
 

Triton

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Yeah, I would probably be diving in the bins too looking for models. :) I understand though why they needed to be destroyed and why they couldn't be sold or given away.
 

Caravellarella

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Dear Triton and Stargazer, sadly the models were that, models and not toys. Although safe once finished, the materials used in the fabrication were hazardous, toxic and probably even carcinogenic. Some models contained sharp metal flanges too; all way too dangerous for kids......

The materials were used were scary, in fact modelmakers who had worked there long term behaved like they were afflicted with a form of Tourette's Syndrome. I'd end up high as a kite after ½ an hour spraying cellulose paint in the spray booth......

I once glued my hand (by accident) to a 1/36 scale Boeing 747 fuselage when I spilt a bottle of cyanoacrylate (superglue)......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

Stargazer2006

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:eek: Doesn't sound so much fun, all of a sudden... :-[

Thanks for sharing these odd memories!
 

Stargazer2006

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Although only the Dash 600 was a twin derivative, I thought this was the best place to also feature the rest of the projected L-1011 family. This article is from FLIGHT International, but I don't have the exact date on my clipping (though I guess it can easily be found through the online FLIGHT resource).
 

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