The old man used to work ramp, said the L1011 was the best because back in the 80s when AC did their own commissary, if the flight cancelled, the station attendants took the first class meals home. Said L1011 stood for "late ten out of eleven times". He also said it was, from a ramp side of things, a sweet airplane. Countless pages on the internet say it was a dream to fly, a real pilots plane aside from the engine issues. Discuss...
AC had two versions; the -100 and the -500; they were really two separate aircraft.
Both had the original "Dark Cockpit" design; when all the switchlights controlling the systems were in the right position, the lights were all out. A quick glance confirmed normalcy. Both had "Direct Lift Control" using the spoilers to adjust rate of descent on the glideslope with less pitch changes.
The -500 had load relief; long before Airbus claimed to have invented it.
The -500 had the first FMS I encountered; 400 stored routes; very simple to use. Having said that, some of the more senior types found it a very challenging change from early INS's. The best strategy in those cases was to load the FMS while the commander was getting settled, then pick up the SOP at the cross-check.
The -100 with the original -22B engines had issues at the beginning, but became reliable. (I never had an engine issue in three years) You had to follow the rules when starting; if you did, there were no problems; if you didn't, you could cook an engine. One necessity was to motor the engine till the EGT fell below 200 degrees prior to introducing fuel. Some crews apparently didn't believe this, causing their own delays or cancellations.
One problem was that AC did not order the spares that Lockheed said were necessary to introduce the new type. The result was, that Maintenance frequently couldn't solve simple snags because they didn't have the parts.
Many maintenance types didn't really understand the aircraft; it was completely different than anything in the fleet. I once watched a bunch of mechanics standing around, not being able to figure out how to close a main gear door, because they hadn't had the course; AC sent too few mechanics on course.
The -500 with the -524 engine was a completely different airplane; totally digital with bags of power and much more reliable; completely different systems, although it looked the same. You could come out of Bombay with a full load on a scorching hot evening using reduced thrust. We operated that kind of long haul with no issues.
We also flew the airplane into La Guardia; a bit of a shock for those who had only flown long haul for years. 7000 feet with a seawall and salt water at the runway ends.
I was a younger F/O just off four years on the DC9; La Guardia was very normal for me when I got a La Guardia turn on reserve. The Captain was a gentleman who hadn't flown anything but Oceanic for years; he got the turn on make-up.
The approach was an Expressway Visual; one of the most fun approaches in the business; look it up; some excellent videos on YouTube.
Anyway, we came overhead the VOR, and the Captain looked straight down at the postage stamp we were going to land on. He turned to me with wide eyes, saying; "You ever been here?". I replied in the affirmative, and he said; "You Do IT!!".
About that time, ATC said; "Air Canada, you got the tanks?". I said; "Say Yes". my commander said; "What am I saying Yes to?" "Just say yes" as I rolled into the left turn; sounds of chuckling from behind my seat; the S/O was enjoying the fun.
Follow the expressway, left around Shea Stadium, wings level and touch down. (don't forget the fourteen foot seawall)
The 1011 made this sort of thing easy. the reverse was so good, that the brakes were barely needed. Taxiing at LGA was a bit critical; parts of the surface are on pilings over the water, and the 1011 had a strict speed limit to avoid destroying the place. Remember that LGA was originally a DC3 airport Where the flying boats docked after flying the Atlantic.
Lockheed had designed the -300; a stretch airplane with-500 systems and a glass cockpit. There was a cockpit picture in the AC Ground School.
In the recession of the eighties, Lockheed offered to take back all of AC's L1011's and 747's and replace them with L1011-300's; at the price AC had paid for the -500's. That was a very good deal! At that point, the -500's had much better dispatch reliability than AC's 747's. The 1011 also had a bigger belly than the 747, and made good money on belly freight alone.
At that point a very nice man was in charge at AC, and he simply didn't understand that the recession would end and AC would need better equipment. The Boeing fans in the company put their two cents in, and the deal was rejected. It was also rejected by other carriers like Delta.
Lockheed was located in California; a state which at that time levied a tax on assets like aircraft production lines; Lockheed couldn't afford to keep the line alive till times got better, so that was then end for the 1011. (They eventually moved the Orion to Georgia for the same reason)
I worked on the ramp for seven months while awaiting a place on a Flight Ops course. I got to work the 1011 on the ground as well; it was a dream to work!
My crew was one of three crews trained to work the 1011 prior to its' introduction. The first flight came into Toronto. The Union got into things and insisted that the "Senior Ramp Crew" work the airplane. The Lead couldn't figure out where to plug in the headset; we let him work with hand signals.
Then the "Senior Crew" couldn't figure out how to open the cargo doors; we let them struggle for a while, then took pity and opened the doors. We then stood back trying not to laugh as they had no idea how to operate the cargo locks and powered rollers. The passengers had to wait a bit till reality ruled and we worked the flight. The airplane could be worked faster by a smaller ramp crew than anything else in the industry.
Another postscript; KJ Davis, then VP Flight Operations was the Captain on the flight. He came down to the ramp to say hello and hang with the Ramp Rats; a true gentleman who never let his high position go to his head.
The story goes that on an early flight, some VIP came to the cockpit and was asking questions about the very advanced Lockheed Cockpit.
The VIP asked about something and KJ turned to the F/O'; "Do you know?" "No idea" was the answer. When the S/O also couldn't explain what that particular item did, KJ issued an edict; "Don't Touch It!".
A beautiful airplane which was a privilege to fly!
I remember flying YYZ-YVR in a 1011 as a young kid. In my mind that airplane was enormous. I know I had a cockpit visit too but don't remember details; I was probably 6 or 7 years old. Over the years I've been fascinated by the story of the airplane, especially the technology, and the struggles. And to be a thing of the past now generally; I think only the RAF flies them, and maybe not even them anymore. I can't believe the number of F/O's I fly with that look at me in question when the name "L1011" is mentioned. "What's that?" is the usual response... I just shake my head and stare out the window mumbling to myself... "..only the coolest passenger airplane ever built..."
Threads like this are important... not only about airplanes but the history of where they fit in with companies and how they were utilized.
I'd love to read more of these first hand accounts.
I remember reading that it was the engine issues in the beginning plus a small wing (nowhere to put extra fuel for longer range flights) was the reason L1011 could compete with DC-10 and B-747.
DC-10 was just flying parts slapped together compared to it, supposedly it was produced in a very rushed fashion to compete.
There was a post somewhere by a gentleman who flew L1011/DC-10/MD-11. He had a lot of nice things to say about L1011 as well.
https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/tech ... 011-a.html
There was a US Military competition for a tanker/transport. All three widebodies were in the game; Boeing put a flying fuel boom on the prototype 747; you can see it at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
The "Boeing" Congressman moved an amendment that only aircraft with a freighter version in production could be considered. He wanted to knock the Lockheed out; it was running number one. He figured nobody would buy a DC10.
The 747 was too big for many ramps, and had double the operating costs of either tri-jet.
Douglas got the contract for 50 KC10's, later increased to 60. That kept the 10 in production, and allowed Douglas to do the MD11. I was in the MD11 development sim at one point; a very nice cockpit.
I expect the DC10 was like most Douglas airplanes. Simple with a good structure. Those who flew it enjoyed the airplane. Douglas messed up some things, like routing all the hydraulics and electrics together; they were widely separated in the Lockheed.
United accident was because the hydraulics were routed together. The Swissair accident was partly because Douglas used Kapton insulation; it burns. Lockheed didn't use it because of their military experience.
The Swissair accident started because Swissair connected the entertainment system to an inappropriate bus in a bad way; that started the fire.
Holding to do checklists and dump fuel in a burning airplane completed the "Swiss Cheese" progression to the resulting loss of the airplane.
I see what you did there.
Years ago I read a book called the Sporty Game by John Newhouse, talked a lot about the L1011, 747, and DC-10 design and sales. Mentioned how MD would just double up on insulation in areas if the airplane was noisy during test flying, where as Lockheed would go about drilling holes in the structure to change the harmonics. Also said Lockheed moved the engines out further from the fuselage to make things quieter. Great info FADEC, much appreciated!
That too but there was mention during the design phase of the L1011 that placing the engines further away from the fuselage would also benefit cabin noise.BMLtech wrote: ↑Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:53 amI think that Douglas had to mount the DC10 wing engines well inboard due to the small vertical fin with limited rudder authority. Lockheeds' more elegant and expensive S duct design allowed for a full span rudder, which allowed the wing engines to be set much further outboard, a better option for load relief.
Did CP have the ER version? How many DC-10s did CP have at the time of the AC merger and what happened to them?BMLtech wrote: ↑Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:53 amCP used to fly some long legs with those-ER's such as YYC-HKG and YVR-FCO. I witnessed an incident in the 90's where a CP DC-10 lost an engine out of YYC on the way to either Hong Kong or Japan I forget which. At the time there were some shaky feelings after the sioux city event. I think they mobilized the whole city emergency response, but after a lengthy fuel dump it was a routine return.
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Biman-B ... AZGINVk%3D
Anyway back to the topic at hand!
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Air-Can ... RY1x/FzjVw
I always loved the look of the L1011, DC10/MD11, B727, DC9...and on the prop side of things, the ol' Hawker 748!