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Lockheed L-1011 Tristar



Lockheed L-1011 Tristar

In the 1960s, American Airlines approached Lockheed and competitor Douglas with a need for an aircraft smaller than the existing 747, but still capable of flying to distant locales such as London, the Caribbean, and Latin America from company hubs in Dallas/Ft Worth and New York. The Model L-1011 was designed to enter this category with optimum payload-range performance and short-field characteristics. The Model L-1011 is powered by three 42,000-lb. s.t. turbofan engines, two of which are mounted in pods underneath each wing, and the third is located in the rear of the fuselage at the base of the tail unit. The TriStar's engine is integrated into the tail through an S-duct for improved quietness and stability. Fuel is carried in two integral wing tanks and an inboard tank. With a full load, the TriStar can travel a maximum of 4,467 miles. Accommodations provide for 256 passengers in a mixed coach and first-class arrangement or a maximum of 400 passengers in a high density all-economy configuration.

First flown on November 16, 1970, the twin-aisle TriStar's design schedule closely followed that of its competitor, the DC-10, Douglas beat Lockheed to market by a year due to delays in powerplant development. Rolls-Royce, the maker of the TriStar's RB211 turbofan engines, had filed for bankruptcy, halting L-1011 final assembly. The first flight was powered by Rolls-Royce RB.211 high-by-pass ratio turbofan engines, from Palmdale, California.

The British government did not approve the large state subsidy used to restart Rolls-Royce operations until after the U.S. government had guaranteed the Lockheed loans previously provided to Rolls for the extensive engine contract. (The UK Goverment also took the contentious step (for a Conservative administration) of taking the aero-engine side of RR into public ownership, to maintain national defence capability). Its first revenue flight, for Eastern Air Lines, was made on 26 April 1972.

A longer-range variant of the standard-length L-1011 was developed in the late 1970s. Designated the L-1011-500, the fuselage length was shortened by 14 feet (4.3 m) to accommodate higher fuel loads.

Ironically, American Airlines never flew the "Ten Eleven," purchasing many DC-10s instead.

Lockheed manufactured a total of 250 TriStars, ceasing production in 1984. Lockheed needed to sell 500 planes to break even. Failing to achieve profitability in the civilian airliner sector, the TriStar was to be Lockheed's last commercial aircraft.

Flying all of its life on test and development work, the prototype was acquired by Aviation Sales of Ardmore in August 1986.




L-1011 Tristar
Engines: 3 x Rolls-Royce RB.211-22B turbofan, 42,000 lb / 180.5kN
Wing span: 155 ft 4 in (47.34 m).
Length: 178 ft 8 in (54.35 m).
Height: 55 ft 4 in (16.87 m).
Wing area: 312.1 sq.m / 3359.41 sq ft
Empty wt. 102000 kg / 222,941 lb
Max TO wt: 430,000 lb (195,045 kg).
Fuel capacity 23,814 USG
Max level speed: M0.9.
Cruise 474 mph.
Stall 144 mph.
Initial climb rate 2,800 fpm
Ceiling: 42,000 ft.
Range w/max.payload: 5000 km / 3107 miles
Pax cap: 345.
Takeoff run 7,590 ft
Landing roll 5,660 ft
Crew: 2-3



Lockheed L-1011 Tri Star



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