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Lockheed L-1011 TristarThe Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 (pronounced "ell-ten-eleven") or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner.


It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, after the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. The aircraft has a seating capacity of up to 400 persons and a range of over 4,000 nautical miles (7,410 km). Its trijet configuration places one Rolls-Royce RB211 engine under each wing, with a third, center-mounted RB211 engine connected by S-duct to an air inlet mounted at the junction of the tail and the upper fuselage. The aircraft further features autoland capability, an automated descent control system, and available lower deck galley and lounge facilities.

The L-1011 TriStar was produced in two fuselage lengths. The original L-1011-1 first flew in November 1970, and entered service with Eastern Air Lines in 1972. The shortened, long-range L-1011-500 first flew in 1978, and entered service with British Airways a year later. The original length TriStar was also produced as the high gross weight L-1011-100, uprated engine L-1011-200, and further upgraded L-1011-250. Post-production conversions for the L-1011-1 with increased takeoff weights included the L-1011-50 and L-1011-150.

Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed manufactured a total of 250 TriStars. The aircraft's sales were hampered by two years of delays due to developmental and financial problems at Rolls-Royce, the sole manufacturer of the TriStar's engines. After production ended, Lockheed withdrew from the commercial aircraft business due to its below-target sales.

The L-1011 featured a highly advanced autopilot system and was the first widebody to receive FAA certification for Cat-IIIc autolanding, which approved the TriStar for completely blind landings in zero-visibility weather performed by the aircraft's autopilot. The L-1011 used an Inertial Navigation System (INS) to navigate; this included aligning the navigation system by entering current coordinates of longitude and latitude.

It also had a unique Direct Lift Control (DLC) system, which allowed for smooth approaches when landing, without having to use significant pitch changes while on the approach path. DLC helps maintain the descending glideslope on final approach by automatically deploying spoiler panels on the wings. Thus, rather than maintaining the descent by adjusting pitch, DLC helps control the descent while maintaining a more consistent pitch angle, using four redundant hydraulic systems. Production also utilized a unique "autoclave" system for bonding fuselage panels together; this made the L-1011 extremely resistant to corrosion.

The earlier versions of the L-1011, such as the -1, -100, and -150 can be distinguished from the later models by the design of the middle engine nacelles. The earlier version nacelle has a round intake, whereas the later models have a small vertical fin between the bottom of the middle engine intake and the top of the fuselage.

The two L-1011 aircraft delivered to Pacific Southwest Airlines were configured with internal airstair doors that led into an entry hall in what was normally the forward lower baggage hold. This was to allow operations from airfields that did not have terminal buildings with jet bridges. These two aircraft were later in service with Aeroperú and Worldways Canada.

The L-1011-1 (FAA certification L-1011-385-1) was the first production model of the L-1011, designed for short and medium-range flights. This variant served as the basis for subsequent variants. This type was purchased by Air Canada, ANA, Cathay Pacific, Eastern and other operators with regional trunk routes requiring a widebody aircraft. Pacific Southwest Airlines purchased two L-1011-1 models with lower deck seating. This variant was also one of the few widebodies to have the option for a full-height built-in airstair.

The L-1011-1 was first delivered to Eastern Air Lines on April 5, 1972. A total of 160 L-1011-1 TriStars were built before production ended in 1983, although the majority of these, 119 or 75% of the total, were completed during a four year period between 1972 and 1975. Most sales of the L-1011-1 were to US operators with just three airlines, Delta, Eastern, and TWA taking delivery of 110 combined. A further two aircraft were placed with a fourth US airline, Pacific Southwest.

The L-1011-100 (FAA certification L-1011-385-1-15) was the second production model of the L-1011 and first flew in 1975 and featured a new center fuel tank and higher gross weights that increased the aircraft's range by nearly 930 miles (1,500 km). Launch orders for the L-1011-100 were placed by Saudia and Cathay Pacific, for two each, in May 1974. First deliveries took place in June 1975.  The variant was also purchased by several airlines with longer-range routes, such as TWA, Air Canada and BEA. The first two L-1011-100s (msn 1110 and 1116) were delivered new to Saudia with the same fuel capacity as the L-1011-1 (FAA certification L-1011-385-1-14), these were later upgraded to L-1011-200 specification.

The L-1011-50 was an upgraded version of the L-1011-1 with an increase in maximum takeoff weight from 430,000 pounds (195,000 kg) to either 440,000 pounds (200,000 kg) or 450,000 pounds (204,000 kg). Fuel capacity was not increased. The -50 was available only as a conversion package for the L-1011-1 and was never built new.

The L-1011-150 was a development of the L-1011-1 with maximum takeoff weight increased to 470,000 pounds (210,000 kg). It was available only as a conversion for the L-1011-1. The -150 involves the conversion of Group 1 and Group 2 L-1011-1 aircraft to an MTOW of 470,000 pounds (210,000 kg), an increase of 40,000 pounds (18,000 kg), about 10%, from the L-10110-1, giving the aircraft a slightly better range than the -50 but, without the additional center section fuel tank, less than the L-1011-100 aircraft. The first aircraft was converted by MBB at Lemwarder in Germany during the winter of 1988/89 and was subsequently handed over to Air Transat of Canada on May 11, 1989.

The L-1011-200 (FAA certification L-1011-385-1-15) was the third production model of the L-1011 and was introduced in 1976. Although otherwise similar to the -100, the -200 uses Rolls-Royce RB.211-524B engines to improve its performance in hot and high-altitude conditions. Gulf Air used -200 models to replace its earlier generation Vickers VC-10 fleet.
Other than the engines, the basic TriStar 200 is similar to the -100, with center section fuel, having the MTOW of 466,000 pounds (211,000 kg), and fuel capacity of 26,400 US gallons (100,000 l) as the -100. An increase of gross weight to 474,000 pounds (215,000 kg) is possible, with the heavier aircraft offered by Lockheed as -200Is or -200(Improved). Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) was a launch customer for the -200 series and operated a sizable fleet until 1998. A total of 24 L-1011-200 aircraft were built new, with the first delivered to Saudia on May 28, 1977. Like other TriStar improvements, a conversion program has also been offered.

The L-1011-250 was an upgrade developed for late-model L-1011-1 aircraft and all L-1011-100 and L-1011-200 aircraft. It increased maximum takeoff weight to 510,000 pounds (230,000 kg) and fuel capacity from 23,600 US gal (89,335 l) to 31,632 US gal (119,735 l). This variant also used the upgraded RB211-524B4I engine, which could be easily upgraded on the existing RB211-524B powerplants of the L-1011-200 but required a re-engining on the L-1011-1 and L-1011-100, which used the original RB211-22B. The upgrade allowed the L-1011 to match the performance of the long-range McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30. Although it was applicable to all L-1011 models, it was only used by Delta Air Lines on six late-model L-1011-1 aircraft.

The L-1011-500 (FAA certification L-1011-385-3) was the last L-1011 variant to enter production. The L-1011-500 was a longer-range variant first flight tested in 1978. Its fuselage length was shortened by 14 feet (4.3 m) to accommodate higher fuel loads. It also utilizes the more powerful engines of the -200 series. The -500 variant was popular among international operators and formed a significant portion of the L-1011 fleet of Delta and British Airways.

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