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Bader 1:144 Lockheed L-1011-100 TriStar Cathay Pacific

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Bader 1:144 Lockheed L-1011-100 TriStar Cathay Pacific

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Bader 1:144 Lockheed L-1011-100 TriStar Cathay Pacific

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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 (which merged with BOAC to form British Airways). 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.




In the 1960s, American Airlines approached Lockheed and competitor Douglas (later McDonnell Douglas) with the need for an airliner smaller than the 747 capable of carrying a large passenger load to distant locales such as London and Latin America from company hubs at Dallas/Ft Worth and New York. Lockheed had been largely absent from the civil airliner market since the late 1950s following problems with the L-188 Electra, which suffered a number of crashes early in its career.

Having experienced difficulties with some of their military programs, Lockheed was eager to re-enter the civil market, and their response was the L-1011 TriStar. The aircraft was originally conceived as a "jumbo twin", but a three-engine design was ultimately chosen to give the aircraft enough thrust to take off from existing runways.

The design featured a twin-aisle interior with a maximum of 400 passengers, a three-engine layout, low noise emissions (in the early 1970s, Eastern Air Lines nicknamed the L-1011 "WhisperLiner"), improved reliability and efficient operation. The main visible difference between the TriStar and its similar trijet competitor, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, is the middle/tail engine: the DC-10's engine is mounted above the fuselage for simplicity of design and more economical construction, while the TriStar's engine is mounted to the rear fuselage and fed through an S-duct (similar to the Boeing 727) for reduced drag, improved stability, and easier replacement. A further major difference between the L-1011 and the DC-10 was Lockheed's selection of the Rolls-Royce RB211 as the only engine for the L-1011. As originally designed, the RB211 turbofan was an advanced three-spool design with a carbon fibre fan, which would have better efficiency and power-to-weight ratio than any competing design. This would make the L-1011 more efficient, a major selling point.


American Airlines opted for the Douglas DC-10, although they showed considerable interest in the L-1011. American's intent was to convince Douglas to lower their price for the DC-10, which they did. Without the support of American, the TriStar was launched on orders from TWA and Eastern Air Lines. Although the TriStar's design schedule closely followed that of its competitor, Douglas beat Lockheed to market by a year due to delays in powerplant development.

In February 1971, after massive development costs associated with the RB211, Rolls-Royce went into receivership. This halted L-1011 final assembly and Lockheed investigated the possibility of a US engine supplier; by then it was considered too late to change engine suppliers. One option presented was potential outsource of RB-211 production to Canadian manufacturer Orenda Engines.

The British government agreed to approve a large state subsidy to restart Rolls-Royce operations on condition the U.S. government guarantee the bank loans Lockheed needed to complete the L-1011 project. Despite some opposition, not least from the then Governor of California Ronald Reagan, the U.S. government provided these guarantees. For the rest of the RB211 project, Rolls-Royce remained a government-owned company.

Into production

The TriStar's internal Lockheed model number is L-093. The prototype first flew on November 17, 1970. The crew for that flight was H. B. Dees (pilot), Ralph C. Cokely (copilot), and G.E. Fisher (development engineer). The L-1011 was certified on April 14, 1972 with the first airliner delivered to Eastern Air Lines on April 26, 1972.[19] In an effort to further publicize the new aircraft, an L-1011 was taken on a world tour during 1972 by famed Lockheed test pilot Tony LeVier.

Manufactured in Lockheed facilities in Burbank and Palmdale, California, the TriStar faced direct competition from the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, which it closely resembled. Trans World Airlines heralded the TriStar as one of the safest aircraft in the world in promotional literature in the 1980s when concern over the safety record of the DC-10, flown by rival airlines, was at its peak. Five L-1011s have been involved in fatal accidents, only one of which was due to a problem with the aircraft.

Lockheed discovered fairly early on that the TriStar suffered from higher than estimated structural weight, engine weight and specific fuel consumption. To rectify this problem and to meet performance guarantees, Lockheed developed a structural kit that allowed MTOW to be increased on production aircraft from 409,000 to 430,000 pounds (186,000 to 195,000 kg). However, the weight problems affected the weight and desirability of early production L-1011-1 aircraft, known as Group 1 (msn 1002 through to 1012).

Group 1 aircraft have on OEW of 252,700 pounds (114,600 kg), about 12,700 pounds (5,800 kg) higher than later aircraft, while Group 2 aircraft (msn 1013 through 1051) have an OEW of 247,000 pounds (112,000 kg), some 4,700 pounds (2,100 kg) lower. These aircraft, in general, also have different center of gravity envelopes with the forward center of gravity limit on the early aircraft being more restrictive at higher gross weights. Group 1 and Group 2 aircraft (msn 1002 to 1051) are upgradeable only to -50 or -150 specifications, although the Group 1 aircraft (up to msn 1012) still maintain their operating disadvantages. L-1011-1 from msn 1052 onwards are Group 3 aircraft and are fully upgradeable to all variants up to -250 specification.

Lockheed needed to sell 500 airliners to break even, but in 1981 the company announced production would end with delivery of the 250th and last L-1011 on order in 1984. A total of 250 TriStars were sold compared to 446 DC-10s, partly because of the TriStar's delayed introduction but particularly because a larger version with a longer range was not initially offered. Under state control, costs at Rolls-Royce were tightly controlled. The company's efforts largely went into the original TriStar engines, which needed considerable modifications between the L-1011's first flight and service entry. The competition, notably General Electric, were very quick to develop their CF6 engine with more thrust, which meant that a heavier "intercontinental" DC-10-30 could be more quickly brought to market. The flexibility afforded to potential customers by a long-range DC-10 put the L-1011 at a serious disadvantage. Rolls-Royce went on to develop the high-thrust RB211-524 for the L-1011-200 and -500, but this took many years. The TriStar's failure to achieve profitability caused Lockheed to withdraw from the civil aircraft business.


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.

Operational history


In an effort to secure the Japanese market, Lockheed had secretly bribed several members of the Japanese government to subsidize ANA's purchase of L-1011s; however, this caused a significant scandal when the bribes were uncovered. The discovered scale to what has become known as the Lockheed bribery scandal led to the arrest of Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka as well as several other officials. Within Lockheed, board chairman Daniel Haughton and vice chairman and president Carl Kotchian resigned their posts on February 13, 1976. Tanaka was eventually tried and found guilty of violating foreign exchange control laws, but was not charged with bribery, a more serious criminal offense. Crucially for Lockheed, the fallout from the scandal included the loss of a contract worth in excess of $1 billion.

The Soviet Union at that time lacked a widebody airliner. Development of their own Ilyushin Il-86 was delayed; consequently, in the mid-1970s, the Soviets started negotiations to buy 30 TriStars and licence-produce up to 100 a year. The talks collapsed as US President Jimmy Carter made human rights a US policy factor. The TriStar was also listed by the Coordinating Committee as embodying advanced technology banned from potential enemies, thus being a serious obstacle to the export deal.

Delta Air Lines was the type's largest customer. Delta Air Lines retired its TriStars in 2001 to replace them with the Boeing 767-400ER. Cathay Pacific eventually became the largest non-U.S. operator of the type by acquiring many of the Eastern Air Lines examples when Eastern went bankrupt, operating as many as 21 aircraft. Cathay Pacific retired its L-1011s in October 1996, and replaced the type with the Airbus A330-300. TWA withdrew its last TriStar from service in 1997.

The L-1011 has seen recent use by smaller start-up carriers, particularly in Africa and Asia. These operators mainly do their business in the ad hoc charter and wet leasing businesses. ATA Airlines (formerly known as American Trans Air) fleet included over 19 Tristars, but operations dwindled to only three L1011-500s prior to the company's shutdown in April 2008.

In the early 1990s, Orbital Sciences began to use a converted L-1011-100 named Stargazer to launch Pegasus rockets into orbit around Earth. This venture effectively rendered the small Scout rocket obsolete. This aircraft was also used in support of the X-34 and X-43 programs. NASA performed aerodynamic research on Orbital Sciences' L-1011 in 1995. As of 2014, three L-1011 in the world are airworthy, and the Stargazer is the only one in the US.


The TriStar has also been used as a military tanker and passenger/cargo aircraft. The Royal Air Force had nine aircraft of four variants. The aircraft were six ex-British Airways and three Pan Am L-1011-500s. All of the aircraft served with No. 216 Squadron, and were based at RAF Brize Norton. The Tristar was replaced in RAF service by the Airbus A330 MRTT under the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) program. 216 Squadron was officially disbanded on 20 March 2014 and flew its last sorties with the TriStar on 24 March 2014.

Additional Information

Show on Homepage Diecast
Diecast Toy Manufacturer Dragon Wings
Manufacturer No
Country China
Scale 1:144
Type Jet Aircraft
Series No
Color Multi-Colored