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UAL747422
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If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:42 pm

Just a thought that crossed my mind. The Boeing 757 uses the Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, which is the same that the L-1011 used. The 757 is still somewhat efficient and in use, while the L-1011 is pretty much extinct. Yes, it is 60's and 70's technology, but it could have been upgraded. The whole reason the L-1011 was a tri-jet was due to the requirement that aircraft with 2 engines could not cross the ocean back then. Lockheed wanted it to be a widebody, long range airliner. If that rule wasn't in place at the time, possibly the L-1011 (and maybe the DC-10) could have been twin-jets. Besides, the L-1011 was very futuristic, it could land itself. My main question being, if the L-1011 used only 2 RB211's, would it have been a huge sucess and possibly still be in production? I hope this makes sense.

UAL747422
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:47 pm

UAL747422 wrote:
The whole reason the L-1011 was a tri-jet was due to the requirement that aircraft with 2 engines could not cross the ocean back then.

Nope, not the whole reason.

The early RB211s had less thrust than the later ones and the L1011 was a lot heavier than the 757.

Also due to engine out restrictions (each engine in a twin needs to be able to produce all the thrust needed for takeoff in case the other one dies, whereas in a only 1/3 of the thrust needs to be replaced in an engine out situation) a twin L1011 was not feasible.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:50 pm

UAL747422 wrote:
. Lockheed wanted it to be a widebody, long range airliner. If that rule wasn't in place at the time, possibly the L-1011 (and maybe the DC-10) could have been twin-jets.

The engines were not powerful enough for a "long" range twinjet widebody at the time.

Also the L-1011 (and DC-10) were designed with three engines in part to help fulfill AA's (and others) requirements out of shorter runways (e.g., LGA).
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:28 pm

From the outset, the L-1011 and DC-10 were designed as a smaller alternative to the 747. As others have stated, weight and thrust negated the type to allow for twin engine operation.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:29 pm

The problem is, there wasn't a sufficiently powerful engine for an L-1011 sized twin-jet in the early 1970s.

I seem to recall later on the programme there was a proposal for a "Bistar" but it didn't leave the drawing board.

V/F
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:54 pm

VirginFlyer wrote:
The problem is, there wasn't a sufficiently powerful engine for an L-1011 sized twin-jet in the early 1970s.

I seem to recall later on the programme there was a proposal for a "Bistar" but it didn't leave the drawing board.

V/F


Right. In early 1977, Lockheed proposed the L1011-400 (basically an L1011-500 fuselage with derated engines and reduced weights, for domestic use) and a -600, which is the "Bistar". The -400 was a nonstarter once the 767 was announced. The -600 looked like a whale:

http://aviadejavu.ru/Images6/AI/AI77-5/4-2.jpg
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:27 pm

Also, there wasn’t ETOPS, so any thought of overwater ops was dead on arrival.
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:34 pm

VirginFlyer wrote:
I seem to recall later on the programme there was a proposal for a "Bistar" but it didn't leave the drawing board.


Well, Bistar doesn't sound as cool as Tristar, now does it? :D
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:41 pm

VirginFlyer wrote:
The problem is, there wasn't a sufficiently powerful engine for an L-1011 sized twin-jet in the early 1970s.

I seem to recall later on the programme there was a proposal for a "Bistar" but it didn't leave the drawing board.

V/F


I am curious how can that be true as the A300 came on the scene at about the same time as the DC10 and L1011 but it was range restricted.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:48 pm

klm617 wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
The problem is, there wasn't a sufficiently powerful engine for an L-1011 sized twin-jet in the early 1970s.

I seem to recall later on the programme there was a proposal for a "Bistar" but it didn't leave the drawing board.

V/F


I am curious how can that be true as the A300 came on the scene at about the same time as the DC10 and L1011 but it was range restricted.

Because as you said it was range restricted and thus significantly lighter (almost 40 t lower MTOW). No A300s, even the later -600Rs, matched the range of even the base L-1011-1.
 
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UAL747422
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:22 pm

Right. In early 1977, Lockheed proposed the L1011-400 (basically an L1011-500 fuselage with derated engines and reduced weights, for domestic use) and a -600, which is the "Bistar". The -400 was a nonstarter once the 767 was announced. The -600 looked like a whale:

http://aviadejavu.ru/Images6/AI/AI77-5/4-2.jpg


Looking at the photo, I think if the -600 was actually real, it could have had some real competition with the 762 when it came out and the A300. Looks like a 762.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:04 pm

FoxtrotSierra wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
I seem to recall later on the programme there was a proposal for a "Bistar" but it didn't leave the drawing board.


Well, Bistar doesn't sound as cool as Tristar, now does it? :D


They could just call it 'Binary System" ;)
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:08 am

klm617 wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
The problem is, there wasn't a sufficiently powerful engine for an L-1011 sized twin-jet in the early 1970s.

I seem to recall later on the programme there was a proposal for a "Bistar" but it didn't leave the drawing board.

V/F


I am curious how can that be true as the A300 came on the scene at about the same time as the DC10 and L1011 but it was range restricted.


The A300 is a smaller aircraft, especially in its width (only 8Y instead of 9Y)
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:27 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Also, there wasn’t ETOPS, so any thought of overwater ops was dead on arrival.

Technically isn't true. It's possible to cross the Atlantic without going into ETOPS. Inefficient, but possible.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:33 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Also, there wasn’t ETOPS, so any thought of overwater ops was dead on arrival.

Technically isn't true. It's possible to cross the Atlantic without going into ETOPS. Inefficient, but possible.


USSR had to design Tu-114 for intercontinental (especially transatlantic) traffic, going back to props, because no amount of redesign of Tu-104 into a quad gave a feasible plane.

Why did they need a quad? Soviets insisted, at the time, on record, that international air traffic rules, at the time, forbade twin overwater operations no matter what (i.e. not only ETOPS, no flying over high seas at all). I wasn't able to locate source and nature of these regulations. (Many believed, at the time, Tu-104 to be an OK plane for transatlantic, with stops of course -- like the typical Soviet hopping via Shannon and Gander).

Some post-Soviets believe it was all a huge conspiracy, to damage Tu-104 marketability vs Boeing 707, DC-8 and de Havilland Comet.

Take it for what it's worth, but it looks like there was a time, in jet age, when civil traffic could not use twins transatlantic.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:08 pm

UAL747422 wrote:
Just a thought that crossed my mind. The Boeing 757 uses the Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, which is the same that the L-1011 used. The 757 is still somewhat efficient and in use, while the L-1011 is pretty much extinct. Yes, it is 60's and 70's technology, but it could have been upgraded. The whole reason the L-1011 was a tri-jet was due to the requirement that aircraft with 2 engines could not cross the ocean back then. Lockheed wanted it to be a widebody, long range airliner. If that rule wasn't in place at the time, possibly the L-1011 (and maybe the DC-10) could have been twin-jets. Besides, the L-1011 was very futuristic, it could land itself. My main question being, if the L-1011 used only 2 RB211's, would it have been a huge sucess and possibly still be in production? I hope this makes sense.

The TriStar 1 used the 40,000lbf RB211-22, which evolved into the 53,000lbf RB211-524B4 on the -200 and -500. This is the -524 engine that was also used on the 747 ranging from the 50,000lbf -524B2 to the 60,000lbf -524H.

The 757, however, used the RB211-535C (37,000lbf) and the more common RB211-535E4 (40,100lbf) and RB211-535E4B (43,100lbf). This variant of the RB211 also had a smaller fan diameter.

If the TriStar had been relaunched as a twin in the mid to late 1980s as a twin I'm not sure there would have been an engine big enough - the Trent 700 first flew on the A330 in 1990, but you might have preferred something more the size of the Trent 800/GE90 that came a few years after that.

I do wonder what things would have been like if Lockheed had redone the TriStar with a stretch and higher weights rather then MD do the MD-11.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:42 pm

The L-1011 would have been more successful if Rolls had delivered the engines on time and if the engines, after delivery, had not gone through a series of serious "teething" problems. IIRC, development of that engine nearly bankrupted Rolls, and would have, if the British government hadn't bailed them out.
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:09 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:
UAL747422 wrote:
Just a thought that crossed my mind. The Boeing 757 uses the Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, which is the same that the L-1011 used. The 757 is still somewhat efficient and in use, while the L-1011 is pretty much extinct. Yes, it is 60's and 70's technology, but it could have been upgraded. The whole reason the L-1011 was a tri-jet was due to the requirement that aircraft with 2 engines could not cross the ocean back then. Lockheed wanted it to be a widebody, long range airliner. If that rule wasn't in place at the time, possibly the L-1011 (and maybe the DC-10) could have been twin-jets. Besides, the L-1011 was very futuristic, it could land itself. My main question being, if the L-1011 used only 2 RB211's, would it have been a huge sucess and possibly still be in production? I hope this makes sense.

The TriStar 1 used the 40,000lbf RB211-22, which evolved into the 53,000lbf RB211-524B4 on the -200 and -500. This is the -524 engine that was also used on the 747 ranging from the 50,000lbf -524B2 to the 60,000lbf -524H.

The 757, however, used the RB211-535C (37,000lbf) and the more common RB211-535E4 (40,100lbf) and RB211-535E4B (43,100lbf). This variant of the RB211 also had a smaller fan diameter.

If the TriStar had been relaunched as a twin in the mid to late 1980s as a twin I'm not sure there would have been an engine big enough - the Trent 700 first flew on the A330 in 1990, but you might have preferred something more the size of the Trent 800/GE90 that came a few years after that.

I do wonder what things would have been like if Lockheed had redone the TriStar with a stretch and higher weights rather then MD do the MD-11.


Could that have been accomplished without a center main gear though? From what I recall reading, the pavement loading was already pretty high as it was with the 4 wheel bogies.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:44 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
Some post-Soviets believe it was all a huge conspiracy, to damage Tu-104 marketability vs Boeing 707, DC-8 and de Havilland Comet.

Take it for what it's worth, but it looks like there was a time, in jet age, when civil traffic could not use twins transatlantic.


Well, given that Aeroflot Flight 3843 exploded in mid-air due to an engine fire, I think that the concerns of Western Authorities were well-founded. Flight 3932 crashed due to instrument failure, and so did Flight 964, and Flight 2415. One aircraft crashed because both engines were shut down in flight. There was no conspiracy against the TU-104, it was just an absolute heap of crap. I've barely scratched the surface with the incidents I've listed here.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:46 pm

Spacepope wrote:
Could that have been accomplished without a center main gear though? From what I recall reading, the pavement loading was already pretty high as it was with the 4 wheel bogies.


I thought that was the reason why it wasn't done, because the redesign to incorporate a centre gear would have been too costly.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:21 am

I read that Lockheed was seriously considering a six wheel bogie to get around using a center unit.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:00 am

Phosphorus wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Also, there wasn’t ETOPS, so any thought of overwater ops was dead on arrival.

Technically isn't true. It's possible to cross the Atlantic without going into ETOPS. Inefficient, but possible.


USSR had to design Tu-114 for intercontinental (especially transatlantic) traffic, going back to props, because no amount of redesign of Tu-104 into a quad gave a feasible plane.

Why did they need a quad? Soviets insisted, at the time, on record, that international air traffic rules, at the time, forbade twin overwater operations no matter what (i.e. not only ETOPS, no flying over high seas at all). I wasn't able to locate source and nature of these regulations. (Many believed, at the time, Tu-104 to be an OK plane for transatlantic, with stops of course -- like the typical Soviet hopping via Shannon and Gander).

Some post-Soviets believe it was all a huge conspiracy, to damage Tu-104 marketability vs Boeing 707, DC-8 and de Havilland Comet.

Take it for what it's worth, but it looks like there was a time, in jet age, when civil traffic could not use twins transatlantic.

Here's the issue with trying to draw that conclusion from that though:
1) it's technically possible to stay within 60min diversion time from alternate airports across the north Atlantic... so while there could possibly have been a restriction on twins, it wasn't due to the concept of ETOPS, as staying within that allotment would render ETOPS moot.

2) Even when ETOPS (or similar) allotments exist internationally, a particular country/nation may not accept them. That could've just as easily been a self-imposed USSR restriction, and not a worldwide prohibition.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:27 am

Max Q wrote:
I read that Lockheed was seriously considering a six wheel bogie to get around using a center unit.

Lockheed's proposed long haul L-1011-8 of 1969 would indeed have used a six wheel bogie.
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:11 am

JCTJennings wrote:
Max Q wrote:
I read that Lockheed was seriously considering a six wheel bogie to get around using a center unit.

Lockheed's proposed long haul L-1011-8 of 1969 would indeed have used a six wheel bogie.



Thanks for that JC

As usual Lockheed was ahead of their time
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:03 am

CWizard wrote:
The L-1011 would have been more successful if Rolls had delivered the engines on time and if the engines, after delivery, had not gone through a series of serious "teething" problems. IIRC, development of that engine nearly bankrupted Rolls, and would have, if the British government hadn't bailed them out.



That's only part of the story. It's worth noting that the L-1011 was up against the DC-10, which had numerous and well publicized disasters attributable to design flaws. As well, the 747 was not without its own performance and powerplant related shortcomings in the -100 iteration. Even after the 200 entered service, that aircraft remained very expensive to operate and still had it's own reliability and safety issues too. And this is at a point long after the RR issues had been killed off.

What really did the L-1011 in came in later years, during the periods that Boeing, McD, and Airbus also had very, very slow years for their respective twin aisle products. Namely, that there was no complementing single aisle product from Lockheed to build a family around. Even Airbus realized the need for this and began developing the A320 family as soon as it could in the very early 1980s.

Had Lockheed done such a thing...

Yes, it's entirely possible that there would today be a "TwinStar". It's worth observing that the fuselage is nearly identical in cross section to the DC-10/MD-11 and the 777 family. As well, if we look at the position if the engines, those R211s are fairly far out on the wing, allowing some aggressive amount of fan size increase.

My EWAG on this is that we'd be in a second generation of this by now, with a "new", late 1990s era wing, all-up length about that of the 744 and six wheel MLGs. The interior would obviously have been worked over, and like the transitions at McD, it would be a two man crew.

There would likely be something in work to go up against the 3510 and 779 as well. A cross section of an L-1011 with a twin engine set up is just too good to ignore for high capacity twin aisle LH/ULH.

But again, there'd need to be something in the A320/321 segment to back this up.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:30 am

AirbusA6 wrote:
The A300 is a smaller aircraft, especially in its width (only 8Y instead of 9Y)

But about the same capacity. ( though length isn't all that much different.)
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:48 am

Phosphorus wrote:
USSR had to design Tu-114 for intercontinental (especially transatlantic) traffic, going back to props, because no amount of redesign of Tu-104 into a quad gave a feasible plane.
...
Why did they need a quad?


The Tu-114 airliner ( derived from the Tu-95 ) completely outranged everything else available ( due to the (intrinsically) significantly more efficient NK-12 turboprops. and it didn't really lack in speed either only downside it killed your eardrums :-) .
East or West. in that time frame: 1961..1964.

Engines buried in wing ( Comet, Tu-104 ( Twin) , 110 ( derived Quad) , 124 (twin turboFAN) were a dead end and the tubojet engines used were fuel guzzlers anyway. Did the 707 ever get range comparable to the Tu-114?
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:11 am

UAL747422 wrote:
Just a thought that crossed my mind. The Boeing 757 uses the Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, which is the same that the L-1011 used. The 757 is still somewhat efficient and in use, while the L-1011 is pretty much extinct. Yes, it is 60's and 70's technology, but it could have been upgraded. The whole reason the L-1011 was a tri-jet was due to the requirement that aircraft with 2 engines could not cross the ocean back then. Lockheed wanted it to be a widebody, long range airliner. If that rule wasn't in place at the time, possibly the L-1011 (and maybe the DC-10) could have been twin-jets. Besides, the L-1011 was very futuristic, it could land itself. My main question being, if the L-1011 used only 2 RB211's, would it have been a huge sucess and possibly still be in production? I hope this makes sense.

UAL747422


Actually the whole reason the L1011, as well as the DC-10, were trijets was due to the requirement from AA to operate similar routes to the 747 from shorter runways. A twin would not have met that requirement at the time.
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:16 am

klm617 wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
The problem is, there wasn't a sufficiently powerful engine for an L-1011 sized twin-jet in the early 1970s.

I seem to recall later on the programme there was a proposal for a "Bistar" but it didn't leave the drawing board.

V/F


I am curious how can that be true as the A300 came on the scene at about the same time as the DC10 and L1011 but it was range restricted.


The A300 was designed for intra european bus style operations that did not need LR overwater operations. It was not designed for long range use.
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:56 am

rbavfan wrote:
klm617 wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
The problem is, there wasn't a sufficiently powerful engine for an L-1011 sized twin-jet in the early 1970s.

I seem to recall later on the programme there was a proposal for a "Bistar" but it didn't leave the drawing board.

V/F


I am curious how can that be true as the A300 came on the scene at about the same time as the DC10 and L1011 but it was range restricted.


The A300 was designed for intra european bus style operations that did not need LR overwater operations. It was not designed for long range use.

Indeed, hence the name of the company, airBUS, which they have been saddled with ever since. The thinking at the time was that passengers coming off of long haul 747s would want to continue their journey on a short haul connection with the same level of "wide body comfort" (yes they really did try to sell it like that)! They found few takers for the A300 and it became obvious that the only way to fill them was to slash frequencies, which sent passengers into the arms of the narrow body operators. Eventually Airbus was forced to develop its own narrow body and what saved the A300 programme was the advent of ETOPS, which enabled them to develop the aircraft into a medium/long range airliner.
 
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:44 pm

JCTJennings wrote:
Indeed, hence the name of the company, airBUS, which they have been saddled with ever since. The thinking at the time was that passengers coming off of long haul 747s would want to continue their journey on a short haul connection with the same level of "wide body comfort" (yes they really did try to sell it like that)! They found few takers for the A300 and it became obvious that the only way to fill them was to slash frequencies, which sent passengers into the arms of the narrow body operators. Eventually Airbus was forced to develop its own narrow body and what saved the A300 programme was the advent of ETOPS, which enabled them to develop the aircraft into a medium/long range airliner.

the bandwidth of alternate interpretations here is absolutely endearing.
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:59 pm

UAL747422 wrote:
Just a thought that crossed my mind. The Boeing 757 uses the Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, which is the same that the L-1011 used. The 757 is still somewhat efficient and in use, while the L-1011 is pretty much extinct. Yes, it is 60's and 70's technology, but it could have been upgraded. The whole reason the L-1011 was a tri-jet was due to the requirement that aircraft with 2 engines could not cross the ocean back then. Lockheed wanted it to be a widebody, long range airliner. If that rule wasn't in place at the time, possibly the L-1011 (and maybe the DC-10) could have been twin-jets. Besides, the L-1011 was very futuristic, it could land itself. My main question being, if the L-1011 used only 2 RB211's, would it have been a huge sucess and possibly still be in production? I hope this makes sense.

UAL747422


I would think, but not sure, that engine technology when the plane came out was not the same as technology now and the engines needed did not exist.
 
496TFS
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:01 pm

The DC-10 also had a proposed twin engine variant...

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WA707atMSP
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Re: If the L-1011 had only 2 engines, would it have been a success?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:50 pm

A couple of clarifications to posts up thread:

American Airlines called their original proposal for the aircraft that became the L-1011 and DC-10 the "Jumbo Twin". American wanted a short ranged twin engined jumbo jet, able to fly from LGA and DCA to other cities in the US east coast and midwest, especially LGA / DCA - ORD. American's desired aircraft looked very similar in performance to the A300-B2.

A two engined L-1011 or DC-10 could have operated from LGA to ORD, because its fuel load would have been so small.

However, TWA wanted an aircraft with longer range, able to fly from Chicago to the west coast, and the extra fuel needed for these flights, plus concerns about flying over the Rocky Mountains, where there are fewer airports for emergency landings in case of an engine failure, resulted in the DC-10 and L-1011 becoming tri jets.

More information about how the L-1011, DC-10, and A300 were designed is in John Newhouse's book "The Sporty Game", which is considered one of the best books ever written about commercial aviation.

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