VC10er
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Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:14 am

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and often save my favorite airliner pics, which in turn generates daily emails from Pinterest with more and more aircraft pics.

I've come to notice that just about every airline in the world has operated 3 hole aircraft: MD-11, DC-10 and L-1011s (much less L-1011s though). Aside from some very prestigious airlines, their were many smaller airlines too, from all over the world.

I haven't been living under a rock for the past 55 years, naturally I've seen MANY and flown MANY. Perhaps it's just that they have been highly concentrated on Pinterest created a false illusion of how popular they really were?

But it seems clear that they were once very popular and must have been very highly sought after, many orders delivered, for many years before twins replaced them.

What was their big draw? Were they more affordable than a 747 or Airbus equivalent? How were they mostly deployed? ULH? I have read they were gas guzzlers (but wasn't that generally the case in those days?) And they would seem to have enjoyed a very long, reliable life; while there are no longer pax versions, they found homes as freighters. (I'm thrilled that I can still see them) I enjoyed my rides on them, especially take off. I recall reading an article about 15+ years ago in VARIG's in flight magazine that waxed poetic about how much they loved theirs, despite the fact other airlines at the time were off loading their fleets.

Any thoughts, facts or stories you'd like to share?
(The pics really made me misty eyed, I miss them)
I prefer flying over the vacation itself! I go on business trips just so I can fly!
 
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seahawk
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:21 am

Way lower costs per seat mile than the early quads, less purchase costs than a 747 and enough range for many routes. There as not much else to buy, if a 707 was too small or a 747 too big for your needs.
 
JoKeR
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:44 am

You will still encounter teary-eyed JU staff when the subject of the beloved ''ten'' is brought up. They loved their DC-10s and flew them from BEG, ZAG and LJU to as far away destinations such as LAX, SYD and MEL.
 
Tedd
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:00 am

Having the good fortune to have purchased Delta passes in the past I flew many flights on MD-11`s
L-1011`s, & from a passenger perspective they were a real treat, smooth & quiet compared to
their smaller planes. I spoke to pilots now & then & they all spoke very highly of the L-1011, sounded
like it was a joy to fly. How the airlines found them I have no idea, but you can imagine cost savings
over the B747 with one less engine to feed, so you could also see what impact the B767/ A300 was about
to make on the airlines with yet another worthwhile decrease in consumption.
 
steman
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:40 am

They were certainly successful designs (more or less) but not all airlines loved them. The DC10 image was heavily impacted by some high ranked accidents (not always a fault of the plane, but public perception of the model was damaged). Some Airlines decided to get rid of their DC10 fleet rather quickly after this. Alitalia had 8 DC10-30s received in the second half of the 1970s and fully withdrawn by the early 80s. That was a mistake in my opinion, as several other airlines operated the -10s successfully well into the 90s and early 2000s and it left the Airline with nothing smaller than the 747-200 to serve long haul routes.
The MD-11 turned out to be not as good as promised, in particular it could not fly as far as McDonnel Douglas had claimed and some airlines cancelled their orders (Singapore Airlines for example) and others received compensations. It went on to sell only 200 examples.
Airbus never really competed with the 3 engined planes since the A300/310 served a mostly different market than the DC10 and L1011 and the A330/340 came out when the MD11 was approaching the end of its production run. For many years DC10s and L1011s did not have competitors from Boeing either.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:49 am

VC10er wrote:
But it seems clear that they were once very popular and must have been very highly sought after, many orders delivered, for many years before twins replaced them.


Define what you call many orders delivered, because in truth only 386 DC-10s were delivered to airlines, as well as 200 MD-11s and 249 L-1011s, that is 835 aircraft between July 1971 and February 2001.

The DC-10 was very popular with airlines because it was smaller than a 747, thus less expensive but still very capable, particularly the series 30 with its high take off weight and long range. After the "me too" frenzy for the 747, airlines such as National, Continental, Delta and Eastern focused their widebody fleets on either the D10 or L10. Airbus first fray into the longer-range was with the A310-300s during the mid-80s followed by the A300-600R. It was more or less at the same time as the 767-200ERs and -300ERs entered service. Then came the failed attempt of the MD-11 during the 1990s along with the not successful A340 while Boeing proposed the 777.

What were the options available to an airline was up to its needs and means, hence why the trijets may have lasted that long with many niche airlines.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:06 am

In the pilot world:

727
L1011
757

Are 3 aircraft that pilots universally loved to fly.

Especially the L1011.

That probably means they were overpowered and inefficient to a bean counter
 
jfk777
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:23 am

Airlines needed "three" to cross the Atlantic and Pacific since ETOPS were limited in 1970's. GE, RR and PW engines had limits at around 50K thrust in the late 1970;s so three or four engines were needed to get a planes big enough off the ground. When the 767 was adapted for Atlantic flights and more powerful engines with higher reliability came along three became two. This road led us to the 777-9 and A350.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:42 am

jfklganyc wrote:
In the pilot world:

727
L1011
757

Are 3 aircraft that pilots universally loved to fly.

Especially the L1011.

That probably means they were overpowered and inefficient to a bean counter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell ... evelopment says:

In 1966, American Airlines offered a specification to manufacturers for a widebody aircraft smaller than the Boeing 747 but capable of flying similar long-range routes from airports with shorter runways.

This is the spec that kicked off the DC-10 vs L-1011 battle.

In time, as engines improved, these a/c became quite capable, but indeed probably more capable than the bean-counters would like.

Legend has it that the limiting factor of the L-1011 was its wing. The DC-10 had better long range cruise performance and more space to tank fuel.
The gun is NOT a precious symbol of freedom
It is a deadly cancer on American society
Those who believe otherwise are consumed by an ideology
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VC10er
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:02 pm

I have heard of the broken promise of the MD-11's range, but then what kind of ULH flights was it incapable of once the MD-11 was in action? It's true range was what? It seems like it did 10+ hours ok, which would cover many (but not Singapore's needs I guess), could it have done JFK to HK? Or just from the west coast?

I see that a total 0f 835 isn't nearly as much as the 747 or 777, but that is still a lot of frames? No?
I prefer flying over the vacation itself! I go on business trips just so I can fly!
 
Pacific
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:26 pm

Wikipedia with its usual caveats suggests that the range shortfall was approx 1,000km off the spec (12,000km instead of 13,000km).

The initial MD-11s couldn't do LHR/CDG-SIN. For the US airlines, this aircraft was supposed to do USA-Asia but struggled on those 12+ hour routes.

The MD-11ER delivered spec performance but it was too late, with the 772ER hitting the market shortly after.
Last edited by Pacific on Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:29 pm

VC10er wrote:
I have heard of the broken promise of the MD-11's range, but then what kind of ULH flights was it incapable of once the MD-11 was in action? It's true range was what? It seems like it did 10+ hours ok, which would cover many (but not Singapore's needs I guess), could it have done JFK to HK? Or just from the west coast?

I recall discussions of a diversion to Sapporo (avoided) for fuel on a DL MD-11 ATL-NRT circa 1999. That is much shorter than JFK-HKG.
 
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william
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:39 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
In the pilot world:

727
L1011
757

Are 3 aircraft that pilots universally loved to fly.

Especially the L1011.

That probably means they were overpowered and inefficient to a bean counter


The L1011 was a tough high cycle aircraft too unlike the long legged wide bodies of today. Flown many L1011 flights from ATL to Florida, Midwest and north east. Delta loved the L1011, so much so they scoured the globe looking for used ones. It's a shame Lockheed through in the towel on the commerical side.

I thought I saw a pic of a DC10 in Delta colors, but I do not know the story behind it or why Delta went Lockheed instead Mickey D.
 
Tedd
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:39 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
In the pilot world:

727
L1011
757

Are 3 aircraft that pilots universally loved to fly.

Especially the L1011.

That probably means they were overpowered and inefficient to a bean counter


Yeah, funny too that they were all pleasing on the eye.......particularly the L-1011 for me.
 
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Polot
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:45 pm

AA was famously very unsatisfied with the MD-11's performance, and was one of the more vocal airlines about it. IIRC early MD-11s struggled with DFW-NRT, which was one of the routes AA ordered the plane for.

Hence why AA never exercised any of their MD-11 options and ordered the 777 ~5 years after taking delivery of their first MD-11. Some of the early AA MD-11s only lasted 5 or 6 years in service before AA retired and sold them to FX (which would be equivalent to AA making plans on getting rid of their first 77Ws now).
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:53 pm

VC10er wrote:
I have heard of the broken promise of the MD-11's range, but then what kind of ULH flights was it incapable of once the MD-11 was in action? It's true range was what? It seems like it did 10+ hours ok, which would cover many (but not Singapore's needs I guess), could it have done JFK to HK? Or just from the west coast?

I see that a total 0f 835 isn't nearly as much as the 747 or 777, but that is still a lot of frames? No?


First aircraft revealed the frame was too heavy, had too much drag and engines were burning far too much fuel. The MD-11 was sold to airlines as able to fly nonstop with a certain payload on routes like LAX-ICN, DFW-HKG, West Coast-NRT/HKG. Choice was to be made between carrying the planned payload or the needed fuel to make it non stop. Airlines such as Swissair, DL and others had to add more fuel tanks in the belly in order to make it nonstop. SQ canceled its order after the numbers it was shown by the manufacturer revealed the aircraft didn't meet its needs/specifications for SIN-CDG. Several years after the first deliveries and after a series modification, including an increased take off weight, the MD-11 more or less reached its goal, but it was too late. Boeing had arrived with an all new aircraft that quickly became the success we know today.

About the 835 trijets built, consider this. Between 1971 and 1980 about 300 DC-10s had been delivered, the rest happened slowly, very slowly until 1988, in part thanks to the production line being kept active with the 60 KC-10As ordered by the USAF. For the L10, the 249 aircraft were delivered between 1972 and 1985. Then the MD-11 between 1990 and 2001.

In other words, 835 aircraft were built in three different types by two different manufacturers, with all the costs involved to launch an all new widebody aircraft or even the design study costs, however minimal, to offer another variant. You may see the number as a lot from your viewpoint, and as such it is, but both Airbus and Boeing have shown us what a lot really is with their A330s, B777s and others.
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:21 pm

yea............. I'm gonna guess that the people that did not matter much (pax and pilots) liked/loved the tri-jets, and the people who did (accountants, execs, mechanics) much less so.

as everyone knows, tail mounted engines are harder and more expensive to maintain. to add insult to injury, despite lower acquisition and fuel costs, I think in the long haul/high density era as it existed in the 70's - 90's, the B747 turned out to be even more flexible and profitable (ironic, no?).

dedicated cargo ops aside, the B727 was really the only truly successful trijet of the bunch, IMO.

Aesthetically, they are beautiful, and have striking visual character. Unfortunately, their window was so small, and the execution on the widebodies needed to be perfect, and that did not happen, so cie la vie - we miss you.
 
JAAlbert
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:33 pm

The DC-10 was popular in part because it provided a lot of capacity at airports with short runways. AA specifically ordered the DC-10 for airports like LGA and AA flew a number of the aircraft into LGA for years.

I remember as a child AA even flew the DC-10 into TUC. It was quite a sight to see that big, gleaming jet on the tarmac at Tucson's airport.
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:34 pm

I thought I saw a pic of a DC10 in Delta colors, but I do not know the story behind it or why Delta went Lockheed instead Mickey D.[/quote]


Yes indeed DL did order some early DC10's and took delivery of them in the very early 1970's. I think they only lasted a short time with DL, and were replaced by DL's much larger order of L1011's. IIRC, DL at the same time had a few early build 747's, but got rid of those at the time of the first OPEC oil embargo that drove fuel prices up.
I was privileged to fly one of those Delta DC-10's on MEM-ATL in about 1974, and because I was a cute kid at the time, was able to visit the cockpit and speak with the pilots. Those were the days, haha!
 
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Polot
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:39 pm

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
I thought I saw a pic of a DC10 in Delta colors, but I do not know the story behind it or why Delta went Lockheed instead Mickey D.

Yes indeed DL did order some early DC10's and took delivery of them in the very early 1970's. I think they only lasted a short time with DL, and were replaced by DL's much larger order of L1011's. IIRC, DL at the same time had a few early build 747's, but got rid of those at the time of the first OPEC oil embargo that drove fuel prices up.

Delta operated the DC-10 on two occasions. In the early 70s they leased some for ~2-3 years from UA to cover the L-1011 delays (in DL's livery). In the 80s they got DC-10s from the Western merger that were quickly sold off (not sure if any were ever repainted into DL's livery before being sold).

All were DC-10-10s.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:53 pm

william wrote:
I thought I saw a pic of a DC10 in Delta colors, but I do not know the story behind it or why Delta went Lockheed instead Mickey D.


You think correctly because DL has had DC-10s twice, first between 1972 and 1975 then between 1987 and 1989. The first time around they had those because of the uncertainties around the L-1011 program that was late and on the verge of collapsing, hence why DL took some DC-10s as a "just in case" security. Then at the end of the '80s, 1987 to be exact Western Airlines was merged into DL, and that's how the latter operated the DC-10 again for a while.
You can see the difference between the two times.




 
BostonBeau
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:54 pm

JAAlbert wrote:
The DC-10 was popular in part because it provided a lot of capacity at airports with short runways. AA specifically ordered the DC-10 for airports like LGA and AA flew a number of the aircraft into LGA for years.


Exactly! Although the DC-10 and L-1011 eventually took on mostly long haul flights, the original models were designed to be able to offer a "wide body" experience to airports like LGA and DCA. They were used regularly at LGA, not so much at DCA. The other wide body of that era was the A300 from Airbus. Eastern used the A300 on the BOS/LGA shuttle, and back when the Eastern Air-Shuttle was $29, I'd often pop down to NYC for the day! Speaking of the Shuttle, when it first started on long nosed Connies...the fare was like $6. Those were the days!
 
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:55 pm

As far as maintenance goes, it is hard to find a worse place to install an engine than the middle of the vertical stabilizer. Engine maintenance was very complicated and worst of all engine oil and hydraulic fluid would leak onto the flight controls for the horizontal stabilizer and elevators. Mechanics are glad those are gone. Life is so much easier working on an engine under the wing when the tailcone doesn't have to be removed.

Image.

Image

Image
Last edited by Newbiepilot on Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
BostonBeau
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:55 pm

Which airlines had BOTH the DC-10 and the L-1011 in their fleets? I know Pan Am did after the National merger, but were there others?
 
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Polot
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:07 pm

BostonBeau wrote:
Which airlines had BOTH the DC-10 and the L-1011 in their fleets? I know Pan Am did after the National merger, but were there others?

DL as mentioned, UA briefly as a result of picking up a handful of L-1011s from PA, EA, ATA (although I don't remember if at the exact same time), plus probably a few smaller operators that I am forgetting.

CO was planned but deal canceled before any L-1011s were transferred from EA to CO.
 
bohica
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:11 pm

BostonBeau wrote:
Which airlines had BOTH the DC-10 and the L-1011 in their fleets? I know Pan Am did after the National merger, but were there others?


Delta had both two different times, United got L-1011's when they bought Pan Am's Pacific division, and I believe Hawaiian had both at one time. Also Eastern had a small number of DC-10-30's for TATL routes.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:13 pm

BostonBeau wrote:
Which airlines had BOTH the DC-10 and the L-1011 in their fleets? I know Pan Am did after the National merger, but were there others?


As already mentioned DL, PA, UA, EA (when they launched MIA-LGW service mid-80s), British Airways, Caledonian Airways (not British Caledonian).

DL has operated DC-10-10s, L-1011s and 747-100s, early in the '70s, the L-1011/DC-10-10s late '80s; then L-1011s/MD-11s during the '90s and since the merger of NW, 747-400s.
 
kaitak744
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:31 pm

Polot wrote:
AA was famously very unsatisfied with the MD-11's performance, and was one of the more vocal airlines about it. IIRC early MD-11s struggled with DFW-NRT, which was one of the routes AA ordered the plane for.

Hence why AA never exercised any of their MD-11 options and ordered the 777 ~5 years after taking delivery of their first MD-11. Some of the early AA MD-11s only lasted 5 or 6 years in service before AA retired and sold them to FX (which would be equivalent to AA making plans on getting rid of their first 77Ws now).


That article says that American had 50 MD-11s on order. I never knew this. I believe they only took delivery of 19? How many other others had similar big orders for the MD-11, and later cancelled?
 
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Polot
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:52 pm

kaitak744 wrote:
That article says that American had 50 MD-11s on order. I never knew this. I believe they only took delivery of 19? How many other others had similar big orders for the MD-11, and later cancelled?

That 50 includes options. AA originally ordered 8 MD-11s with 42 options. In March 1990 they converted 7 options into firm with an additional 4 converted in December of that year. After first delivery (in February 1991) AA did not order any more and either cancelled the options or let them expire.

DL also had a bunch of options they never converted (originally ordered 9 MD-11 + 31 options, eventually only took 15).
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:59 pm

kaitak744 wrote:
That article says that American had 50 MD-11s on order. I never knew this. I believe they only took delivery of 19? How many other others had similar big orders for the MD-11, and later cancelled?


DL. I believe they had orders and options for 50 or 60. The first airframes AA received were those originally ordered by BCal and inherited by BA at the merger. The latter wasn't interested and sold the slots to AA, which would have had to wait until '93 or '94 to get their first otherwise. I believe Swissair had 12+6, KL 10+5, JL 10+10 (the second half convertible to MD-12), British Caledonian 3+6.
 
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BN727227Ultra
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:35 pm

william wrote:
why Delta went Lockheed instead Mickey D.


Delta, as evidenced by their love affair with the DC-7/8/9 were hand-in-glove with the Douglas side of Mickey D's. When the McDonnell merger happened, that relationship went south.

DL's purchase of their five 741s was an unspoken but almost assumed short term deal by both DL and Boeing, Boeing wanted to get the widget on a lot of 722s and if DL had ordered more than five 741s, so much the better.

That said, early on DL figured out that their future in long-distance flying was going to be three engines rather than four, and since DL and Mickey D's were out of love with each other, the phone rang in Burbank. DL wound up buying one out of every five Elton Elevens made.

Then Rolls-Royce had their pooch-screwing issues and DL had to go hat-in-hand to Long Beach after all, and got some early-build DC-10s. Probably another sweetheart deal with UA rather than a true apologetic change of corporate philosophy on DL's part.
Last edited by BN727227Ultra on Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
EddieDude
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:50 pm

Tri-engined aircraft were very fascinating. My Dad was a huge fan of the AM and MX DC-10s. We caught the DC-10 fairly often from ACA to MEX (it flew onwards to JFK) on Sunday evenings. The problem with the AM DC-10s is that they could not fly nonstop to Europe, so there were stops either in CUN or MIA, I forget. In this sense, the 762ERs were wonderful for AM because they allowed them to reach MAD and CDG nonstop from MEX, even if that meant less capacity. In any event, the DC-10s were much cooler.

The MX 727s were also incredible.

I recall with a lot of nostalgia a BOS-MCO flight with DL in December of 1995 on the L-1011. It was my first and only flight on the Tristar and it was awesome. I certainly feel very sad that I was unable to fly KL's YUL/YYZ-AMS service on the MD-11 before it was retired.
Upcoming AM MEX-LAX 73H, VA LAX-MEL 77W.
 
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CALUAL
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:24 pm

Image

I might be Biased... But here was the Best...
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:46 pm

jfk777 wrote:
Airlines needed "three" to cross the Atlantic and Pacific since ETOPS were limited in 1970's. GE, RR and PW engines had limits at around 50K thrust in the late 1970;s so three or four engines were needed to get a planes big enough off the ground. When the 767 was adapted for Atlantic flights and more powerful engines with higher reliability came along three became two. This road led us to the 777-9 and A350.


That's what I was thinking too. In those days, a twin wasn't safe enough to make it across the ocean so you needed at least three engines. I guess that airlines liked them for having three engines instead of four. Two was out of the question. There were twins of course, but they weren't reliable enough and mostly had too little range. The first A300 for example only had 2.900 nm range, that's less than an A320 (3.300 nm). The A300 couldn't be used TATL.

Only later, when the reliability and range of the twins improved, airlines started to prefer them over triples. Once the three engine limit for ETOPS was lifted the triples were history. They weren't needed anymore, twins could do that job.
 
Planesmart
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:02 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
As far as maintenance goes, it is hard to find a worse place to install an engine than the middle of the vertical stabilizer. Engine maintenance was very complicated and worst of all engine oil and hydraulic fluid would leak onto the flight controls for the horizontal stabilizer and elevators. Mechanics are glad those are gone. Life is so much easier working on an engine under the wing when the tailcone doesn't have to be removed.

When funding 3 engined aircraft, comparing the maintenance records of wing versus tail-mounted engines was quite informative.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:54 pm

Planesmart wrote:
Newbiepilot wrote:
As far as maintenance goes, it is hard to find a worse place to install an engine than the middle of the vertical stabilizer. Engine maintenance was very complicated and worst of all engine oil and hydraulic fluid would leak onto the flight controls for the horizontal stabilizer and elevators. Mechanics are glad those are gone. Life is so much easier working on an engine under the wing when the tailcone doesn't have to be removed.

When funding 3 engined aircraft, comparing the maintenance records of wing versus tail-mounted engines was quite informative.


Do you care to share what informative things you discovered?
 
n729pa
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:49 pm

Aeroperu
Air France
Iberia
Hawaiian Airlines. .I think someone mentioned.
But the other 3 had both DC10/Tristar for one reason or another at some point, maybe not at the same time.

Gulf Air and BWIA were my favourite Tristars and Northwest Orient, Iberia and Continental DC10s.
 
Cunard
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Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:11 am

BostonBeau wrote:
Which airlines had BOTH the DC-10 and the L-1011 in their fleets? I know Pan Am did after the National merger, but were there others?


As others have already mentioned AA, BA, DL, EA, HA, KT, PA, UA you can add TZ to the list.

Air France operated a single L1011-Tristar-200 that was wet leased from AirTransat between June 1989 to February 1991 and four DC10-30 entered the fleet during 1992 after the merger with UTA, they didn't last long as they were retired from service between 1993 and 1994.
 
pezzy669
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:30 pm

Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:11 am

n729pa wrote:
Aeroperu
Air France
Iberia
Hawaiian Airlines. .I think someone mentioned.
But the other 3 had both DC10/Tristar for one reason or another at some point, maybe not at the same time.

Gulf Air and BWIA were my favourite Tristars and Northwest Orient, Iberia and Continental DC10s.


Ahhh the Hawaiian DC-10-10 - seems like it was a sweetheart deal w/AA. Take AA logos off, polish, slap the Hawaiian logos on and call it day, interior remove AA seat covers and put Hawaiian covers on, fly back to AA every XXXX for maintenance at probably a sweetheart price. One of the best flights I have been on was LAX-HNL-LAX back in 1999/2000. Seems they did not have the L1011's long at HA before the AA DC-10's started arriving.

Also remember connecting through ATL and it just being a sea of DL L1011's. Had a chance to fly one ATL-JAX coming home from summer vacation, my dad didn't believe me that they would fly a widebody to JAX and he bought the ticket. :)
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 4946
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:56 am

pezzy669 wrote:
Seems they did not have the L1011's long at HA before the AA DC-10's started arriving.


The first five (former NH) arrived in 1985. In 1993 they even added a pair of former TW before the change of guard started with the arrival of the first DC-10s the following spring.
 
VC10er
Topic Author
Posts: 2968
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:18 pm

Thanks everyone, I'm getting all the juicy stuff I wanted to learn about!

I have a question about the range shortfall of the MD-11 vs its initial spec. Did MD tell the airlines who had ordered her that it was missing the target in advance of delivery- or did airlines (like AA who was reportedly most angry) caught by surprise once they took delivery and experienced its range issues first hand? I hope they (and others) were given the notice in advance of delivery by MD that the MD-11 was missing its performance specs as promised. If so, what was the proposed solve that MD offered?
I prefer flying over the vacation itself! I go on business trips just so I can fly!
 
n729pa
Posts: 932
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:16 pm

Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:25 pm

Talking of Tristars, I never saw one but the PSA Tristars looked great with their cheeky grin
 
SkyVoice
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:07 am

Apparently, the airlines were not the only ones that loved their heavy trijets. I remember that President Richard Nixon flew on United Airlines Flight 55 heavy, IAD-LAX, back in late December, 1973. Here is a link to an archived Chicago Tribune article about that event . . .

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1973 ... l-jet#text
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 4946
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:30 pm

Here's another airline that operated both the DC-10 and L-1011 at the same time, although the latter was leased from TZ for a year or something...



BTW, I really liked RK's livery with the two green lines, unlike its more conventional one it got when the A330s arrived.
 
directorguy
Posts: 1137
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

Re: Did airlines love their 3 engine wide body aircraft?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:54 pm

The Tristar was the longhaul aircraft of choice for Gulf Air for many years. For them range was probably not an issue as BAH and AUH were 7 or 8 hours from Western Europe and Southeast Asia. Saudia also operated the L10 although in their case they had the larger 747.

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