L1011

Discuss topics relating to Air Canada.

Moderators: ahramin, sky's the limit, Sulako, North Shore

Post Reply
User avatar
pianokeys
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:35 pm

L1011

Post by pianokeys » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:39 pm

Keeping with the theme...

The old man used to work ramp, said the L1011 was the best because back in the 80s when AC did their own commissary, if the flight cancelled, the station attendants took the first class meals home. Said L1011 stood for "late ten out of eleven times". He also said it was, from a ramp side of things, a sweet airplane. Countless pages on the internet say it was a dream to fly, a real pilots plane aside from the engine issues. Discuss...
---------- ADS -----------
  

The Raven
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:37 pm

Re: L1011

Post by The Raven » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:13 pm

I can’t recall the exact date, but I do remember operating AC870 from YMX to CDG one night. We were only in cruise about 30 minutes when we had to shut down #3. I don’t recall why we shut it down but it was doing a lot of farting and blowing a bunch of flame and sparks out the back end. Anyway we circled in the Bagotville area and dumped fuel prior to an engine out landing in YUL. The passengers stayed on board and were fed their meals while myself and the other 2 pilots deadheaded back to YYZ, picked up another L1011, ferried it to YUL, picked up our passengers and continued on to CDG. I don’t know what our duty day was, but we must have been close to 20 hours. Not saying it’s right to exceed your duty day, just that it was different times back then and we probably didn’t know any better.
---------- ADS -----------
  

BMLtech
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:37 pm

Re: L1011

Post by BMLtech » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:31 pm

The Rolls Royce RB211 (and later Trent) engine is the only turbofan engine with a triple spool or 3 shaft design, and this requires the engine to have more bearings than a typical twin spool. Premature bearing failures were one of the problems with the engine, and although it was before my time, the old timers in the hangar said that they were changing an engine on an L1011 on pretty much a nightly basis in the 1980's. Rolls Royce still does not have their act together, and their newest engines are causing big problems for 787 operators around the globe, with many aircraft out of service. The final nail in the coffin of all the L1011's before the 500 series was when RR decided they would no longer support the original -22B engine. Sure loved the way they sounded when they fired up though, you could hear that rumble for miles.I wonder if that RB211 is still sitting out front of the old powerplant shop in YUL? You know an engine is basically worthless when it ends up as a decoration...Really too bad that Lockheed put all their eggs in one basket with that engine, not a good move.
---------- ADS -----------
  

FADEC
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:31 pm

Re: L1011

Post by FADEC » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:06 am

The 1011 was a wonderful airplane to fly! It had a huge cockpit with enormous windows, it handled beautifully and the engines were wonderfully responsive.

AC had two versions; the -100 and the -500; they were really two separate aircraft.
Both had the original "Dark Cockpit" design; when all the switchlights controlling the systems were in the right position, the lights were all out. A quick glance confirmed normalcy. Both had "Direct Lift Control" using the spoilers to adjust rate of descent on the glideslope with less pitch changes.
The -500 had load relief; long before Airbus claimed to have invented it.

The -500 had the first FMS I encountered; 400 stored routes; very simple to use. Having said that, some of the more senior types found it a very challenging change from early INS's. The best strategy in those cases was to load the FMS while the commander was getting settled, then pick up the SOP at the cross-check.

The -100 with the original -22B engines had issues at the beginning, but became reliable. (I never had an engine issue in three years) You had to follow the rules when starting; if you did, there were no problems; if you didn't, you could cook an engine. One necessity was to motor the engine till the EGT fell below 200 degrees prior to introducing fuel. Some crews apparently didn't believe this, causing their own delays or cancellations.

One problem was that AC did not order the spares that Lockheed said were necessary to introduce the new type. The result was, that Maintenance frequently couldn't solve simple snags because they didn't have the parts.
Many maintenance types didn't really understand the aircraft; it was completely different than anything in the fleet. I once watched a bunch of mechanics standing around, not being able to figure out how to close a main gear door, because they hadn't had the course; AC sent too few mechanics on course.

The -500 with the -524 engine was a completely different airplane; totally digital with bags of power and much more reliable; completely different systems, although it looked the same. You could come out of Bombay with a full load on a scorching hot evening using reduced thrust. We operated that kind of long haul with no issues.

We also flew the airplane into La Guardia; a bit of a shock for those who had only flown long haul for years. 7000 feet with a seawall and salt water at the runway ends.
I was a younger F/O just off four years on the DC9; La Guardia was very normal for me when I got a La Guardia turn on reserve. The Captain was a gentleman who hadn't flown anything but Oceanic for years; he got the turn on make-up.

The approach was an Expressway Visual; one of the most fun approaches in the business; look it up; some excellent videos on YouTube.

Anyway, we came overhead the VOR, and the Captain looked straight down at the postage stamp we were going to land on. He turned to me with wide eyes, saying; "You ever been here?". I replied in the affirmative, and he said; "You Do IT!!".

About that time, ATC said; "Air Canada, you got the tanks?". I said; "Say Yes". my commander said; "What am I saying Yes to?" "Just say yes" as I rolled into the left turn; sounds of chuckling from behind my seat; the S/O was enjoying the fun.

Follow the expressway, left around Shea Stadium, wings level and touch down. (don't forget the fourteen foot seawall)

The 1011 made this sort of thing easy. the reverse was so good, that the brakes were barely needed. Taxiing at LGA was a bit critical; parts of the surface are on pilings over the water, and the 1011 had a strict speed limit to avoid destroying the place. Remember that LGA was originally a DC3 airport Where the flying boats docked after flying the Atlantic.

Lockheed had designed the -300; a stretch airplane with-500 systems and a glass cockpit. There was a cockpit picture in the AC Ground School.
In the recession of the eighties, Lockheed offered to take back all of AC's L1011's and 747's and replace them with L1011-300's; at the price AC had paid for the -500's. That was a very good deal! At that point, the -500's had much better dispatch reliability than AC's 747's. The 1011 also had a bigger belly than the 747, and made good money on belly freight alone.

At that point a very nice man was in charge at AC, and he simply didn't understand that the recession would end and AC would need better equipment. The Boeing fans in the company put their two cents in, and the deal was rejected. It was also rejected by other carriers like Delta.

Lockheed was located in California; a state which at that time levied a tax on assets like aircraft production lines; Lockheed couldn't afford to keep the line alive till times got better, so that was then end for the 1011. (They eventually moved the Orion to Georgia for the same reason)

I worked on the ramp for seven months while awaiting a place on a Flight Ops course. I got to work the 1011 on the ground as well; it was a dream to work!
My crew was one of three crews trained to work the 1011 prior to its' introduction. The first flight came into Toronto. The Union got into things and insisted that the "Senior Ramp Crew" work the airplane. The Lead couldn't figure out where to plug in the headset; we let him work with hand signals.

Then the "Senior Crew" couldn't figure out how to open the cargo doors; we let them struggle for a while, then took pity and opened the doors. We then stood back trying not to laugh as they had no idea how to operate the cargo locks and powered rollers. The passengers had to wait a bit till reality ruled and we worked the flight. The airplane could be worked faster by a smaller ramp crew than anything else in the industry.

Another postscript; KJ Davis, then VP Flight Operations was the Captain on the flight. He came down to the ramp to say hello and hang with the Ramp Rats; a true gentleman who never let his high position go to his head.
The story goes that on an early flight, some VIP came to the cockpit and was asking questions about the very advanced Lockheed Cockpit.

The VIP asked about something and KJ turned to the F/O'; "Do you know?" "No idea" was the answer. When the S/O also couldn't explain what that particular item did, KJ issued an edict; "Don't Touch It!".

A beautiful airplane which was a privilege to fly!
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Canoehead
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 870
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:08 pm
Location: YEE 220 @ 4

Re: L1011

Post by Canoehead » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:11 am

Great story FADEC, thanks for sharing.

I remember flying YYZ-YVR in a 1011 as a young kid. In my mind that airplane was enormous. I know I had a cockpit visit too but don't remember details; I was probably 6 or 7 years old. Over the years I've been fascinated by the story of the airplane, especially the technology, and the struggles. And to be a thing of the past now generally; I think only the RAF flies them, and maybe not even them anymore. I can't believe the number of F/O's I fly with that look at me in question when the name "L1011" is mentioned. "What's that?" is the usual response... I just shake my head and stare out the window mumbling to myself... "..only the coolest passenger airplane ever built..."

Threads like this are important... not only about airplanes but the history of where they fit in with companies and how they were utilized.

I'd love to read more of these first hand accounts.
---------- ADS -----------
  

J31
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1031
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:21 am

Re: L1011

Post by J31 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:12 am

Great stories! Happy New Year! :Canada:
---------- ADS -----------
  

fish4life
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1666
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:32 am

Re: L1011

Post by fish4life » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:55 pm

Fadec that was one of the most enjoyable posts I’ve read in a while, thanks.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Antique Pilot
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 505
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:52 pm

Re: L1011

Post by Antique Pilot » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:38 pm

I flew as a passenger on the L1011 several times and managed to visit the cockpit as well in the 1970’s-1980’s. On July 25 1985 I flew from YYZ-LHR on a L1011. On the next day after a short layover in LHR I boarded the Concorde and flew to JFK and OSH. One way fare on the Concorde for that flight was $1200 US. Special charter rate for EAA Oshkosh nuts. I apologize for the thread drift.

AP
---------- ADS -----------
  

Ki-ll
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:16 pm

Re: L1011

Post by Ki-ll » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:23 am

Marvellous airplane, no doubt.
I remember reading that it was the engine issues in the beginning plus a small wing (nowhere to put extra fuel for longer range flights) was the reason L1011 could compete with DC-10 and B-747.
DC-10 was just flying parts slapped together compared to it, supposedly it was produced in a very rushed fashion to compete.
There was a post somewhere by a gentleman who flew L1011/DC-10/MD-11. He had a lot of nice things to say about L1011 as well.
https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/tech ... 011-a.html
---------- ADS -----------
  

TheStig
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 635
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:34 pm

Re: L1011

Post by TheStig » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:55 am

Great post FADEC, was it the L1011 that its galley below the passenger deck where after boarding the GP would change into street clothes and sling the meals up a dumbwaiter? I've heard that galley rivaled Studio 54 in the 70's if you'd been a fly on the wall.
---------- ADS -----------
  

BMLtech
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:37 pm

Re: L1011

Post by BMLtech » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:12 am

I'm curious if the -500 variant had an additional center tank or did it achieve its range on the same fuel load as the long body? I recall in YYC in the late 80's they carried a heavy pallet of horse meat every night to LHR.
---------- ADS -----------
  

fish4life
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1666
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:32 am

Re: L1011

Post by fish4life » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:59 pm

I’m genuinely curious now that it seemed like such a great aircraft as to why the DC-10 / MD-11 is still seen running around as a freighter all over but the L1011 isn’t?
---------- ADS -----------
  

BMLtech
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:37 pm

Re: L1011

Post by BMLtech » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:30 pm

There was a concerted effort to market the L1011 freighter conversion in the 1990's, and I think at least one aircraft was converted,but it never took off. Pretty sure Fine Air out of MIA operated it as as freighter, but it didn't have near the payload/range capability of the DC10-30. As previously stated, the final nail in the coffin was due to Rolls Royce abandoning support of the -22B engine type.
---------- ADS -----------
  

FADEC
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:31 pm

Re: L1011

Post by FADEC » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:18 am

The galley was below the floor. If you sent both elevators up, then put a food trolley in each elevator bay, no-one could then get down to the galley.

There was a US Military competition for a tanker/transport. All three widebodies were in the game; Boeing put a flying fuel boom on the prototype 747; you can see it at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

The "Boeing" Congressman moved an amendment that only aircraft with a freighter version in production could be considered. He wanted to knock the Lockheed out; it was running number one. He figured nobody would buy a DC10.

The 747 was too big for many ramps, and had double the operating costs of either tri-jet.

Douglas got the contract for 50 KC10's, later increased to 60. That kept the 10 in production, and allowed Douglas to do the MD11. I was in the MD11 development sim at one point; a very nice cockpit.

I expect the DC10 was like most Douglas airplanes. Simple with a good structure. Those who flew it enjoyed the airplane. Douglas messed up some things, like routing all the hydraulics and electrics together; they were widely separated in the Lockheed.

United accident was because the hydraulics were routed together. The Swissair accident was partly because Douglas used Kapton insulation; it burns. Lockheed didn't use it because of their military experience.

The Swissair accident started because Swissair connected the entertainment system to an inappropriate bus in a bad way; that started the fire.

Holding to do checklists and dump fuel in a burning airplane completed the "Swiss Cheese" progression to the resulting loss of the airplane.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
pianokeys
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: L1011

Post by pianokeys » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:30 pm

FADEC wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:18 am
"Swiss Cheese"
I see what you did there.

Years ago I read a book called the Sporty Game by John Newhouse, talked a lot about the L1011, 747, and DC-10 design and sales. Mentioned how MD would just double up on insulation in areas if the airplane was noisy during test flying, where as Lockheed would go about drilling holes in the structure to change the harmonics. Also said Lockheed moved the engines out further from the fuselage to make things quieter. Great info FADEC, much appreciated!
---------- ADS -----------
  

BMLtech
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:37 pm

Re: L1011

Post by BMLtech » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:53 am

I think that Douglas had to mount the DC10 wing engines well inboard due to the small vertical fin with limited rudder authority. Lockheeds' more elegant and expensive S duct design allowed for a full span rudder, which allowed the wing engines to be set much further outboard, a better option for load relief. It's a shame the L1011 was never designed with a high weight/fuel capacity capability option from the outset like the DC10-30. CP used to fly some long legs with those-ER's such as YYC-HKG and YVR-FCO. I witnessed an incident in the 90's where a CP DC-10 lost an engine out of YYC on the way to either Hong Kong or Japan I forget which. At the time there were some shaky feelings after the sioux city event. I think they mobilized the whole city emergency response, but after a lengthy fuel dump it was a routine return.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
pianokeys
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: L1011

Post by pianokeys » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:11 pm

BMLtech wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:53 am
I think that Douglas had to mount the DC10 wing engines well inboard due to the small vertical fin with limited rudder authority. Lockheeds' more elegant and expensive S duct design allowed for a full span rudder, which allowed the wing engines to be set much further outboard, a better option for load relief.
That too but there was mention during the design phase of the L1011 that placing the engines further away from the fuselage would also benefit cabin noise.
BMLtech wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:53 am
CP used to fly some long legs with those-ER's such as YYC-HKG and YVR-FCO. I witnessed an incident in the 90's where a CP DC-10 lost an engine out of YYC on the way to either Hong Kong or Japan I forget which. At the time there were some shaky feelings after the sioux city event. I think they mobilized the whole city emergency response, but after a lengthy fuel dump it was a routine return.
Did CP have the ER version? How many DC-10s did CP have at the time of the AC merger and what happened to them?
---------- ADS -----------
  

BMLtech
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:37 pm

Re: L1011

Post by BMLtech » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:00 pm

I'm not sure how many 10's Canadian had at the end, but I know that several of them went to Biman Bangladesh and ended up being among the very last DC-10's in passenger service anywhere. They still had the basic Canadian color scheme so it was easy to spot them.I remember seeing one of them at MAN in the 2000's and it looked pretty ragged by then.
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Biman-B ... AZGINVk%3D

Anyway back to the topic at hand! :D
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Air-Can ... RY1x/FzjVw
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
EPR
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:38 am
Location: South of 60, finally!

Re: L1011

Post by EPR » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:46 pm

FADEC, thanks for sharing your great memories and stories..I love reading about aviation in the long gone "Halcyon Days"! ( Some great Authors that I enjoyed reading were Capt. Richard Drury, Capt. T. Gallagher, Capt. Len Morgan, Capt. E. Gann and Capt. Les Abend)
I always loved the look of the L1011, DC10/MD11, B727, DC9...and on the prop side of things, the ol' Hawker 748!
---------- ADS -----------
  
Keep the dirty side down.

Redwine
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:20 pm
Location: FLINE@9

Re: L1011

Post by Redwine » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:26 pm

We used to fly them from LHR to YQX then on to YHZ in the early 80's (AC860). The company later switched it it over to YYT. Imagine that- A widebody from London to Gander as a scheduled route!
---------- ADS -----------
  
...Seems they are going to remove the axe and the control column from the cockpits for security reasons.

1000islander
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:30 am

Re: L1011

Post by 1000islander » Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:02 am

Funny you mention Capt Abend....picked up a copy of Flying magazine the other day and it contained an account of his last line flight. Used to get a chuckle of watching Delta operate their 1011s in LGA as well..taxxing around at 20 kts!!!
---------- ADS -----------
  

Post Reply

Return to “Air Canada”