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Old 07-17-2017, 01:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default L-1011 flies again!

The Rare Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Returns to the Skies Once More : AirlineReporter

THE RARE LOCKHEED L-1011 TRISTAR RETURNS TO THE SKIES ONCE MORE
BY JL JOHNSON
16
JUL
2017
Lockheed L-1011 Tri-Star does a fly-by of Kansas City International Airport. - Photo: JL Johnson. Not for use elsewhere.
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar does a fly-by of Kansas City International Airport. – Photo: JL Johnson. Not for use elsewhere.
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar was a plane with a tragically short lifespan. It was expected to be a real contender against the Boeing 747, Douglas DC-10, and Airbus A300. It entered the market late, in large part due to delays resulting from difficulty at Rolls-Royce, the only engine producer for the TriStar. Despite this, it is one of just a few airliners that elicits strong emotion from people of all ages and walks of life. It was received with much fanfare.
In business, however, fanfare does not necessarily equate to economic viability. In roughly two decades, just 250 units were produced – including an incredible number of custom variants. Few operators held onto their L-1011s for long before passing them along to others or sending them to storage. By most accounts, the TriStar was a failure. During development of the only TriStar engine option, the RB211, Rolls-Royce was deemed what modern day observers would call “too big to fail.” It was nationalized to avoid catastrophic economic impact to the United Kingdom and to keep the costly program afloat. Following the cancellation of the series, Lockheed fully withdrew from the commercial airliner market to focus on military and other industries.
But struggles in development, lackluster sales, and frequent turnover did not get in the way of the passion shared by those who had in some way experienced the TriStar. It was and is one of the most beloved planes in AvGeek culture. The TriStar was an underdog. People love an underdog story, and that is just what this is.

TRISTAR EXPERIENCE- THE ORGANIZATION BEHIND THE L-1011’S RESTORATION
The people behind TriStar Experience, an all-volunteer organization, have worked tirelessly for years to source and restore unique and special aircraft for the purposes of inspiring the next generation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) workers. This L-1011 joins already completed projects such as the MD-83 N948TW, also known as Wings of Pride. Readers may recall that AirlineReporter was granted exclusive aviation media access of the arrival of TWA’s Wings of Pride in 2015.
The organization, a 501(c)3 non-profit, uses flyable jet aircraft for educational and experiential programs to inspire students into STEM fields of study. It seeks to support and cultivate those with interest to pursue aviation and aerospace related careers. Regardless of coursework or career, TriStar’s ultimate success is helping kids explore and achieve more than they thought possible. TriStar also supports other charitable groups with its operational jet aircraft.

ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR L-1011
I think we all can agree that L-1011s are special. But N910TE, built in 1974, is in a class of its own for a number of reasons. First, it was one of just two L-1011s which were specially configured for delivery customer Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) with a forward lounge in an area which would have typically been for cargo. Secondly, after serving with a number of carriers, this plane was acquired by a non-profit which converted it into a flying hospital. The majority of the plane has been thoughtfully retrofitted to medical treatment and surgical areas. The plane served on missions all around the world, bringing efficient and much-needed care to those in need.
The plane was stored at Tucson International Airport in 2001 where it remained until TriStar Experience acquired it. Restoration and maintenance work began in January of 2016 and continued through July 15, 2017, the day of its second ferry flight attempt.

REGARDING THE L-1011’S FLIGHT CREW:
“Who in the world would still be qualified to fly this?” It was a common question on social media on the day of the arrival, for sure. I had an opportunity to ask Mike Saxton, TriStar Experience Co-Founder this very question. To my amazement, he pulled a notebook out of his satchel, flipped a few pages, and showed me.
The crew of the ferry flight was as follows:
Mark Kenny- Pilot in command. Current full-time 747 captain for Orbital ATK.
Howard “Dusty” Spain- Co-captain. Former L-1011 Captain for TWA
Dave Mattingly- Co-captain. Former L-1011 Captain for Delta Air Lines.
Mark Messler- Flight engineer. Current engineer at Orbital ATK.
Martin Pike- Airborne flight mechanic.
Lin Weeks- Onboard safety.

THE L-1011’S FUTURE
BONUS: PARTS TO PLANES: THE STORY OF JET MIDWEST AND A SHUTTERED AMERICAN AIRLINES (TWA) MRO
For the next few days, the L-1011 will remain at Kansas City International Airport’s shuttered A terminal, gate 14. KCI [as the locals refer to MCI] terminal A was closed a number of years ago and is not open to the public. Soon the plane will be towed to the maintenance, repair, overhaul area of KCI which was initially occupied by TWA. TriStar Experience is anxious to begin using the plane in its STEM programs in cooperation with local schools and non-profits, just as it does with TWA Wings of Pride at the downtown KC airport.
To learn more about TriStar Experience, its mission, and to consider donating to the organization, visit tristarexperience.org.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: L-1011 flies again!

This is awesome! And even more wonderful that is a former PSA aircraft with the lower level lounge!
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: L-1011 flies again!

I flew on Delta and Eastern Airlines L-1011 Tristars on my 2 visits to the US in the 1980's.
Very nice Aircraft.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: L-1011 flies again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLM4me View Post
This is awesome! And even more wonderful that is a former PSA aircraft with the lower level lounge!
Yeah I'd love to see one of those.
I flew on Delta L-1011s three times during the late nineties and really enjoyed them.
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: L-1011 flies again!

I saw an L1011 sitting at IAD a few years back. I had the pleasure of flying on a Delta L-1011 and Pan Am L-1011 back in the day.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: L-1011 flies again!

I flew on the very last Delta revenue L-1011 flight in July 2001 between Orlando and Atlanta..Lots of local media and delta employees on the ramp waving us off. Upon arrival at Atlanta, sadly no fly by, but we did get a water gun salute taxiing in. As far as enthusiasts maybe 75 on board the full flight. Upon deplaning there was a small reception with cake and last flight certificates.. I was able to get the pilots to sign my certificate and 3 Gemini 400 DL 1011's and 1 1/100 Pac Min models.

As for the rest of the passengers they just rushed off showed no interest and ran off to make their ATL connections.

We did get to sign our names on the fuselage which was cool with black marker.

The next day that plane ferried to Victorville with invited Delta employees who were treated to a low fly by of the Grand Canyon.

That plane N728DA was donated for spare parts by Delta to the flying hospital group to help support this L-1011.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: L-1011 flies again!

That's a cool story, Russell. Wasn't Dylan also on the flight from Atlanta to Victorville? If I recall correctly, he was able to score some nice goodies and swag.

I have some very fond memories of flying Delta L-1011s. Tampa to Denver and return, and every other month or so, I would fly them from Tampa to Lauderdale and return.
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