It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


What on earth happened to Lockheed passanger aircraft?

page: 1

log in


posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:16 PM
I have been wondering for a while why lockeed left the airliner business. What I take to be their last major aircraft, the 1011 (aka tristar) was a fairly successful plane and and ahead of its time. So why would a company which created revolutionary airliners such as the Constellation, the afore mentioned Tristar and even the Jetstar private jet, wish to leave the market completely?


[edited because I didnt like the original title]

[edit on 5/9/06 by jensy]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:19 PM
I always liked the Lockheed Tristar L1011 too. Some of them are still flying, usually in third world airlines...I guess Lockheed just made a business decision to give up on building commercial airplanes.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:31 PM
Boeing and Airbus were outselling them in the commercial market, so they made the strategic decision to go military, where they've always had huge sales.

The L1011 had all sorts of issues with it. It was an interesting plane, and design, but lord god almighty it smoked something awful when they started number 2 engine. It ALWAYS leaked oil as it was sitting there, and when they'd start up it would smoke up the entire airport. The last US airline I know of that used them was American Trans Air, they might still have 1 or 2 for VIP planes, and I BELIEVE that the RAF uses them still as tankers.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:33 PM
What I was actually trying to learn was if there were any passanger projects they carried out after the Tristar, I know of the L-2000 SST but i didnt think i got any further than the proposl stage.


posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:37 PM
Not that I'm aware of. There were some proposed designs, but none got farther than the drawing board. The L1011-500 is the last one they produced.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:49 PM
I never got to close to the L1011. But Lockheed is rather well known for creating a new desighn and makeing it work. As has been done with the new fighter they have the contract on. One could also say that Lockheed is just very good at paying off the right people to get the contracts. As they also have the contract on the Orion space craft. There will be many billions there.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 09:04 PM
There was a passenger version of the C-5A offered but nobody bought it.
The high wing caused problems with airport handling.

The C-141 was proposed as a civilian airliner somewhat more seriously, apparently fully type certified by the FAA, but didn't get any sales, apparently for the same reason.

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 05:35 AM
A couple of years ago I was flying back from Greece and the airline I was flying with had to charter a Tristar as one of their other planes was out of action. I think it had previously been flying transatlantic flights for a Brazilian airline (all the safety sheets were in Portugese) so it was much roomier than the usual planes.

During the Tristar project Lockheed got caught (and prosecuted IIRC) for a fraud involving several high up officials in several countries around the world. I think they lost a lot of trust and money through that and maybe decided to rely solely on their reputation of delivering ground-breaking military aircraft in short timeframes (ie. the U-2 etc.).

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:01 AM
When Lockheed were designing the L-1011, its engine was to be the Rolls-Royce RB211.

This engine was a very high risk program, with corresponding high returns if it went right. It was to be the first of the wide-chord fan blade engines, using carbon fibre fan blades as opposed to the thinner titanium blades with mid-span snubbers - thus it was going to be far, far more efficient... if it worked.

Unfortunately, Rolls had serious problems with delamination of the carbon fibre blades - this bankrupted Rolls, the UK government had to save the company by nationalising it. Lockheed had to get the US government to bail them out of the resulting mess. Eventually, with the recalling of several veteran engineers, they got the RB211 out in service, and it has since evolved into one of the greatest engines out there - the current Trents being a pretty straight evolution of the design.

Unfortunately, Lockheed were badly stung by this, and decided (for good or bad) to steer away from civilan projects and concentrate on military matters... who knows, that may have been part of the government deal that saved the company.

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 09:41 AM

Yes, it is interesting that you say that, I wondered f the US government feared that if US airliner manufacturers competeed with each other, that Airbus may have been able to topple both.


posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 05:14 PM
bit off topic but i went to the falklands in 2002 in a tristar was an 18 hour flight and i found it more comfortable than the last flight i had in a boing 767

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:11 PM
Along with the previous "booboo"'s explained (which I'm too lazy to repeat), Lockheed has come to an area where they didn't really need the commercial area anymore. Boeing and Airbus were solely concentrated on that market, which kind of pushed Lockheed out. But they could make do with the military projects. The U-2, the F-117, the F-16, and more recently the F-22, just for a few examples. As it happens these contracts can be quite lucrative. So Lockheed has just eked into a market in whcih it fits, and does well.

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 11:17 PM
Not sure if it was declared yet, but on top of the problems that Zaphod has laid out, I remember my father telling me about how the number 2 engine housing would constantly be cracking. If that's substantial then there you go
Not sure if Zaphod could provide some more information

posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 01:28 AM
The L-10-11 one of the most beautiful and advanced planes of it's time, suffered from many inconveniences that ultimately broke it. The most known one were the engines. It used RR engines. the development costs of that project, took Rolls Royce into bankruptcy. RR was later rescued by the British Government so the project continued. However, it's biggest problem was that the plane came from a requirement from American Airlines for a High Volume Aircraft for medium range routes. McDonnell Douglas also released a plane around that time for that same requirement, the DC-10. The market was not big enough for both resulting in that neither plane achieved an astounding commercial success. But that is not it, what ultimately ended the L-10-11 and the DcC-10's production was the introduction of the Twin engines and the new MTOW regulations that allow them to serve trans Atlantic and longer range routes with better fuel economy and maintenance costs (have to maintain 2 very accessible engines instead of three for example). The planes guilty for that were in the first place, the A300 and later the Boeing 767.

Only 250 L 10-11 were built. This project nearly broke Lockheed who decided to scrap his civil aviation and dedicate itself to military contracts. however Skunkworks is designing a supersonic business jet for a company calle Supersonic Aerospace Internationa Inc., called the QSST (Quiet Supersonic Transport)

Here is the QSST website for more info on the project

[edit on 7-9-2006 by carcharodon]

posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 12:35 PM
The last new Lockheed airliner programme I can recall dates from around 1980 and was called the 'Recat' which was an acronym for 'Reduced energy commercial air transport'.

It was the very first proposed 'propfan' airliner, I believe, predating the MD-90 and Boeing 7J7 by almost a decade. Unlike those two however, which resembled conventional rear engined jets but with propfans on longer pylons than usual, the Recat had its four propfans faired into the wing leading edge like a normal turboprop and, with its swept wing and Tristar fuselage, resembled a widebody Tu-95/Tu-114.

edit; I found a picture, in case you thought I was making it up

In the end though Lockheed were simply squeezed out of the commercial market by Airbus and Boeing, hamstrung by their inability to offer a 'family' of aircraft which became an extremely important factor in choosing airline fleets in the 1980's.

[edit on 7-9-2006 by waynos]

posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 12:55 PM
The L-1011 was an interesting a/c for sure but was dommed from the get-go. As Waynos points out, it was but a single offering. The engine issue forced a major delay which had L-1011's sitting outside the production plant completed but with no engines.

The company almost went bankrupt because of this as well as the corporate scandal that had enveloped it.

One interesting design features of the Tristar, was the cargo hold lounge. I beleive the long defunct PSA airlines ordered a few in this configuration. Externaly they are distinguised by a strike plate located in the fron lower fuselage. It also had a hardpoint on the wing to allow the airline to carry a spare engine for transport

posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 06:48 PM

Interesting a/c, I dont suppose (especially in the 80's) that any self respecting airline would purchase a plane with props for anything more than a short haul flight. I remember sitting next to a woman on a flight on a fairly modern twin turbo prop (possibly a saab) who commented that "it was nice that they kept them flying after the war".


new topics

top topics


log in