The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar is the third widebody airliner to enter service after the Boeing 747 and Douglas DC-10. First flying in 1970 and entering service in 1972, the TriStar was perhaps the most advanced aircraft of its time.

Unusually for a US programme at the time, Rolls-Royce engines were selected to power the aircraft. The British company went into receivership in February 1971 which put the programme into jeopardy and delayed its entry into service.

Lockheed L-1011 Video

There is a video below all about the aircraft. Last week, I brought your attention to a video on the Convair 990 Coronado and the same people who made that video also did this one. It gives a pretty good snapshot of the aircraft and what happened.

TWA and Eastern Airlines launched the aircraft, with Delta Air Lines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific operating many examples. Just 250 TriStars were produced which was below the break even number.

How advanced was the aircraft? The design philosophy was to take the most advanced technology of the day and where it didn’t exist to invent it. It had a very advanced autopilot system with lots of redundancy meaning it could land on its own in fog, thus avoiding diversions.

The cabin was designed to be very spacious for passengers and it was built using a process to reduce corrosion. When the last aircraft rolled off the production line in 1984, it also marked Lockheed’s exit from the commercial aviation business.

Overall Thoughts

An aircraft I would have loved to have flown on board is the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar. It looked so graceful compared to the Douglas DC-10 and I think it looked amazing in the white and blue Eastern Airlines colours.

Another thing I like about the Lockheed TriStar is the fact that it turned out to be very safe. The Douglas DC-10 had a number of high profile crashes and incidents, several of which were due to design faults with that aircraft.

Did you ever fly on the TriStar? Who with? What was it like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Jon Proctor via Wikimedia Commons.