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For all the L-1011 Fans:This has always been my favorite bird. Although it is well past its prime and a good ways behind what's out there now, I'm glad to see 6 being refurbished and back flying. (www.pr.com) More...
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My best experience in an L-1011 was Cathay Pacific flight into old KaiTak airport in HKG. Sitting in the observer's seat behind the pilot as we landed this big bird over the city with a strong cross-wind and rain - an experience never to be repeated. Perfect placement by an experienced and skilled pilot flying the lady in every metre. Thanks for the memory.
I met one of the Cathay pilots, an Australian, at a concert in Hong Kong. He said it was a little like doing a carrier landing in a 747
With no hook or safety net.
The 1011 was a good airplane for the passenger...once you got it away from the gate. But its design philosophy doomed it from day one. The large passenger cabin was at the expense of lowering the cabin floor 2 feet. In turn, that made a requirement for special cargo containers in the belly. In the jumbo jets, cargo containers were interchangeable among the B747, DC10 and A-300; but not interchangeable with the 1011. It was the design mistake that doomed the 1011 to obscurity. Couple that with the myriad of mechanical problems that caused untold delays at the gate because this or that system did not work at the moment. Nice idea, but in the long run, not an economical airliner for the airlines. Delta ran the 1011 long after its usefulness because it was the only game in town at the time for Delta
Back then I was one of those passengers that booked my flight by aircraft type. If an L1011 didn't go there, neither did I. Led to spending a lot of time in ATL (I always flew Delta)and could usually catch at least part of my trip on one. Have never heard a L1011 pilot say anything but good things about her. Many called her a true pilot's airplane. Guess that said it all. There's a video on You Tube where Delta is retiring its last one -- I can't watch it. Maybe you guys can: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqu-YEcl0e8
Listening to the stories from the old Pan Am days was truly facinating.My favorite stories were about laying over for a week on Pacific Islands.They had also flown with the old "Flying Boats" Captains back in the day.--cs