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      JEE3


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      Post #41288, posted on 02-15-2012 GMT-5 hours    

      When the topic of the TWA L-1011's comes up, it most of the time gets to the inevitable question "Were there any factory deliveries in the 1975 'Red-Tail' scheme"? The answer turns out to be yes....sort of!
      The Tristar can trace it's beginnings back to an American Airlines 1966 proposal for a wide-body Twin-Jet, capable of operating out of La Guardia Airport (9,000 ft runway) to Chicago (1,600 mi range). Other airlines, such as Eastern & TWA preferred a 3-engine A/C with Transcontinental range. In late 1967, the 3rd engine was added and the L1011 project began to take shape.
      With American's 1968 announcement to purchase the rival DC-10, Lockheed could now concentrate on improving the 'Tristar's Transcontinental range.
      (back row left is Lockheed's Don Houghton with Rolls-Royce's Sir David Huddie. front row is TWA's Charles C. Tillinghast and Eastern's Floyd Hall)
      On March 29, 1968 at 11:00 am in the New York Waldorf Astoria, TWA signed up for (44) L-1011 Tristars. For TWA fans, the first look at the Lockheed TWA Tristar model only served to increase the anticipation of someday soon, seeing the real thing!





      Soon TWA fans would be seeing the great "Twin-Globes" on the new 747 "Jumbo-Jet", as (12) had been ordered in 1966, along with (8) 727-200's and (2) pure cargo 707C's (more on TWA 'narrowbodies' in a later TWA 720B "LS")
      The new L-1011's were ordered to fill the anticipated extra capacity on TWA's Transcontinental U.S. routes.
      In March 1969, assembly of the first Tristar began at the newly completed Palmdale, California facility. On December 31, 1969 TWA's 1st 747-131 was delivered.
      The world's 2nd 747 airline would begin actual service in February 1970, on the New York-Los Angeles route and starting trans-Atlantic service to London the following month.
      Back at Palmdale, things were going along at a nice steady pace; November 17, 1970 roll-out and 1st flight February 4, 1971. While all was going well with the test flights, the same could not be said for both Rolls-Royce and Lockheed!
      To get the engine contract, R-R had put in such a low bid as to ensure to get the contract but also to lose money on each engine built, while over at Lockheed, they were having huge cost over-runs from the fixed price C-5A Gallaxy program and both companies had to be bailed out by their respective governments, with an added 5-month delay in getting engines. Essentially, Lockheed would be the world's largest manufacturer of gliders!
      By 1972, the R-R engine production line in Derby began to resume production.
      Another legacy from the Rolls-Royce bankruptcy, was the delay in funding for an improved long-range engine. The DC-10-30 Intercontinental had that market all to itself.
      By early 1972, activity at Palmdale was getting back to normal.
      ( the 1st TWA painted A/C is left -would actually be delivered to Eastern, while 3rd from the top right is the famous 'World Tour' A/C with all the customer logos on it.

      On May 9, 1972, the 1st Trans World Airlines L-1011 Tristar was delivered and TWA created a brochure to show off the newest member of the family!
      On June 25, 1972, the 1st Tristar service began on a St. Louis-Los Angeles flight. Soon, Philadelphia-Los Angeles via Chicago, San Francisco-Phoenix & Las Vegas were added.
      TWA L-1011 pilots were wearing the 1960-designed uniform, which by this time had become an equal to Pan American's (IMO).
      (TWA's 1950's uniform will be covered in the TWA 720B "LS")
      Sadly, for male L-1011 passengers, the last of the 'short-skirt' (1968-71) uniforms was replaced by the pants-suit style that would dominate for the rest of the decade.
      The only real alteration in the "Twin-Globe" L-1011 scheme occurred in 1973.

      It appears that N31009 (10th A/C del.) was the first to have this factory-delivered change, as a 2nd Red "1011" was added to the #3 engine nacelle. There was a much smaller "1011" below the windows, in line with the TWA fuselage logo near the front but it turned out it was hard to see on the NMF. The Reg# was now moved to the lower part of the tail. About those TWA Reg.#'s! TWA did a few 'quirky' things in regard to registration numbers. First, they had just about the smallest size ever used by an airline (seemed to have 'had it in' for airplane spotters!). Second, TWA, unlike most airlines, used groups of sequential Reg.#'s, depending on what company they were financing the A/C through. While the 747-131's were delivered with sequential numbers, the Tristars were delivered in at least (4) sequence groups; N31007-31, N11002-06, N15017 & N41012/16/20! (definitely making a spotters life miserable!)
      By 1973, Lockheed was 'cranking out' L-1011's.
      (shown are Courtline [G-BAAB], TWA [N31012], LTU [D-AERA] & Eastern [N316EA]).
      As far as inflight photos, it was Eastern's "Whisperliner" that would become the iconic L-1011 photo.
      For some reason, the sharp looking TWA pre-delivery inflights, just seemed to have disappeared. I can remember looking all over for them in the 1970's magazines and not finding any. The (2) known inflight postcards turned out to be not great. It's only been recently that the little-seen pre-delivery inflights have shown up. (on the SDASM-site & Jon Proctor's TWA DCS Alumni website)
      By late 1973, it seemed there were "Twin-Globe" Tristars everywhere but an unforeseen event was just around the corner.
      The Late 1973-OPEC oli crisis would have a devastating effect on the whole airline industry. TWA's problem was complicated by the fact that they had began to diversify into other non-airline businesses (Hilton Hotels, Century 21 Real Estate & Hardees Restaurants), instead of putting money back into upgrading it's own airline! The effects were clear by 1975, as TWA sold (8) of it's 747-131's to Iran and cut a $55 million deal with Saudia for (2) Tristars that were being built (N31032 & -33)! N30131 was to be the last TWA "Twin-Globe" L-1011, delivered in 1975. TWA would defer the remaining deliveries.
      In late 1977, TWA began converting some of their -1's to -100's for trans-Atlantic operations, scheduled for the Spring of 1978. TWA was in no particular hurry, as far as re-painting to the 1975 "Red-Tails". This would be a benefit to "Twin-Globe" fans as late as (10) yrs later, a few TWA L-1011's could still be seen in their factory-delivered colors!
      Finally, in late 1981, the last (5) TWA Tristars were delivered, being the 1st factory-delivered A/C to wear the 1975 colors (though not with the 1975 so-called 'hollow' titles, as the change had been just made to solid Red titles).
      (this -100 re-uses the N31033 reg. that was originally supposed to be on the A/C that was bought by Saudia-another thing TWA was known for ...re-using old registration numbers).
      The TWA "Twin-Globe" L-1011 was the perfect combination; a 'classic' scheme on a beautiful aircraft........John3 (Thanks to Jon Proctor/www.twdcs.org, Jetphotos.net, Airliners.net, Cris Sloan/Airchive.com, Chuck Gowing/Airlinecolors.com, www.williamdemarest.com, Bjorn Larsson/Timetableimages.com, Stanwings.com & Cliff Muskiet's Stewardess Uniform Collection website. Photographers: Jon Proctor, Paul Cicci, Bob Garrard, Michel Gilliand & AirNikon.)

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      skippiebg


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      Post #41290, posted on 02-15-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      Thank you! You can put me down as a Twin Globe fan! Especially on a TriStar!

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      Metropolitan2


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      Post #41292, posted on 02-15-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      Wonderful article, thank you!
      -Harry B.

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      JEE3


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      Post #41295, posted on 02-15-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      Thanks......



      John

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      Jennings


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      Post #41296, posted on 02-15-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      Love it! Is there anything (besides a Constellation) that doesn't look good in the twin globe red rocket scheme??

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      Post #41343, posted on 02-17-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      Great John. The photo captioned "the first aircraft painted in TWA colors actually delivered to Eastern" got me wondering about a trip I took in early 1973. Made a trip to Disney World in March 1973 on an Eastern Airlines package, and planned specifically so as to fly on the new L-1011. When we went to board the plane in Atlanta for the flight to Orlando, I was surprised to see that our Eastern flight was on a new TWA L-1011. Wonder if it was the same aircraft?

      Gene
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      JEE3


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      Post #41347, posted on 02-17-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      Gene, Between 1972-1974, Eastern and TWA had a reciprocal lease deal involving (3) Tristars to be used on each others peak seasons. Eastern leased N31001 and N11002 (usually in April) for (2) Summers in '73 & '74, while TWA leased N309EA for (2) Winters in '72 & '74. No doubt you were on either N31001 or N11002, also a perfect example of TWA's 'quirky' use of reg. #'s!




      John

      Author Message

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      Post #41348, posted on 02-17-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      John, you are a wealth of information that is so exact and intriguing! You may consider doing a book? Or have you already? Your research and knowledge is so fascinating and I for one look forward to seeing the "Lost Schemes" every time I log onto this great site! Thanks for educating all of us!

      Tom

      Models, try 'em..........