Why the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar was ahead of its time

On the 51st anniversary of its entry into service, Key.Aero examines the aircraft’s revolutionary technology and considers why despite this, the trijet failed

The 1960s was a decade full of advancements in the world of aerospace and civil aviation. It was during this period that a company called Lockheed – which at the time was well known for its military aircraft – set out to build the world’s most advanced airliner. 

L-1011 Lockheed
Delta Air Lines operated a fleet of more than 70 TriStars. Flickr Commons/Aero Icarus

The resulting L-1011 TriStar could do things that wouldn’t become commonplace in commercial aviation for decades. It could practically fly itself from take-off to touchdown without manual intervention from the pilots. 

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