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TWA Lockheed L-1011 TriStar


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Trans World Airlines

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historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1974

SKU: Model-0383 Categories: ,

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The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar is an American medium-to-long-range, wide-body airliner built by the Lockheed Corporation. It was the third wide-body airliner to enter commercial operations, after the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. The airliner has a seating capacity of up to 400 passengers and a range of over 4,600 miles. The trijet engine configuration includes three Rolls-Royce RB211 engines with one engine under each wing and a third engine center-mounted with an S-duct air inlet embedded in the tail and the upper fuselage. The aircraft includes a lower deck galley and lounge facilities.

The original L-1011-1 first flew in November of 1970 and entered service in 1972. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed manufactured a total of 250 TriStars that were assembled at the Lockheed plant located at the Palmdale Regional Airport north of Los Angeles, California. After the L-1011 production ended, Lockheed withdrew from the commercial aircraft business.

TWA, which was based in New York City, began operations as Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) on July 8, 1929 with a coast to coast route from Los Angeles to New York. Western Air Express (WAE), a competing air carrier, had begun service to Albuquerque two months earlier with a similar route from Los Angeles but their route continued on east to Amarillo, Wichita, and Kansas City. WAE was also operating other routes but due to the great depression and a ruling called the Watres Bill which involved awarding a new air mail contract that both carriers needed, TAT and the Los Angeles to Kansas City route of WAE were forced to merge. The merger took place on July 16, completed by July 24, 1930, and the one carrier became known as Transcontinental and Western Air, or “TWA”. In April 1945, a ticket office was opened in downtown Albuquerque at the Hilton Hotel which remained open through the 1970s.

Trans World Airlines began using the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, the first of the wide body jumbo jet transports to the Albuquerque Sunport, on May 1, 1974, with one flight per day to and from Chicago. This also was the first aircraft to use the new west wing addition and loading bridge at the Sunport which had been completed approximately 6 months earlier. At first, TWA’s L-1011 TriStar with this livery only served Albuquerque for eight months but returned in1982 sporting a new livery. The TriStar, aircraft number N31022, was the plane recorded servicing the Sunport in 1974.