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Sunday, 20 May 2018

Orbital ATK is the new owner of N91011

When consulting FAA Registry website, Orbital ATK (trade name for ORBITAL SCIENCES CORP) shows up as the new owner of the L-1011 with tail number N91011, a transaction that took place on April 5.

N91011 parked at Victorville

This airframe, an ex-TAP Air Portugal, was previously owned by TriStar Experience, which gave up on it in favor of preserving the ex-Flying Hospital L-1011.

No press release was made about this move on Orbital's website but one can assume N91011 will be used for spare parts to support the operation of the only active L-1011 in the world, the "Stargazer".

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Next Pegasus XL launch

According to Spaceflight Now, the ICON mission is now planned to take place on June 14. The ICON satellite will be launched into orbit using the Pegasus XL rocket released from an airborne platform, the L-1011 Stargazer.

Spaceflight Now: Launch Schedule

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Press release from Tempus AS

It looks like Tempus Applied Solutions has firm intentions to bring back to life the ex-RAF TriStars parked in Bruntinghorpe:
Tempus Applied Solutions Finalizes Acquisition of Ex-Royal Air Force Air-To-Air Refueling Aircraft
Transaction consists of six Lockheed L-1011 aircraft

MARCH 12, 2018
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. | March 12, 2018 – Tempus Applied Solutions (TAS) announced today that the company has finalized the acquisition of six Lockheed L-1011s formerly owned and operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom. Four of these aircraft are specifically configured for air-to-air refueling (AAR) operations and the remaining two are configured for passenger and cargo operations only. The aircraft previously served the RAF and NATO.

Read more on the link below.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Northrop Grumman-Orbital ATK Merger

Last November, Orbital ATK's stockholders approved the acquisition of their company by Northrop Grumman. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018, after regulatory approvals.

Meanwhile, according to Spaceflight Now, the launch of the Pegasus XL rocket carrying the ICON satellite has been postponed to a date yet to be defined, in early 2018:
Launch time: TBD
Launch site: L-1011, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
An air-launched Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket will deploy NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite into orbit. ICON will study the ionosphere, a region of Earth’s upper atmosphere where terrestrial weather meets space weather. Disturbances in the ionosphere triggered by solar storms or weather activity in the lower atmosphere can cause disturbances in GPS navigation and radio transmissions. Delayed from June 15, Nov. 14 and Dec. 8. [Nov. 13] takes this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Delta flight 1080 incident

Delta L-1011 ad

During the take-off run, Delta ship 707 (N707DA) got its left elevator jammed in the up position imposing a continuous nose-up pitching moment after lift-off. The remaining pitch control authority of the stabilator was not enough to counteract that tendency. You keep losing speed and and you find yourself on the verge of an unrecoverable stall and you still don't know why you don't have full pitch authority - because in the L-1011 the sensors are coupled with the position of the entire stabilizer (which acts as an all flying tail) and you cannot detect the jamming of the left elevator.

Flying tail

What would you do in this situation? This is a descripton of an amazing airmanship story where everybody survived without a scratch because of a desperate and improbable last attempt to regain control of the aircraft while making use of the unusual engine #2 placement to create a nose-down pitching moment. Subsequent investigation found a broken bearing linked to the jammed elevator due to corrosion. Full description of this incident narrated by the Captain of this troubled flight can be found by following the link below:

Articles | Flight 1080 by Capt. Jack McMahan (DAL)