Thursday, June 4, 2020

TriStar500.net Site - 20 years online

Internet has become such a different place when compared to what it was in the late nineties. Today, business took most of the place of the free knowledge sharing that existed by that time. The first version of the TriStar500.net Site - although not yet with that name - was written in the last days of 1999 and went online in January 2000.

Lockheed TriStar L1011, index, year 2000

The childish appearence of the website was compatible with the tender age of the young boy who wrote it. A handful of other L-1011 websites existed with lots of complete information about the whole worldwide fleet. So I didn't pretend to make one more site of that kind, nor did I have access to those sources of information or contacts in the aviation world to keep me updated. I just wanted to tell the world that I loved the L-1011, my favorite aircraft.

In 2004, a big leap was made with a professional hosting and a new own domain that gave a new name to the website. That year, TriStar500.net truly became an L-1011 information center, not only with news about the L-1011's that belonged to TAP Air Portugal or that were still flying in my country, but also keeping attention to the worldwide fleet.

In 2007, I became the luckiest guy in the world when I started working as a crew member flying a good old L-1011 TriStar.

Today, 20 years later after the first version of the website went online, I'm still committed to keep it alive as it became a solid part of my own life story. To commemorate this anniversary a new alternative and more simple domain is now available: tristar.pt.

TriStar500.net Site: About this Site

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

Hewa Bora Airways' TriStar 500 preserved

Along with other vintage aircraft, L-1011-500 9Q-CHC, was moved from Kinshasa N'Djili Airport - where it was stored for many years - to Parc de la Vallé de la Nsele.

9Q-CHC © An Van Den Poel

Some very cool pictures of the airframe can be seen following the link below:

Monday, November 18, 2019

Uncertain future for L-1011 Stargazer

Ahead of the latest ICON/Pegasus XL launch, Northrop Grumman's Vice-President stated that they are planning to keep their L-1011 Stargazer five to 10 years more.
Phil Joyce, vice president of space launch programs at Northrop Grumman, said this week that the company is trying to sell the launches using the two remaining Pegasus XL rockets, and officials plan to keep the Pegasus rocket’s L-1011 carrier jet flying for at least five or 10 more years. 
“We’re looking out five or 10 years with the L-1011, and what parts do we need, being the only flying L-1011 on the planet,” he said. “We have the only trained pilots, we have the only trained mechanics for that aircraft, and we needed the parts.”

However, and since there are no new Pegasus missions scheduled, some rumors say that the aircraft used as an airborne launch platform will be retired soon and turned into a monument, as it was already proposed in the recent past.

Stargazer monument © Gordon/Orbital ATK

In even if Stratolaunch project seems to be having its difficulties, the fact is that new airborne launch platforms for small satellites (like Virgin Orbit's Cosmic Girl/Launcher One) are being developed and the challenge of keeping an aircraft that is 45 years old and that is the last operational L-1011 in the world will certainly condemn Stargazer to its final retirement soon or later.