• Review: Just Flight Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

    Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

    Publisher: Just Flight

    Review Author:
    Meng Yu

    Suggested Price:
    $45.99

    Buy Here

    To Start Off

    This is a rather new product, released earlier this year. I'm glad to announce that it has JUST arrived in the FS Pilot Shop! This aircraft is one of Lockheed's few commercial airplanes. This model features four panel options, and many models, including the civilian model, and a few military transport and refueller models. There is also a livery package which would also be featured in this review, and adds plenty of liveries to your L-1011 model. There are several models included in this package, but we will only be taking a look at the civilian version of the TriStar. Well what are we waiting for? Let's go into the detail of this plane.

           

    Background Information On The Aircraft

    The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, after the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. The aircraft has a seating capacity of up to 400 passengers and a range of over 4,000 nautical miles (7,410 km). Its trijet configuration places one Rolls-Royce RB211 engine under each wing, with a third, center-mounted RB211 engine with an S-duct air inlet embedded in the tail and the upper fuselage. The aircraft has an autoland capability, an automated descent control system, and available lower deck galley and lounge facilities.

    The L-1011 TriStar was produced in two fuselage lengths. The original L-1011-1 first flew in November 1970, and entered service with Eastern Air Lines in 1972. The shortened, long-range L-1011-500 first flew in 1978, and entered service with British Airways a year later. The original length TriStar was also produced as the high gross weight L-1011-100, uprated engine L-1011-200, and further upgraded L-1011-250. Post-production conversions for the L-1011-1 with increased takeoff weights included the L-1011-50 and L-1011-150.

    Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed manufactured a total of 250 TriStars. The aircraft's sales were hampered by two years of delays due to developmental and financial problems at Rolls-Royce, the sole manufacturer of the TriStar's engines. After production ended, Lockheed withdrew from the commercial aircraft business due to its below-target sales.

    Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
    Engines Rolls-Royce RB211-524B
    or
    Rolls-Royce RB211-525B
    Fuselage Length 164 feet (50 meters)
    Wing Span 164 feet (50 meters)
    Economical Cruise Speed 483 kt
    Max Cruise Speed 518 kt
    Range 5345 nm

    Review

    Just Flight does indeed market products by othere developers under its own name. However, this time, it is different. As far as I can see, this product is modelled and textured by Just Flight's own in-house development team. We'll be judging their work today, and I have high hopes for this add-on.

    First Impressions

    This aircraft definitely gave me high hopes at first. We, in the flight simulator community have not received a good payware L-1011 since the Perfect Flight one. This release should give the Lockheed lovers a good experience. Without further delay, let's move into the review!

    Exterior

    The exterior is simply stunning at first look. It has all the aspects for a good package. As much as I would like to explain, here are some screen shots first:

           

    I would like to first talk about the model in general. This model is definitely of rather high quality, and is also rather accurate to the real L-1011s, if any are still flying today. Here are some links to photos of real L-1011-50 civilian airliners out there, since embedding them would mean copyright infringement.

    Links:

    http://images2.jetphotos.net/img/1/6/7/3/99610_1233590376.jpg
    http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/9/8/9/1621989.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/All_Nippon_Airways_L-1011-385-1_Tristar_1_(JA8519_193P-1134)_(3975772781).jpg
    http://www.airteamimages.com/pics/167/167217_800.jpg
    http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8294/7639802122_41a8a776e4.jpg
    http://www.airlinerphotos.com/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=8328&g2_serialNumber=2
    http://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/uploaded-images/2010-4/16/85798.jpg
    http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac3/Airline/Eastern%20Air%20Lines%20Lockheed%20L-1011.jpg

    As you can see from the pictures, this model is created rather realistically, and is definitely something worth checking out. Should I mention, this model is also extremely frame-rate friendly. I really did not notice any loss of frames when using this add on, compared to other freeware add ons. In case you are curious, I got a consistant 25-30 FPS. I set my simulator on a limit of 30 FPS, and this is what I got; pretty friendly, I'd say.

    Next, I'll explore more on the animations of this model. This model contains only basic animations, such as the main door and cargo doors. I cannot tell how many animations are programmed simply through the sim, as there is no animation control panel, but I check the CFG file of the aircraft and thus confirmed this. (There were only two entries in the [exits] section). As such, I am starting to get disappointed with this model, the level of excitement definitely down. I though Just Flight would have made something with more animations and more animated, like the Captain Sim L-1011. The latter has plenty more animations than this model. However, I think I'm going to just let this matter go, since I try to understand the developers, and programming animations can't be an easy thing to do. I would prefer however, in future updates (which are unlikely by the way) the Just Flight could add more animations.

    Moving on, I'll give you a look at the textures of this model. The textures are of high quality, and possibly high resolution. There are plenty of liveries for you to choose from, ranging from TWA to the old Pan Am. The possibilities are endless with the Commercial Airliner, as with the RAF versions. The RAF models alone racks up around 4-5 rows worth of choices, amounting to around 20 paints. I'd say that the guys at Just Flight definitely put their back into painting this aircraft. Also, should I mention that there is a perfectly made .PSD paint kit all ready for you to start using? The possibilities are endless with this aircraft in terms of paints. However, enough of the textures, let's move onto the virtual cockpit and 2D panels.


    14 Comments
    1. hangar32's Avatar
      hangar32 -
      Good review. I'm actually surprised they even bothered with a 2D panel - pop-ups sure, but not a full 2D panel.
    1. hasegawa's Avatar
      hasegawa -
      The original aircraft, as I know it from the german LTU has INS and FMC and so... the aircraft is incomplete. With the first patch yes, there is an FMC, or INS.... These original aircraft have both. You have the INS and the FMC on the console between Captain and Co. In the VC you have only one of the systems. The flightmodell is after the update no better than before, the climb-rate is unrealistic.
      But the key failure of that Thing is. The original L-1011-500 can autoland. It was one of the first airliners, that did so. This Modell can not.
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by hasegawa View Post
      The original aircraft, as I know it from the german LTU has INS and FMC and so... the aircraft is incomplete. With the first patch yes, there is an FMC, or INS.... These original aircraft have both. You have the INS and the FMC on the console between Captain and Co. In the VC you have only one of the systems. The flightmodell is after the update no better than before, the climb-rate is unrealistic.
      But the key failure of that Thing is. The original L-1011-500 can autoland. It was one of the first airliners, that did so. This Modell can not.
      Very Interesting informtion there, thanks! I do have to agree that Just Flight perhaps came up short of making a realistic aircraft, with the incomplete 2D panels, which many people still actively use, and the INS and FMC configuration. Well, perhaps the In-house development team at Just Flight should have did a little more research before commiting themselves to a model. Interesting informaion there with the Auro-land, I did not seem to pick that up in my research. Well L-1011 models are not all that common, and I'd say that all we can do now is to wait for the Captain Sim model, which I'd say people may expect more from. If you could, please elaborate more on the Unrealistic Climb Rates part. Thanks for reading though!
    1. sbenzidoc's Avatar
      sbenzidoc -
      Quote Originally Posted by 7hepro View Post
      Very Interesting informtion there, thanks! I do have to agree that Just Flight perhaps came up short of making a realistic aircraft, with the incomplete 2D panels, which many people still actively use, and the INS and FMC configuration. Well, perhaps the In-house development team at Just Flight should have did a little more research before commiting themselves to a model. Interesting informaion there with the Auro-land, I did not seem to pick that up in my research. Well L-1011 models are not all that common, and I'd say that all we can do now is to wait for the Captain Sim model, which I'd say people may expect more from. If you could, please elaborate more on the Unrealistic Climb Rates part. Thanks for reading though!
      Hello my friend, thanks for the review. I did one in german for simflight.de. I did a lot of research on the original aircraft and ist key Features. Unfortunately, the JustFlight Version does not really give a good rendition of the engine model, the documentation and the system accuracy. The FMC of the -500 Versions is left out completely, and the flight model is just overmotorized to me - even after SP1.

      Though, I am happy to have a TriStar at all. I am still eagerly waiting for the competitor's Version yet to come.

      Have a great day,

      Stefan
      simFlight.de teamleader review
    1. hasegawa's Avatar
      hasegawa -
      Well, my first flight in FSX with this Just Flight "Tristar" was with the Freighter-Tanker-Modell of the Royal Air Force. It was a longer haul from Mascat International (Oman) to RAF Brize Norton. The temperature in Mascat was 38 Grade Celsius, not optimal for an aircraft that reached maximum takeoff weight. But with a bit flaps out i was in the air after around 1.300 m of the Runway! Here I think, this is Science-Fiction... ;-) The L-1011-500 was a great aircraft but not "nearly STOL".
      After takeoff the climb was also very rapid. As Stefan also recognised, the Modell is overpowered.
      But... let us see. I hope, that the Captain Sim L-1011 may be more acurate. In the meantime I "fly" this L-1011-500. She is not so realistic, but ... she looks not bad and is easy to fly. It didn´t must be allways PMDG to fly a longer distance and to have some fun.
    1. hawkeyepilot's Avatar
      hawkeyepilot -
      For me, the whole point is about going back in time, about 35 years plus. I rode on an L-1011 once, so long ago I have trouble remembering much. I was anxious to see this product and it was very exiting to learn its personality. This review is very sketchily put together. Some of the comments in the flying section leave me wondering as to what the author's experiences are and are not. My research reveals that the L-1011 was a pilot's aircraft and it was a good experience for passengers as well. It had its share of accidents and bad press in early service. My flights into and out of long and shorter runways suggest that the model is good enough to give you some ideas about the real aircraft. It was not a very high performance operation. Climb to altitude is best performed at just 1500 fpm for example. Too, take off roll is best realized using thrust rather than throttle so you get a better feel that in actual flight, their were real limits in order to preserve engine life and have some control on economy. If you try this, you will find that the aircraft does not 'leap off the ground' but rather does take a while to gather speed. What you are doing then is controlling engine rpms to only what is needed. I used 1.6 as the limit and it worked for me. The flaps and spoilers were used in tandem to control landing and I'm not sure if that is possible to simulate fully in FSX, but the visuals give you the feel that it is. It is quite a thrill to land this bird at low speed with flaps and gear down. what you have here is an earnest attempt at delivering a very good model. In real life, these aircraft were workhorses, flying many cycles per month. At their best, they were reliable and delivered many passengers to their vacation and business destinations in comfort and safety. Unfortunately, the aircraft was too expensive to own and operate for a flu life. Given their very limited numbers, they were scrapped as quickly as possible. Lockheed focused on delivering the best airplane, wagering perhaps that quality would sell. However, it did not. They lost to a price war. If flight simulator is your ticket to understanding aviation, then this model will greatly assist you in your quest to both read about, experience, and understand. The L-1011 was an important part of helping to advance technology in aviation. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to experience the L-1011 in this model. It was a breakthrough in learning how pilots flew these craft without use of today's very sophisticated automation. I learned how to takeoff and climb to cruise more economically using thrust (N1) as a guide rather than mashing the throttle forward and to use lower rtes of climb. Thank you to the veteran L-1011 pilots on the net for taking the time to tell their stories. Good job, Just Flight. Thanks to the author of this review. I suggest you may review some of the facts here in. There is both more and less to the story than you provided. But then, reviews are very hard work!
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by sbenzidoc View Post
      Hello my friend, thanks for the review. I did one in german for simflight.de. I did a lot of research on the original aircraft and ist key Features. Unfortunately, the JustFlight Version does not really give a good rendition of the engine model, the documentation and the system accuracy. The FMC of the -500 Versions is left out completely, and the flight model is just overmotorized to me - even after SP1.

      Though, I am happy to have a TriStar at all. I am still eagerly waiting for the competitor's Version yet to come.

      Have a great day,

      Stefan
      simFlight.de teamleader review
      The competitors version would be the Captains Sim model. I have to agree with what you said, and thanks for sharing!
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyepilot View Post
      For me, the whole point is about going back in time, about 35 years plus. I rode on an L-1011 once, so long ago I have trouble remembering much. I was anxious to see this product and it was very exiting to learn its personality. This review is very sketchily put together. Some of the comments in the flying section leave me wondering as to what the author's experiences are and are not. My research reveals that the L-1011 was a pilot's aircraft and it was a good experience for passengers as well. It had its share of accidents and bad press in early service. My flights into and out of long and shorter runways suggest that the model is good enough to give you some ideas about the real aircraft. It was not a very high performance operation. Climb to altitude is best performed at just 1500 fpm for example. Too, take off roll is best realized using thrust rather than throttle so you get a better feel that in actual flight, their were real limits in order to preserve engine life and have some control on economy. If you try this, you will find that the aircraft does not 'leap off the ground' but rather does take a while to gather speed. What you are doing then is controlling engine rpms to only what is needed. I used 1.6 as the limit and it worked for me. The flaps and spoilers were used in tandem to control landing and I'm not sure if that is possible to simulate fully in FSX, but the visuals give you the feel that it is. It is quite a thrill to land this bird at low speed with flaps and gear down. what you have here is an earnest attempt at delivering a very good model. In real life, these aircraft were workhorses, flying many cycles per month. At their best, they were reliable and delivered many passengers to their vacation and business destinations in comfort and safety. Unfortunately, the aircraft was too expensive to own and operate for a flu life. Given their very limited numbers, they were scrapped as quickly as possible. Lockheed focused on delivering the best airplane, wagering perhaps that quality would sell. However, it did not. They lost to a price war. If flight simulator is your ticket to understanding aviation, then this model will greatly assist you in your quest to both read about, experience, and understand. The L-1011 was an important part of helping to advance technology in aviation. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to experience the L-1011 in this model. It was a breakthrough in learning how pilots flew these craft without use of today's very sophisticated automation. I learned how to takeoff and climb to cruise more economically using thrust (N1) as a guide rather than mashing the throttle forward and to use lower rtes of climb. Thank you to the veteran L-1011 pilots on the net for taking the time to tell their stories. Good job, Just Flight. Thanks to the author of this review. I suggest you may review some of the facts here in. There is both more and less to the story than you provided. But then, reviews are very hard work!
      I will try to improve on my stories in the future. I am trying some things out with these reviews, see what appeals more to the general flight sinners. Thus, there will be mistakes made along the way and I appreciate you pointing them out. Thanks for the very interesting story, and thanks for sharing yor views. I oroginally thought that Just Flught did quite a good job, and I had trouble wondering why the model handled rather poorly. Now I know it was my handling that was at fault. As such, thanks for sharing, and I really appreciate it!
      Best,
      Meng Yu
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by hasegawa View Post
      Well, my first flight in FSX with this Just Flight "Tristar" was with the Freighter-Tanker-Modell of the Royal Air Force. It was a longer haul from Mascat International (Oman) to RAF Brize Norton. The temperature in Mascat was 38 Grade Celsius, not optimal for an aircraft that reached maximum takeoff weight. But with a bit flaps out i was in the air after around 1.300 m of the Runway! Here I think, this is Science-Fiction... ;-) The L-1011-500 was a great aircraft but not "nearly STOL".
      After takeoff the climb was also very rapid. As Stefan also recognised, the Modell is overpowered.
      But... let us see. I hope, that the Captain Sim L-1011 may be more acurate. In the meantime I "fly" this L-1011-500. She is not so realistic, but ... she looks not bad and is easy to fly. It didn´t must be allways PMDG to fly a longer distance and to have some fun.
      Thanks for sharing, but hawkeyepilot's comment seem to critise the phenomenon of overpowered engines to the way we fly the aircraft. Just some different views.
    1. hawkeyepilot's Avatar
      hawkeyepilot -
      Quote Originally Posted by 7hepro View Post
      Thanks for sharing, but hawkeyepilot's comment seem to critise the phenomenon of overpowered engines to the way we fly the aircraft. Just some different views.
      Folks, the learning is in the positive discussion, the give and take between interested parties. It has been sad that this is how the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright made their many discoveries leading to successful flight. What I was trying to say, and got some of the details incorrect was that the just Flight L-1011 model is, of course, overpowered as are all multi engine aircraft today. The reason being that they are required to be, in order to continue with a safe takeoff with an engine failure. The fewer the engines, the more this over powering seems to be. As for the Just Flight L-1011-500, this was actually a shortened, somewhat lighter version, designed for maximum range. From what I have read (by an L-1011 pilot) if you use the EPR gauge to adjust throttles for a ration of 1.6, then you will have set for sufficient thrust for max economical takeoff. From the cockpit, you can hear the engines throttle up and have some sensation of power as these Rolls Royce RB-211 babies whine like buzz saws. You will also notice that it takes more runway than full throttle forward (if carrying max fuel and payload). The effect is more if the outside air temperature is higher. Initial climb is set by using trim and flaps. You will get the desired effect of economy at work if you continue to monitor speed (about 200 kts in the initial climb, until flaps are raised. Keep the nose down as much as you can to keep the speed from falling off. The whole idea is to emulate real ops during which attention is paid to flying the aircraft in a miserly fashion to conserve engine life and use as little fuel as possible. to carry this to reality, you would be using tables to calculate thrust and speeds to adjust for actual payload and temperature. I find it is a challenge to take off this way and have learned it is a lot harder to manually drive the aircraft as if you were paying for the fuel and maintenance! I have long enjoyed flight simulator (since version 1). I like this model a lot. For some interesting trials, I fly from Pease International Tradeport (NH), Area 51 in the desert, and even Antarctica (Add on scenery) or anywhere else there is a 10,000 ft or longer runway. THANK YOU to all of the other enthusiasts out there for keeping this sim alive and happy flying to you! And keep those reviews coming. Sharing your experiences is interesting and helps to keep the hobby alive.
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyepilot View Post
      Folks, the learning is in the positive discussion, the give and take between interested parties. It has been sad that this is how the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright made their many discoveries leading to successful flight. What I was trying to say, and got some of the details incorrect was that the just Flight L-1011 model is, of course, overpowered as are all multi engine aircraft today. The reason being that they are required to be, in order to continue with a safe takeoff with an engine failure. The fewer the engines, the more this over powering seems to be. As for the Just Flight L-1011-500, this was actually a shortened, somewhat lighter version, designed for maximum range. From what I have read (by an L-1011 pilot) if you use the EPR gauge to adjust throttles for a ration of 1.6, then you will have set for sufficient thrust for max economical takeoff. From the cockpit, you can hear the engines throttle up and have some sensation of power as these Rolls Royce RB-211 babies whine like buzz saws. You will also notice that it takes more runway than full throttle forward (if carrying max fuel and payload). The effect is more if the outside air temperature is higher. Initial climb is set by using trim and flaps. You will get the desired effect of economy at work if you continue to monitor speed (about 200 kts in the initial climb, until flaps are raised. Keep the nose down as much as you can to keep the speed from falling off. The whole idea is to emulate real ops during which attention is paid to flying the aircraft in a miserly fashion to conserve engine life and use as little fuel as possible. to carry this to reality, you would be using tables to calculate thrust and speeds to adjust for actual payload and temperature. I find it is a challenge to take off this way and have learned it is a lot harder to manually drive the aircraft as if you were paying for the fuel and maintenance! I have long enjoyed flight simulator (since version 1). I like this model a lot. For some interesting trials, I fly from Pease International Tradeport (NH), Area 51 in the desert, and even Antarctica (Add on scenery) or anywhere else there is a 10,000 ft or longer runway. THANK YOU to all of the other enthusiasts out there for keeping this sim alive and happy flying to you! And keep those reviews coming. Sharing your experiences is interesting and helps to keep the hobby alive.
      Hmm... by any chance you are a real L-1011 pilot? Or perhaps a mechanic that works on those planes? Since you have provided plenty of useful information, and many points shared are indeed valid. I really appreciate you looking at these reviews, and sharing your comments. Thanks for reading and sharing!
    1. hasegawa's Avatar
      hasegawa -
      Folks, is an update with a revised autoland underway?
    1. mikeandpatty's Avatar
      mikeandpatty -
      This 1st edition is an L-1011-1, not as advanced as later modified or production -100 or -500.
    1. hawkeyepilot's Avatar
      hawkeyepilot -
      L-1011-500 TRISTAR REVISTED. Folks, it's been a while since the Tristar has been out of the barn. I have been doing a number of other things and there have been other activities going on. However, I came across the PMDG MD-11 a few months ago, and it has thrown me for quite a loop. It took quite a while to 'get under the hood' with this aircraft model. But, the time was worthwhile. A read of a pilot's memoirs revealed that even very experienced pilots washed out in training to step up to this bird. Bottom line, the MD-11 is all about automation of the flight deck. A quick comparison with the CLS DC-10 and Just Flight Tristar left me feeling that the PMDG model was in a class of it's own. However, there is lots of life left in the CLS DC-10 and there is lots of character in the Tristar! The flight deck of the Tristar is well fitted to tis task. I read that it is the largest flight deck of these wide bodies and photos seem to confirm the spaciousness of it. One author called it "the glass bubble". Todays roll out reminded me immediately of the L-1011's own particular form of grace and style. It has a unique character all it's own among the wide body trijets. The FMC mod was a half step, but an important one. This jet (and reading pilot's reviews and stories) taught me that the auto throttle of this aircraft is set on IAS in knots and not Mach and that matters little as the aircraft climbs to cruise altitude. In the MD-11, the throttle adjusts automatically to mach hold, as the climb advances through FL200. With the sound set replaced by one from Turbine Sound Studios, this model is both candy for the eye and ears. Your level of interest is raised quite a bit as you try and imagine this aircraft performing in an imperfect world where price is more important than quality. I have flown on the L-1011, but unfortunately so long ago (30+ years) as to only recall the spacious cabin than how it felt. Three man crew, three engine issues aside, I wonder if this aircraft is really ready for the scrap pile. This model is engaging, if only for the history lessons it provides. While you are absorbing them, the fun factor is set high way high. Remember, it's billed as "F-Lite" but for me it was and remains a "D-Lite". Thanks for the review and discussion.