Sunday, October 12, 2008

Where can we go from here: Additions and Corrections

In an earlier entry, I mentioned several cities that only receive cargo flights from LAX. Since then, I've worked an overtime day shift during the week, and found a couple more:

Toledo, Ohio, is a cargo-only destination from LAX. The route is flown by Air Transport, using DC-8's. Flight time is about three and a half hours.

Another cargo flight to Brussels: Singapore Cargo lifts off from runway 25 right.

In the same posting about cargo operators, I mentioned that Fedex flies out of here to hubs in Memphis, Indianapolis, and San Jose. The first two are correct, but Fedex's west coast hub is actually in Oakland. Mea culpa. If you want to get to San Jose, you'll have lots of passenger options: American Eagle, Skywest, and Southwest all offer jet service from here to there (and back again). Flight times run from forty-five minutes to an hour. Skywest and Southwest also go into Oakland; those flights seem to run about fifty to fifty-five minutes.

In addition, I said that the Fedex flight to Fort Worth Alliance is usually done with an Airbus. So naturally, this week they had to do it with a DC-10:
A Fedex DC-10 departs off runway 25 left. On the parallel taxiway in the background is an Eva Cargo MD-11. The MD-11 was the follow-on model. Obvious differences are the MD-11's longer length and winglets. Less obvious in this picture is the MD-11's much better climb performance.

Speaking of DC-10s, a while back I mentioned former Northwest Airlines DC-10s that had been retired only to re-enter service with ATA for their military charters. Here are a couple of shots I discovered in a back corner of the iBook's hard drive:

As you can see, the transformations were not full-fledged makeovers.

One more ATA shot from the archives. ATA was the last scheduled US carrier to operate the Lockheed Tristar, my personal favorite of the first generation wide bodies. This was the last Tristar to show up here, sometime last year.


  1. If you want airport-specific camouflage, paint it like the ATA grey and red plane. I had to enlarge the shot to pick out the aircraft.


  2. Do you have any older posts talking about the L-1011's. My last flight on an L-1011 was from LAX to Atlanta on Delta somewhere around 1999 to 2000. That was always my favorite airliner.

  3. No, I've never said much about Tristars because they've pretty much disappeared from the scene. I too have fond memories of the Tristar, and I think it's a shame that Lockheed ending up being the loser in the widebody race. The Tristar finished Lockheed as a civilian aircraft builder, and nearly took Rolls Royce down entirely. I ran across the carcass of one of the first L-1011's, or perhaps even the prototype, at a salvage place in Oklahoma back in the mid-90's. It looked pretty forlorn, as there wasn't much but a shell left when I happened by. I read somewhere that the cockpit of that particular aircraft ended up either in a museum or as a simulator, I forget which.

    The Tristars were already on the way out when I started as a controller in 1992; Delta and TWA were the primary users by then. Back in the day, Eastern had them too. ATA was the last US operator, and they had already started phasing them out before they went away. There was actually a civilian/corporate Tristar here a few weeks ago, the first one I've seen in at least a year, but sadly I didn't have a chance
    to catch it with the camera .

    Having been in back a number of times when I was little, I always wanted to ride in the cockpit of a Tristar. It was going to be a race, as I was in New Orleans in the late 90's and early 2000's, and Delta, who was already retiring theirs, was the only carrier that regularly brought them in to MSY. September 11th changed all that, and so I don't guess I'll ever get the chance again.

  4. I had the opportunity to fly in several Tristars over the years. I flew on TWA, Eastern and Delta dating back into the 80's. I miss those big jets. They were truly one of a kind. The Airline History Museum in Kansas City just acquired an old TWA Tristar that, after it retired from TWA, supposedly flew as part of the Saudi Royal Family Fleet. Some guy bought it out of the Roswell boneyard for $100,000 and donated it to the museum. After some work they were able to fly it to the downtown KC airport earlier this year. The tail number on the plane now is N700TS. I have tried to do some research on that tail number but have come up with nothing. Here is a link to the museum if you're interested:

    I live 2 hours from KC but I made the trip down there that day to watch the old girl land for its final flight. I'm really glad I went. I guess I'm really a geek for doing that. I can remember the seat location of almost every flight on one of those Tristars. I always tried to sit somewhere different so I could experience that part of the plane.

    A couple of years ago I was at MCI waiting for a Delta flight to Atlanta. I got to chat with an MD-88 Captain for almost an hour who used to fly the L-1011 for Delta. He told me a bunch of stories and I was in heaven. He said he even got to fly one to the boneyard and he got to do several touch-and-gos to burn fuel before it was parked. He said he decided that since it was his last flight he was going to have some fun. Now he's been relegated to the Mad Dog's. His glory days are behind him.

    I really appreciate your blog and the fact that you appreciate the airplanes. The TSA has worked hard to take the fun out of flying, but every time I fly I try to appreciate the airplane and enjoy the ride. Please keep it up!