History of Delta Airlines and its TriStar fleet


As the oldest existing passenger airline, Delta itself dates back to 1925, when in its original form it performed dust services like the Huff Daland Dusters with drill 31. Nicknamed the “Puffer,” it was the first agricultural aircraft specifically designed to protect cotton fields of the southern United States from large weevils.

The independence and name of Delta Air Service three years later put this young concern on the threshold of gradual growth.

A light route network with four destinations has made it possible to serve Dallas, Shreveport, Monroe and Jackson since 17 June 1929.

A decade later discarding his image of the farm, he acquired the Lockheed L-10A Electra and Douglas DC-3 airliners, facilitating service after awarding routes to Savannah, Knoxville and Cincinnati, and from Chicago to Miami in 1946, albeit through these cities with additional landing in Charleston.

Even larger, faster, and more sophisticated four-stroke liners enhanced its image: Douglas DC-4 replaced DC-3 in the Midwest Florida run, DC-6 replaced DC-4 in December 1948, and DC-7 replaced it on April 1, 1954. .

Its coverage increased significantly four years later, on May 1, when it merged with Chicago and the South.

The Delta entered the jet era on September 18, 1959 with the Douglas DC-8-10, and after that the Convair CV-880 was made less than a year later in the short- and medium-range sector. Despite the speed advantage achieved by Rolls Royce Conway engines, it was both destructive and resinous.

In 1962, South African authority elevated the Delta to transcontinental carrier status, allowing it to move from Dallas to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Other services have expanded services: from Atlanta to Jacksonville and Orlando, and to Phoenix and Las Vegas. However, like the East, it remained primarily an East Coast airline.

Too large and providing more range than necessary, in 1965 the Douglas DC-9 dual aircraft was replaced by the Douglas DC-9 dual aircraft with a low-power US domestic sector.

The extensive carrier era began early next decade with the Boeing 747-100 in 1970, the McDonnell-Douglas DC-10-10 two years later to provide the necessary power during the delayed delivery of the Lockheed L-1011 and the TriStar itself.

Acquiring Northeast Airlines on August 1, 1972 to obtain its highly sought-after solar routes, he purchased Boeing 727-100 aircraft and was able to open service from Montreal and Boston to Miami and count Bermuda and Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas network.

Works with downtown Atlanta, with traffic centers in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas / Ft. Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Memphis, New Orleans, New York and Tampa, a decade later Delta grew into the third largest carrier, carrying 34.7 million passengers in 1979 and operating 1,300 daily flights to 80 destinations in the United States, Canada and Bermuda. , Bahamas, Puerto Rico, UK and West Germany. The appropriate slogan was “Delta is ready when you are”.

Its growth, accelerated by purchases of European routes Pan Am and Western Airlines, has become exponential. As evidenced by the voluminous 433-page system schedule on July 1, 1988, it made more than 2,200 sorties from about 380 aircraft to 156 destinations in 42 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 11 foreign countries, including Canada, Bermuda, and the Bahamas. islands, Mexico, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, mostly from the centers of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City.

The significantly mixed fleet of Boeing, Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas was 727-200 (12 first class passengers and 136 coaches), DC-9-30s (12F and 86Y), 737-200s (either 12F and 95Y, or 8F and 107Y), DC-10-10s (36F and 248Y), L-1011-1s, -250s and -500s (which had several configurations, including 32F and 270Y, 12F, 54C, 203Y, 12F, 40C and 189Y, and 18F , 64C and 140Y), MD-88s (14F and 128Y), 737-300s (8F and 120Y), 757-200s (16F and 171Y), 767-200s (18F and 186Y), 767-300s (24F and 230Y) and DC-8-71s (18F and 194Y).

While previously the emphasis was on standardizing the fleet and the minimum number of aircraft types to reduce crew training, maintenance and spare parts stocks that appeared then megacars such as the Delta, which by definition served every length and density of the route, From the 100-mile supply sector to high-potential transcontinental and intercontinental travel, a wide range of types and versions is needed, as one integrated airline had to efficiently perform the work of many: suburban, large regional, American national, large and mega.

As a result, four major U.S. regionals, acting as Delta Connection, collectively offered 3,900 daily flights to 240 top Delta cities and included Atlantic Airlines Atlantic S DHC-7, SD3-60s, EMB-120s and EMB- 110s, Business Express with F.27s, SD3-60s, S-340s and B1900s), Comair with S-340, Metropol Fairchild Swearingen and EMB-110s, and Skywest with EMB-120s and Swearingen Metros.

As the world’s largest TriStar operator with three versions and two sub-variants, Delta, considering it the “queen of the fleet”, placed its original order for the 24 L-1011 in 1968 to complement the existing DC-8, but offer an enhanced, wider comfort and a quieter, more energy-efficient turbofan with a high bypass ratio, after the ad: “Superb $ 18 million TriStar, the newest member of Delta Air Lines’ wide-ranging fleet.” It has left most of its other U.S. carrier competitors, including American, continental, national, northwestern, single and western, to order competing DC-10-10s.

Forced to periodically work with five McDonnell-Douglas counters due to the termination of Rolls Royce’s bankruptcy program, he eventually sold them to United, although they were leased between 1972 and 1975. what. Their power, in the case, has squeezed demand.

The first L-1011-1, registered by the N701DA, was tuned for the first 50 and 200 passengers. But that was just the beginning of a story with a type that would become synonymous with a carrier in Atlanta, another 40 acquired in 1973 and 1983.

Because his route system consisted mainly of short- and medium-range sectors, it was in the air for about two hours at a time, connecting cities less than 1,000 miles apart.

Exceeding the range of its first transatlantic award along the route, from Atlanta to London-Gatwick, it was complemented by two L-1011-100s leased from TWA, and they were eventually also located in Frankfurt and Tokyo.

In 1980, the supply of three truly intercontinental L-1011-500s was required.

The program to acquire TriStar proved to be extensive. Fourteen L-1011-500s (six from Air Canada, three from Pan Am and five from United) were purchased between 1984 and 1992, and ten L-1011-1s were purchased from Eastern between 1991 and 1992.

In addition to leasing two L-1011-200 engines running on RB.211-524B engines, it changed one L-1011-1 standard to -200 and the remaining 6-250 configurations, allowing each to work with longer range sectors.

Instrumental to service the European transatlantic routes he purchased from Pan Am in the summer of 1992 – up to 80 daily flights, this type, under the guise of -500, regularly made the trans-Pacific crossing to Anchorage-Hong Kong 5074 miles, its longest .

Although budget constraints did not allow Lockheed to offer what could be the ultimate replacement in the form of a stretched L-1011-400, the type continued to run the Delta route system until about 30 daily flights were considered for TriStar by the end of 2000, progressive replacements taking form Boeing 767-200, -300 and -400 and MD-11, possibly the final triumph of McDonnell-Douglas over Lockheed.

First delivered in November 1979, the N728DA, L-1011-1, performed the last Delta flight from Atlanta to Orlando and returned on July 31, 2001, receiving a double salute water cannon after landing on Georgian soil. During his career, he flew nearly 31,000 flight cycles, 66,000 hours and more than 27 million miles.

70 TriStars of all versions, which Delta eventually operated for more than a quarter of a century, accounted for 30 percent of Lockheed’s total production.