Saturday, January 30, 2010

Welcome Home N700TS L-1011

It was a just few months and a couple hours late, but the last (or almost the last) airworthy Lockheed L-1011-100 has landed at Kansas City Downtown Charles B. Wheeler Airport on her last flight. So many airplanes' last flights are to the desert and then a slow rot to the scrap heap. But N700TS C/N 1066 was lucky. Originally to be refurbished and then flown as an airliner, the cost of keeping an elderly plane flying, especially with little technical support available, was too costly. The Airline History Museum was able to buy her for little and add her to the museum along with the current L1049 Super G Connie, a DC 3 and a Martin 404. Problems with the plane's ownership and registration kept her grounded in Roswell, NM almost permanently. But that was resolved and the FAA granted a ferry permit.

Hundreds of people gathered on both sides of the airport, first at around the original arrival time of 1:30 and then for the new one at 3:20.

Unfortunately for me, she landed from the north and thus I did not get to see her actually land. An advertised flyby was not performed either, probably for traffic or safety reasons. I did catch some shots of her roll out on landing. She was big for sure, dwarfing the private aircraft that inhabit the downtown airport. Soon she will be an attraction and education center for the museum. I am sure some more and better pics will be here: Airline History Museum

But meanwhile, here she is; thanks for your years of service and for a lucky break. You look better here than you would as a bunch of beer cans!

Roll out after landing

Finishing her roll out:

Turning to park:

Almost home:

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