Laker Airways .... & DC-10 Project Revisions/Expansion Nov 3, 2018 4:03:38 GMT M.I.B. and Nathan Ford - HJG like this
Post by aerofoto - HJG Admin on Nov 3, 2018 4:03:38 GMT
When the DC-10 entered commercial airline service during August 1971 .... in DC-10-10 form .... it was an aircraft intended to service medium range high density routes (such as Los Angeles/Chicago services in the case of AMERICAN AIRLINES) .... with a maximum range of up to 3,800 miles with a typical payload .... or some 2,300 miles range with maximum payload.
The DC-10-10 was not a long range/intercontinental aircraft .... under normal operating conditions.
London, Gatwick based LAKER AIRWAYS .... was founded as a charter airline during 1966 by British civil aviation entreprenuer Sir Freddie LAKER.
It became a "frills free" operator during the mid 1970´s .... and the DC-10-10 played a major role in the early success of the airline pioneering this class of service prior to its 1982 demise.
During the early 1970´s 5 DC-10-10´s were built by McDONNELL-DOUGLAS .... for the MITSUI GROUP of Japan .... in anticipation of what was believed to be a certain order for the type from ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS.
In a move which became as politically and commercially embarrassing as it was also unanticipated .... ANA ordered the L-1011 TRISTAR (amid later allegations of political and corporate corruption/bribary between high Japanese officials, LOCKHEED, and other US aircraft manufacturers) .... leaving MITSUI stranded with 5 DC-10-10´s it could not dispose of quickly without incurring potentially major losses.
On behalf of MITSUI .... MDC attempted to interest major and prospective operators around the world in these 5 airframes .... among which included BRITISH CALEDONIAN (as a B707 and VC-10 replacement), but, whom rejected this offer citing the range the DC-10-10 to be insufficient for its longer routes. Other operators .... including some near end of term leases were also consulted .... but .... were either not interested or reluctant to acquire new/additional aircraft (despite favorable financing terms being advanced by MITSUI whom was desperate to relinquish all 5 aircraft as quickly as possible) given the state of both the international airline industry and world economy during this period .... not to mention is own commercially and politically embarrassing entanglement in this affair.
Suddenly an idea was conceived by Terry WADDINGTON .... a British sales executive at MDC in the USA .... to the effect that LAKER AIRWAYS might jump at the opportunity to acquire DC-10´s for its charter and mooted trans-Atlantic "SKYTRAIN" services between Gatwick and New York.
It was considered a marvelous opportunity for MITSUI, MDC, and LAKER due to the DC-10´s huge potential to boost the projected profitability of an operation such as LAKER AIRWAYS.
It was analysed that the aircraft's low break-even seat factor would enable the airline to break-even operating these services at just 52% capacity .... whilst in reality actual loadings were estimated to be in excess of 70–75% throughout the first year of operations and with rapid future growth projected .... to the extent that the airline could expect to be carrying in excess of some 250,000 PAX "per year and each way".
It was also theorized that by reducing seating from 380 to 345 PAX .... and restricting PAX baggage to 40 LBS .... the DC-10-10 (with additional tanking) could accommodate sufficient additional fuel to enable non-stop flights from the UK to any point east of the US Rockies.
Such encouraging factors promptly clinched this deal firmly in favour of MTSUI, MDC, the DC-10, and LAKER AIRWAYS.
Sir Freddie was convinced by the MDC pitch .... and LAKER AIRWAYS acquired 2 of the MITSUI DC-10-10´s during November 1972 (becoming the first non-US operator of the type) for its charter services .... whilst the remaining 3 aircraft eventually went to TURKISH AIRLINES (one of which became "TC-JAV" .... the aircraft lost outside Paris during March 1974).
The airline additionally negotiated an agreement to the effect that MITSUI would buy these DC-10´s from MDC before leasing them to LAKER AIRWAYS .... whom would then finance their leases from "flying revenues only" .... meaning .... the airline would not pay for these aircraft whilst they were non-revenue-earning and thus minimizing the normal risks involved with any investment of this magnitude.
A relaxing of trans-Atlantic charter rules during 1973 saw LAKER AIRWAYS commence Gatwick/Manchester/Prestwick to Toronto charter services .... on behalf of other tourism agencies (including its own in-house ARROWSMITH HOLIDAYS division) .... and a 3rd DC-10-10 acquired during 1974 followed by the commencement of Stanstead/Newark services.
The airlines planned SKYTRAIN service .... a daily LAKER AIRWAYS London/New York schedule .... was commenced from September 1977 .... and 2 further DC-10-10´s acquired during 1978 .... followed by longer ranging DC-10-30´s during 1979 and for the airlines extended SKYTRAIN services between the UK and Los Angeles (inaugurated using B707-320B´s during the first few months of operation) .... as well as Miami services from Caribbean ports under the CARIBBEAN AIRWAYAS banner too.
Despite LAKER AIIRWAYS rapid rise to success throughout the early to mid 1970´s .... the late 1970´s, and early 1980´s, presented increasing challenges for the pioneering airline and which saw its operations being opposed by mainstream carriers whom perceived LAKER to be a threat to their own established domains.
During 1978 LAKER AIRWAYS became launch customer from the A300B-4 with an order for 10 aircraft (only 3 of which were ever delivered to the airline) .... for anticipated SKYTRAIN services to European destinations .... but which was opposed by BRITSH CALEDONIAN, BRITANNIA AIRWAYS, and DAN AIR .... although the airline did commence a short-lived Machester/Zurich service which had earlier been abandoned by BRITISH AIRWAYS.
Planned services to both Sydney and Melbourne Australia did not eventuate .... and plans to launch UK/Hong Kong services via the middle East, and from the US west coast, as part of a proposed new LAKER "GLOBALTRAIN" service, which included B747-200B´s, were also frustrated by opposition from other major operators based on their perception that LAKER´s cheap seats would flood the market to the extent of their own disadvantage. Planned UK/Chicago/Detroit/Oakland/Seattle/and Washington DC services similarly failed to eventuate also .... although even at the time of this planning these service the airline lacked the aircraft to fly these routes.
By the early 1880´s LAKER´s financial position had deteriorated .... a situation that was worsened by recessions in both the UK and USA .... and the airline was even further impacted by trans-Atlantic price war with substantial air fare reductions by BRITISH AIRWAYS, PAN AM, and TWA which even LAKER could not match .... all of which later forced the sale of the airlines A300B fleet.
It has also been suggested that LAKER´s financial security first began to be disadvantaged by concerns in regard to false and irresponsible media allegations concerning DC-10 safety following a series of major accidents to the type throughout 1979, and the associated 5-6 week grounding of these aircraft, but, which was later proven to have been (a knee jerk reaction on the part of the FAA in response to the AA DC-10 crash at Chicago during May 1979) both unnecessary and misguided .... but .... which none-the-less saw PAX loadings decline sharply among all DC-10 operators worldwide and for a considerable period following these events.
A supposedly confidential rescue package for LAKER AIRWAYS .... proposed by both MDC and GENERAL ELECTRIC .... was also exposed during this period and prompted bitter objection from BRITISH CALEDONIAN and other IATA carriers .... to such an extent that each threatened to refuse entertaining future negotiations with either corporation should such a rescue package be advanced by them and in LAKER´s favour (it was also established soon after formulating this proposed rescue package that any such contribution, to LAKER AIRWAYS, by either party, would under US law constitute part ownership in the airline by both corporations ... hardly an encouraging prospect given the magnitude of the airlines financial difficulties by this time). Consequently LAKER AIRWAYS collapsed on February 5th 1982 with debts amounting to some £270 million .... in what became the greatest failure in British corporate history at that time.
Sir Freddie LAKER sued AIR FRANCE, ALITALIA, BRITISH AIRWAYS, BRITISH CALEDONIAN, KLM, LUFTHANSA, PAN AM, SAS, SABENA, SWISSAIR, TWA, and UTA for multi-corporate conspiracy to put his airline out of business by predatory pricing practices. The airlines settled out of court and to the tune of some $US 50 million.
NOW THEN .... I RELATED THAT STORY IN ORDER TO TELL YOU THE NEXT ONE AND TO LAUNCH OUR DC-10 PROJECT EXPANSION ....
MDC technical information available to us indicates that 13 DC-10-10 airframes (only) were built, or later modified, with additional/auxiliary tanks to further increase their range. These aircraft were certified for a MGW of up to 455,000 LBS (as opposed to to 430,000 LBS for a standard DC-10-10 and 440,000 LBS for a standard DC-10-10CF) .... or akin to the weight of the DC-10-15. 4 of these aircraft were operated by LAKER AIRWAYS .... whom became the first operator to benefit from this additional tanking configuration which enabled its trans-Atlantic DC-10-10 services.
Among the HJG supplied range of current DC-10-10 textures the following (11X) subjects have each been confirmed to represent of these extended range aircraft .... and which, thanks to the genius of our George CARTY, we are now able to offer .... and for which we are going to use "unofficial" "DC-10-10ER" and "DC-10-10CF ER" aircraft type nomenclature .... simply for reasons of convenience and in order to clearly differentiate these aircraft versions from their standard DC-10-10 and -10CF aircraft counterparts which we already offer ....
- AIR TOURS G-TAOS
- AMERICAN AIRLINES N117AA
- AMERICAN TRANS AIR N183AT
- CARIBBEAN AIRWAYS (LAKER) G-BBSZ
- LAKER AIRWAYS G-AZZD
- LAKER AIRWAYS G-BBSZ
- MY TRAVEL G-TAOS
- PREMIAIR OY-CNY
- SCANAIR SE-DHY
- SUN COUNTRY N573SC
- WESTERN AIRLINES N914WA
- FED EX EXPRESS N558FE (this is a new yet unreleased texture .... slightly different from our current FED EX liveries)
George has also very cleverly worked our current 3-tank DC-10-10 and DC-10-10CF panels into 4-tank configurations especially for our new DC-10-10ER and -10CF/ER aircraft base packs. This will promote more range than the standard versions of these simulations. Range can be "even further enhanced" by reducing payload in order to accomodate additional fuel quantity .... as those whom carefully flight plan are more than likely accustomed to practicing.
Here´s few quick images of one of these new DC-10-10ER (before the term "ER" was ever officicially applied to DC-10´s) configured simulations with 1 of their supporting panel/s.
PLEASE NBOTE: The following LAKER AIRWAYS texture (by Tony MADGE) "is not" a new preview, but rather, is a currently uploaded file and which is used here simply for cosmetic purposes only .... in regard to both the above LAKER review as well previewing and pre-release flight testing each of their 2 accompanying panels and their supporting gauges/core files for the benefit of this presentation ....
New DC-10-10ER panel .... featuring a 4-tank fuel system (extended range) configuration (F/E panel) unlike the 3-tank configuration of our standard DC-10-10´s ....
"New" DC-10-10(ER) Panel & F/E Panel with guage/night lighting illumination effect
As is evident per the above panel instrument illumination night lighting effects .... we are now re confident that the minor panel/gauge night lighting anomally (reported by only 1 person to date) has now been fixed ....
"New" DC-10-10CF(ER) Panel & F/E Panel with standard day lighting illumination effct
Each of these 2 panel also feture the same exchangeable F/O main panel fviews also .... as are a standard feature among each of our other DC-10 panels too.
Our other DC-10 project edits include ech of the following details ....
- Missing external night lighting effects will be included within new base packs.
- DC-10-10 (standard version) MGW corrected.
- Corrected DC-10-10 and DC-10-10CF (standard version) fuel capacities.
- New/edited base pack models .... featuring GMAX improvements based on the little we´ve been able to apply to thes models given the limited source code we have available to us.
- 2X "NEW" 4-tank DC-10-10ER and DC-10-10CF/ER base packs and supporting panels .... with propper flight planning these aircraft versions should be capable of simulated trans-Atlantic flights.
- Replacement panels (generally) .... with their forward left and forward right side views fixed "for FSX" .... this issue "was not" applicable to FS9/FS2004.
- Other minor main panel instrument reconfigurations .... making these panels closer to particular airline/aircraft type panel/gauge layouts.
- Fixed panel/gauge night lighting effects.
- Further edits will be applied to our online/forum based DC-10 manual in support of these edits .... where necessary.
There´s probably a bit more too, but (as tired as I am at the moment) this is all I can quickly remember.
All this is thanks entirely to the "efforts and brillance" of our very own George CARTY .... "THANKS" George