Last L-1011 flies on what could be one of her last flights

(Picture Credit: Jim Williams)

The last L1011 in service is used by Northrup Grumman as a air launcher for launching the Pegasus XL rocket. Tonight it flew on what may be the last launch of the Pegasus XL and ultimately one of the last flights of the L1011. If no more flights of the Pegasus XL occur, the L1011 will be heading back to the Mojave Space Port to be likely retired.


Wow! What a cool plane! Sad to see that it might be going…


Such an awesome plane. But unpopular. I’m so sad to see it possibly go.


NOoooOOOOOooooOOOOoooOO!!! The L-1011 is my favorite plane and the best TriJet made. Sad to see its long life come to an end.

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I sure hope they donate it to museum or something…maybe Pima can take it.

RIP. Rolls Royce’s bankruptcy failed this plane to the DC10.

That’s ashame

This plane was ahead of it’s time when it was released, better than the DC-10 in almost every way. Hopefully, it doesn’t go :(

Unfortunately there is nothing that the Pegasus XL can do better than the competitors anymore. The only advantage the Pegasus had over other rockets was it could do equatorial launches much more efficiently. Now that that advantage is gone as the F9 can now take heavier payloads to Equatorial orbit and a cheaper cost and with the rise of Virgin Orbit which will be able to do air launching from a 747 at a cheaper price.
This L1011 doesn’t have too good a future unless Northrop converts it to a cargo carrier to carry rocket parts.


Pima has been taking a lot recently, don’t see why they shouldn’t do this.

The L-1011 is my favorite plane ever, and launching space rockets is my favorite application of planes, so this mission has been a provisional favorite for some time now, I was very sad to see it go, but as @AndrewRG10 mentioned there some good reasons for it, and progress must keep marching forward to better, and frankly cooler things…

RIP L-1011 😘

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Agreed, progress has to be made for cheaper launch systems but it is a shame that Northrup Grumman doesn’t develop a cheaper rocket to be launched by the L1011, but they’re probably too wrapped up with the OmegaA and dealing with their large fleet of rockets.
And the only other two stratolaunch companies have their minds firmly set on other aircraft to carry rockets.

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Well it’s also being replaced by the falcon 9 which by some extension can do this, so, I can’t say I’m entirely upset… 🤷🏻‍♂️


That’s technically a Falcon Heavy but whatever.
Falcon 9 really isn’t a replacement of the Pegasus, it can definitely do what the Pegasus can do seeing they’ve got a contract to do an equatorial launch which requires a large amount of ∆V. That’s the final nail in the coffin for the failing program but it’s not the full reason. Pegasus is cheaper than a Falcon 9 but is more a small launch lifter meaning Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit have just completely ruined the Pegasus by offering similar launch mass for much cheaper costs.

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Ya, I suppose it does really only take a huge stab at the equatorial part, but it is also bringing the cost of a traditional rocket launch much closer to something like the Pegasus.

Also those two boosters had actually previously launched two separate Falcon 9 launches, the middle one offered slightly from the regular falcon 9 block 5 and there for had to be made new, but those are technically falcon 9 boosters…

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