A blast from the (3-engine) past

We’re taking a video tour down Memory Lane today, with a look the three-engine era — an era from which the only remaining aircraft are in cargo service. We’ll start with the present, and work backwards.

Here’s a video assemblage of takeoffs and landings of the current star of the air freight world, the 777F and the aircraft it is most often compared to, the MD-11F. Of course, there are still close to 120 MD-11 freighters in service, but no more will be produced, whereas the current total of just over 120 777Fs is going to continue to grow.

Stepping back further, here is a similar assemblage, featuring three 3-engine aircraft: The Lockheed L-1011 TristarPreview, the Douglas DC-10, and the McDonnell-Douglas MD-11. None of these were particualrly successful as passenger aircraft, but both the DC-10 and MD-11 did well in the cargo business.

And finally, here’s an old McDonnell Douglas promotional film for its then-new MD-11.

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