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Tristar - Royal Air Force
 

The L-1011 Tristar, built by Lockheed-California Co, first flew on 16th November 1970 and went on to be a very successful airline design. Following the Falkllands War, the RAF purchased nine Lockheed L-1011-500 Tristars to bolster the long range transport and tanker roles. Six airframes were purchased from British Airways and three from the american airline Pan Am.

Marshalls of Cambridge were selected to undertake the conversion work needed to transform them into military configeration. Two aircraft were converted to Tristar K1 passenger/tanker aircraft (ZD949 and ZD951) and were not fitted with cargo doors. Another four aircraft were converted to the Tristar KC1 tanker/cargo/ transport role (ZD948, ZD950, ZD952 and ZD953) while two Tristar C2s (ZE704 and ZE705) were converted as passenger carrying aircraft. The sole Tristar C2A (ZE706) is basically a C2 with different avionics.

During August 1983, the first aircraft arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to commence the training of the first crews for 216 Squadron. This was undertaken by British Airways flight deck crews and indeed the first Tristars delivered to Brize Norton, though carrying military serials, were still in their original British Airways markings. By February 1984 the RAF crews were fully qualified and in November, 216 Squadron was officially reformed. During December 1985 the regular schedule of flights to the Falkland Islands commenced and in March 1986, 216 Squadron received the first of its dedicated tanker aircraft.

At the end of July 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. 216 Squadron made a significant contributuion to the Allied operation to defend Saudi Arabia and free Kuwait (Operation Granby).

During June 1993, two K1 aircraft were deployed to Ancona in Italy in response to a UN decision to operate a no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina. During March 1999 Operation Allied Force commenced and 216 Squadron had five aircraft deployed in support of operations over the Balkan region.

Other wartime deployments have been to Bahrain during Opeartion Resinate (South) in support of the no-fly zone over Iraq. During the invasion of Iraq, 216 Squadron was heavyly involved in AAR missions during Operation Telic and also saw service over Afghanistan during Operation Oracle.

The Tristar is expected to remain in service until the end of this decade, when it will be replaced by Airbus A330 MRTT.

Tristar C2 - ZE704 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force
 

Photos per serial

Tristar KC1 - ZD948 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD948   Tristar KC1 - ZD948 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD948  

Tristar K1 - ZD949 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD949   Tristar K1 - ZD949 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD949   Tristar K1 - ZD949 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD949  

Tristar KC1 - ZD950 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD950   Tristar KC1 - ZD950 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD950   Tristar KC1 - ZD950 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD950   Tristar KC2 - ZD950 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD950

Tristar KC1 - ZD951 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD951   Tristar K1 - ZD951 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD951   Tristar K1 - ZD951 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD951  

Tristar KC2 - ZD953 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD953   Tristar KC1 - ZD953 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD953   Tristar KC1 - ZD953 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD953   Tristar KC1 - ZD953 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZD953

Tristar C2 - ZE702 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE702  

Tristar C2 - ZE704 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE704   Tristar C2 - ZE704 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE704   Tristar C2 - ZE704 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE704   Tristar C2 - ZE704 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE704

Tristar C2 - ZE705 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE705   Tristar C2 - ZE705 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE705   Tristar C2 - ZE705 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE705   Tristar C2 - ZE705 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE705

Tristar KC1 - ZE706 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE706   Tristar KC2 - ZE706 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE706   Tristar C2A - ZE706 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE706   Tristar C2A - ZE706 - 216 Squadron - Royal Air Force ZE706
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