In the late '90s, internet was booming in Portugal and it was trendy to have a website. Although many of them were self-presentation sites, I wanted to do something related to aviation.
One of my first researches over the web was the fate of the ex-TAP L-1011's, my favorite aircraft type. I always felt the TriStar a special aircraft but I didn't know how to explain why. I came across with excellent websites dedicated to the L-1011: the "Elten Aviation" by Ryosuke Yano, "Kelvin's L1011 Tristar Homepage" by Kelvin Poon, "Lockheed L-1011 TriStar" by Björn Hellström and particularly the "Widebody Trijets Homepage" by Marcus Karlsson. The latter even had a page called 'L-1011 Specialties' that made me understand (in a technical way) why the TriStar always seemed so special and so different from the other aircraft. With such a huge offer on the Internet, it was never my intention to build another site telling the same things and with the same extensive production lists. I wanted something to reflect my own view on the L-1011, especially the -500 version and its presence in Portugal over the years. The first pages of this website were written during the Christmas season of 1999. The website was very simple, written both in Portuguese and English and using Microsoft Notepad. Although it was ready for upload still in 1999, it was only on the 10th of January 2000 that I was able to have my first website online with the name "Lockheed TriStar L1011", using "Terràvista" hosting service and the web address 'terravista.pt/fernoronha/4226'.
In July 2001, the first editorial was published and the website started its mission of providing news about the L-1011 operation, not only in Portugal where another example joined YES Linhas Aéreas Charter's fleet - making a total of four aircraft in Portugal, from three distinct operators - but also marking the end of scheduled operations of Delta Air Lines' L-1011's.
The "Portuguese Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Information Center" designation was introduced in early 2003 and there were big plans for the development and expansion of the website. However, due to hosting problems and lack of spare time while at university, the tough decision to put an end to it was taken during the summer. In the end of 2003, Air Luxor announced the phase-out of its L-1011 fleet.
In the beginning of 2004, the portuguese aviation newspaper "Take-Off" wrote a comprehensive article about the L-1011 and its history in Portugal that made me reactivate the website. A temporary version with a lighter structure was put online. On the 15th of January, the "Portuguese L-1011 TriStar Information Center" was the first media to announce Luzair as the new operator of the two L-1011's phased out from Air Luxor. Although professional media were initially skeptical about the veracity of that information, the confirmation came a few weeks later. In February, a new domain 'tristar500.net' and the option for a paid hosting service - instead of depending on free providers with limited resources - gave bigger wings to the website. A complete new design was unveiled, a new logo was displayed and the "TriStar500.net" name was adopted. After these changes and with the addition of a new L-1011 operator in Portugal, the website would definitely take-off for its best and most dynamic years.
Another highlight for "TriStar500.net" came in April 2006 with the publication of the first photos of CS-TMP in its new livery, displaying Luzair logos and coincinding with the fact that this airline finally obtained its own AOC. But the golden days of the website started fading short after that event and its future remained uncertain for several months.
In 2007, with a hosting service offered on behalf of "AirSim" and "simFlight", the current website design was tested with simplicity in mind. With the end of Microsoft Frontpage - which was used until then - it was unpractical to keep the previous site which was supposed to be dynamic. A PHP platform was considered but concerns about security led to a compromised solution with plain HTML pages for static information while running a blog for the news and general information on the L-1011. Everything was ready in July, just a few days before I started my professional career in aviation with an airline flying the L-1011.
In March 2010, it was time to say farewell to the last portuguese L-1011. The retirement of euroAtlantic airways' CS-TEB left the website orphan of its main reason of existence. However, even with the rapid shrinking of the worldwide fleet, "TriStar500.net" has endured as a virtual museum to keep alive the memory of one of the greatest airliners ever built.
last modified: 2022-03-14