ConvairLiners background information
Convair CV240 - 640
The Douglas DC-3 had proven itself in commercial service before the Second World War. Commercial operators looked ahead, into peacetime and planned a successor.
The CV340 model first flew on October 5, 1951. The fuselage was stretched by 16 inches forward of the wing and 38 inches aft. The Pratt and Whitney R-2800 engines were uprated. Also the wing on this model was larger to improve performance on high altitude airfields. Customers were (a.o.): United Air Lines (55), Braniff (20), Continental (7), Hawaiian (5), Delta (20), Pan American (6), KLM (14) and Garuda Indonesian (8). Some 209 civil variants were produced and 102 for the USAF and US Navy, between 1952 and 1956.
Some 8 years after the first flight of a CV240, it was another Convair product with improved performance that took to the sky: the CV440 "Metropolitan" on October 6, 1955. A radar was introduced, which lengthened the nose by 2ft 4ins. The CV440 carried 52 passengers in a high density layout. It also featured redesigned engine nacelles and other improvements like sound-proofing blankets in the cabin and sound-damping tape where vibration was worst. Improvements as they were, they did not equal the Vickers Viscount. Continental was the first customer and production ran till 1958 with 199 CV440s produced.
As Convair was preoccupied with the development of the Convair CV880 jet, they transferred the tooling to Canadair LTD., the Canadian General Dynamics subsidiFary (both Canadair and Convair were owned by the Electric Boat Company), so that new aircraft could be offered. Three unsold CV440s were converted by Canadair to CV540 standard as CL-66C (1 demonstrator and 2 for Quebecair). Canadair had planned to build passenger CV540s as CL-66As, but no civil orders came in. But 10 CL-66B "Cosmopolitans" were produced for the Royal Canadian Air Force (deliveries in 1960 and 1961). These had cargo-doors and were of the same standard as the USAFE C-131E (CV440-72). The 3 CL-66Cs were transferred to the RCAF, too, in 1962. This ended the Eland-powered conversions, as meanwhile Roll-Royce had taken over Napier Engines in 1962 and production of the Eland-engines for conversion was stopped. The RCAF CL-66s were converted, after 1966, to CV580 standard.
After the problems on the Convair CV880 and CV990 jetliners were solved, Convair regained interest in the Convairliners. The CV580 was selling slow and the Allison engines were too powerful to be fitted to the CV240s. A choice was made for the Rolls Royce Dart 542-4 with 4-bladed Dowty props. An APU could be fitted in the right-hand nacelle, behind the firewall. Power could be boosted with an injection of water methanol mixture. Such conversions from CV240s were redesignated CV600s and for the CV340 & CV440 models the designation CV640 was found. Both these modifications were first flown in 1965. Central Airlines was a customer for the CV600 while Trans Texas bought the kits and rebuilt 25 CV240s to CV600s.
Fatal footnote: C-GKFS (ex/ ZK-KFS) active until early 2018, was scrapped/parted out by Sep.2018 (source ATDB.aero)
CONTRACT AIR CARGO = TSU (Division of IFL Group Inc. / Sister company of Corporate Express), Pontiac-Oakland,MI
|Founded: 1992||Head: Alan C. Ross||ICAO Callsign: TRANS-AUTO|
|REGISTRATION||TYPE OF AIRCRAFT||Construction nbr. (msn)||REMARKS|
|N14094||CV5800||277||cvtd Convair 340-71 / C-131F|
|N5248N||CV5800||279||cvtd Convair 340-71 / C-131F|
|N131FL||Convair 580 (F) (SCD)||155||cvtd 340-42/440|
|N141FL||Convair 580 (F) (SCD)||111||cvtd 340-32|
|N151FL||Convair 580 (F) (SCD)||51||cvtd 340-38|
|N161FL||Convair 580 (F) (SCD)||430||cvtd 440-95|
|N171FL||Convair 580 (F) (SCD)||318||cvtd 440-35|
|N181FL||Convair 580 (F) (SCD)||387||cvtd 440-24|
|N191FL||Convair 580 (F) (SCD)||326||cvtd 440-79/C-131D|
|N723ES||Convair 580 (F) (SCD)||217||cvtd 340-67/VC-131D|
|N991FL||Convair 580||508||cvtd 440-0|
|N371FL||Convair 5800 (F) (SCD)||309||cvtd 340-71 (C-131F)|
|N381FL||Convair 5800 (F)(SCD)||276||cvtd 340-71 (C-131F)|
|N391FL||Convair 5800 (F)(SCD)||278||cvtd 340-71 (C-131F)|
Source: JP Airline Fleets 2001/02.
|Significant dates in Convair-Liner history:
(from Convair Twins [Airliner Tech Series, Vol.12] by Nicolas A.Veronico, 2005)
Sep.1945- War ends. Consolidated Vultee announces that it will build the Model 110, a low-wing, twin-engine, tricycle-gear, 30-passenger, medium-range airliner.
08Jul1946- The sole Model 110, NX90653, flies on this date with Russell R.Rogers and Art Bussy at the controls.
26Dec46- American Airlines agrees to buy 100 CV-240s at a cost of usd 18 million, the largest commercial aircraft order to date.
16Mar47- First flight of the CV-240 Convair-liner prototype (N90849, msn 1) at San Diego is flown by company pilots Sam Shannon and Russell Rogers.
26Oct50- The last Convair 240 built, msn 178, is delivered to Garuda Indonesian Airways. The plane is registered PK-GCI and named Sikatan. A total of 178 Convair-Liner 240s were built.
05Oct51- Convair 340, N3401 msn 1, makes its first flight from San Diego with company test pilot Sam Shannon in the left seat.
28Mar52- The first airline delivery of a ConvairLiner 340 is made to United Air Lines (340-31, msn 3, N73103). ("Randy Moore wrote me in May 2009: 'serial number 3 – N73103 – was the second aircraft delivered in 1952. I’m looking out the window at the first – N73102 originally, now N580AS owned and flown on a daily basis by Honeywell.') N580AS has c/n 2; 'The Convairliners Story' by J.M.Gradidge (Air-Britain 1997) lists c/n 2 N73102 was manufactured 15Jan52 but only delivered 02Sep52 (United Airlines 'Omaha')
06Oct55- The first flight of the 440 Metropolitan prototype, the modified 340 N8431H msn 202. Continental was the first airline to operate the type, beginning on 08Mar56.
09Feb56- The first Napier Eland-powered Convair 540 (340 conversion, msn 153, G-ANVP) flies from Cranfield Aerodrome, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, England.
29Feb56- Europe's first Convair 440 Metropolitan (msn 317, OH-LRD) is delivered to Finnair in Helsinki, Finland. The aircraft flies from San Diego to Helsinki, approximately 6.960 miles, in 25 hours, 55 minutes.
20May65- First flight of the Convair 600 (Rolls-Royce Dart powered Convair-Liner 240).
21Mar84- The first Convair Super 580 takes flight. The aircraft is powered by two Allison 501-D22G turbo-props, each rated at 4.000 shp.
11Feb92- Kelowna Flightcraft's stretched Convair 5800 prototype, N5800 msn 276, originally a Convair-Liner 340-71, makes its first flight.
?? - Stretched Convair 5800 terminated
A long time ago I saved these (Convair) manuals from destruction; I donated them recently to an aviation museum, but before I said good bye to them I made a few photographs to illustrate how training went 'back in them days'...