The Convair 880


Although smaller and lagging behind Boeing’s 707 and Douglas’s DC-8, Convair’s 880, that includes the identical total configuration, may have preceded them. Seeking to construct upon the success of its CV-240, -340, and -440 pistonliners, the Covnair Division of General Dynamics thought-about the identical design route its rivals took way back to 1955–namely, develop a low, swept-wing, quad-engine, 123-passenger, JT3-powered Model 18 home jetliner and a bigger, J4-powered intercontinental Model 19, seating 24 extra. Unlike the 707, each would have inceptionally provided six-abreast coach seating and maybe have been the US plane with which to have competed.

But TWA, by way of Howard Hughes, its majority shareholder, was the one provider that expressed curiosity. Nevertheless, if Convair couldn’t have been first, it was at the very least the primary to confess that the market couldn’t assist three first-generation jet airliners and formally introduced that it cancelled its personal proposal on July 28, 1955.

Success, Convair concluded, might be achieved with important product differentiation, and towards this finish it proposed the Model 22. Alternatively designated Skylark 600 to mirror is 600-mph cruising velocity, it was meant for intermediate ranges with capacities of about 80, providing efficiency superior to that of the 707 or the DC-8. Yet, regardless of its velocity, it paradoxically created its personal limitations, as a result of the piston-plying native service carriers towards which it ought to have been focused didn’t have the monetary functionality to order and function such a sophisticated, costly design, and appropriate powerplants for the 50-seaters that might have been extra applicable for them weren’t accessible, as soon as once more leaving TWA because the more than likely launch buyer.

Although it appeared as if it might compete with Boeing’s 707 and Douglas’s DC-8, Convair believed that each of those first-generation, long-range airliners provided an excessive amount of capability on among the routes they initially served. The sheer transition from varieties such because the Lockheed Constellation and the Douglas DC-6 and DC-7 resulted in nearly double the quantity of seating required. It additionally felt that they operated over sectors that had been too quick for his or her design objectives. As a end result, they noticed the necessity for a comparable four-engine plane that was meant for shorter-range, lower-capacity routes.

In idea, it sought to design the primary intermediate-range and -capacity jetliner.

While it was firmly satisfied of the necessity for such an plane, engines to energy it had been restricted, and it questioned whether or not such sectors may even be exploited with pure-jet expertise. That the Comet 1’s transient, however catastrophic introduction to the jet age solid doubts about this type of air transport definitely did nothing to realize passenger acceptance of it and precipitated a protracted interval of improvement.

The meant plane was, to a big diploma, dictated by Trans World Airlines, which, managed by Howard Hughes, decided its efficiency and specs. Because he regularly modified them, it couldn’t assume any definitive type. He initially envisioned a medium-range airliner to serve routes just like these meant for the home variations of the 707-120 and the DC-8-10, for example, however with fewer passengers.

While the Convair Division of General Dynamics agreed along with his authentic design definition, it felt that its vary, geared towards TWA’s routes, was inadequate and a rise would improve its flexibility. Because they believed that the marketplace for such a pure-jet design was simply rising, they noticed the large-capacity pistonliners as changing the 707s and DC-8s on these shorter routes, questioning the aim of such a jet.

While TWA’s philosophy was superior, expertise was not. No appropriate powerplant then existed, particularly since jet speeds may solely be exploited on longer sectors, leaving the medium-range market as the one viable one.

Yet Convair had unknowingly positioned its program on a course of failure. It may have seized the chance to design an plane for a phase that had no competitors. Neither Boeing nor Douglas had accessible engineering expertise and even manufacturing capability to launch such a design on the time, and Convair’s personal status would definitely have confirmed a bonus in gentle of its earlier, piston sequence of short-range airliners.

But the deciding issue was one which Convair didn’t envision-namely, that passengers had so embraced pure-jet journey, that they anticipated it on all ranges.

The undertaking’s course, in all equity, was not completely as much as Convair, which itself was beneath heavy affect from Hughes. Representing the longer term plane’s solely launch buyer, he had final authority, but, demonstrating his eccentric tendencies, he himself was undecided which market the idealized plane ought to serve and ceaselessly modified his thoughts. During his negotiations with Convair, for example, he dictated transatlantic vary, equivalent to from New York to Paris, but on the similar time careworn the mandatory financial system for operation over medium routes, like these from Boston to Chicago.

Although he had already ordered 707-120s for TWA, they didn’t have transcontinental vary of their authentic, non-fanned variations, and he refused to strategy Douglas along with his wants due to his historically poor relations with them. The solely different main US producer, Lockheed, was already designing its personal short- to medium-range various, the L-188 Electra, which was turboprop-powered.

As a end result, Convair, whose strings had been regularly pulled by Hughes, had little alternative however to reply with variations and iterations that had to this point solely existed on paper.

After quite a few conferences, which generally spanned the evening, it was in the end determined to energy the brand new plane with 4 Pratt and Whitney J-57 turbojets, at present the one business ones accessible and subsequently additionally employed by the 707. But the Convair design attained its first aggressive benefit when the higher-thrust J-79s appeared on the horizon, since they’d allow it to supply superior efficiency and shorter block instances than the equally powered and configured Boeing or Douglas counterparts.

Convair had already amassed expertise with the engine on its delta winged B-58 Hustler, then the quickest bomber. Refined and modified for civil use, it might show a really perfect energy supply for a business airliner, providing a 35-mph larger cruise velocity than the competing 707s and DC-8s. It was that benefit that satisfied Hughes to order the plane.

After receipt of 30 agency orders from TWA, Convair formally introduced this system in April of 1956. Although it appeared just like the 707 right now, it featured a shorter, narrower fuselage, a decrease gas capability, and a decrease gross weight.

Delta Air Lines was the second buyer. Having already ordered the non-fanned DC-8-10 for its long-range, US home routes, it believed that shorter-segment jet operation might be economical due to overwhelming passenger acceptance of it and it was notably attracted by its promised efficiency. As a end result, it positioned a ten-firm order, valued at $3.5 million per plane, on June 20, 1956.

Full program go-ahead proceeded in September of that yr.

Although the kind’s preliminary designation was Convair Model 22, it modified a number of times-to the Skylark and eventually to the Golden Arrow to mirror its initially meant golden anodized fuselage and its superior velocity. After it was found that variations within the aluminum panels wouldn’t have created a uniform tint, its identify adjustments as soon as once more continued-in this case, to the Convair 600 to mirror its 600-mph cruise velocity, after which Convair 880 to precise that velocity in feet-per-second. The definitive Convair CV-880 was thus born.

The incapacity to find out its designation was maybe reflective of the truth that the undertaking’s design definition was nonetheless elusive. Exactly which promote it had been designed for was nonetheless not determinable, because it strove to cater to at least one created by TWA, by way of Hughes. Unable to effectively mix options for each medium- and long-range deployment, it grew to become a hybrid expression.

Because of the lack to outline its market, Barry J. Schiff wrote in his e book, The Boeing 707 (Arco Publishing Company, 1967, p. 20), “As for the Convair 880, it was just too small and too late,” an announcement that displays the truth that it appeared to have been designed for a similar mission because the 707 itself. It was not.


The Convair 880, with a 129.4-foot total size, featured a round part fuselage comprised of aluminum skins as thick as one-eighth of an inch that each lowered the variety of required stringers and minimized inner noise. Cabin flooring assist was offered by transverse beams.

External imaginative and prescient was achieved with home windows consisting of two stretched plexiglass panes, solely one among which was required to hold the complete load, and a 3rd, rubber-mounted one.

The all-metal wing, the thinnest ever employed on a business airliner and subsequently in a position to provide the plane’s excessive efficiency, was constructed up of each ahead and aft spars, in addition to a partial middle one which prolonged to the outboard engine pylon. Its building was accomplished via bulkheads and machine tapered skins. Scotchweld, a Convair-designed course of first used within the manufacturing of the Convair-General Dynamics F-102 and F-106 interceptors, entailed the insertion of a skinny adhesive movie between the surfaces that needed to be joined earlier than being riveted and was adopted by whole airfoil baking in a low-heat furnace. The ensuing, leak-proof construction created fuel-tight wing integral tanks that eradicated the necessity for added rivets and their related weight.

Each wing contained a double-skinned forefront, alongside which ran a scorching air deicing duct, and three-section, double-slotted trailing edge flaps. Manually operated, spoiler-linked ailerons, which themselves had been hydraulically actuated, augmented roll management, however each the spoilers and the trailing edge flaps might be used as speedbrakes in flight.

The wings themselves, mounted with seven levels of dihedral, had a 35-degree sweepback, a 120-foot span, and a pair of,000-squre-foot space. Their most loading was 92.25 kilos per sq. foot.

Fuel, whose collective capability was 10,770 US gallons, was saved within the wing integral tanks. Consumption, at 30,000 toes, was 1,700 gallons per hour.

Oil capability was 28 US gallons.

The horizontal tail, mounted with a small diploma of dihedral, had a 35-degree sweepback and a 395-square-foot space and was hydraulically operated with manually managed, servo tab-provisioned elevators. The vertical tail, with a 295-squre-foot space, had a operated by hand rudder and gave the plane a 36.4-foot total top.

Power was offered by 4 11,200 thrust-pound, cowling-encased General Electric CJ-805-3 turbofans pylon-mounted to the wing forefront underside via cantilever struts. Equipped with each daisy-type noise suppressors and clamshell thrust reversers, they eradicated the necessity for then-common water injection, as occurred with the 707-120 and the DC-8-10, to extend output, lowering, within the course of, the quantity of smoke emission. Considered probably the most superior turbojet on the time, it was lighter and easier and required much less upkeep consideration than different comparable pure-jet engines.

The Convair 880 rested on a ten-wheel tricycle undercarriage manufactured by Cleveland Pneumatic Tool Company. The steerable nostril unit, which retracted ahead into the fuselage, consisted of twin wheels whose measurement was 29 x 7.7 and whose tire stress was 160 psi. The two most important gear models, every of which featured two pairs of tandemly organized wheels, retracted laterally into fuselage bays and featured a 39 x 13 measurement and 150-psi tire stress. All three bogies, which had been hydraulically retractable, however might be gravity prolonged, had been geared up with air-cooled disc brakes, shock absorbers, and wheel axle-located anti-skid models.

As with all plane, their extension elevated drag and lowered air velocity.

Entry was offered by two port and two starboard, uniquely wedge-shaped passenger and galley servicing doorways, whose dimensions had been best on the shoulder degree, however progressively lowered as a result of progressive tapering. Two overwing emergency exits facilitated evacuation.

The plane was standardly operated by a three-person cockpit crew, though there was provision for as much as 5.

The passenger cabin, measuring 89.3 toes in size, 10.8 toes in width, and seven.1 toes in top, featured intently spaced home windows and seat tracks that facilitated set up of a number of cabin configurations and densities. Forward and aft areas had been standardly occupied by galleys and bogs, however seating diversified in line with buyer: a four-abreast firstclass part, for example, entailed seat pairs on both aspect of a two-foot aisle, separated themselves by a 20-inch armrest, they usually had been rreclinable to 38 levels. Coach or financial system class seats had been normally in a five-abreast, two-three, association, whereas a membership lounge, consisting of 12 locations round a espresso desk in dwelling room-style, might be optionally put in within the ahead a part of the cabin.

All firstclass and coach configurations resulted in, respectively, 88- and 110-passenger capacities, with a number of mixtures of every various lodging.

A single, unenclosed overhead rack, during which passenger service models providing air vent, studying gentle, flight attendant name, speaker grill, and drop-down oxygen masks amenities, offered storage for gentle hat, coat, pillow, and blanket objects.

Even in a single-class configuration, the cabin provided synthetic division via various ceiling panel heights and lighting results.

Glass fiber padding and sound-dampening tape put in between the fuselage panels and the cabin partitions lowered inner noise ranges.

Pressurization was achieved by twin, impartial Hamilton Standard air con techniques, which compressed the air ingested by two wing forefront consumption ducts, cooled it to 75 levels Fahrenheit, after which circulated it all through the cockpit and the passenger cabin, altering it each 2.5 minutes. An 8.2-psi differential ensured that sea degree situations had been maintained as much as a 20,000-foot altitude, whereas a 6,000-foot environment was achieved at 35,000 toes. Eight thousand toes was maintained on the plane’s 41,000-foot service ceiling.

Two decrease deck baggage, cargo, and mail compartments, accessed by starboard hatches, collectively provided an 863 cubic foot quantity.

With a 23,150-pound payload functionality, the Convair 880 had a 184,500-pound most takeoff weight and required a 5,200-foot runway. Rate-of-climb at this weight was 3,700 fpm. Its 615-mph cruising velocity certified it because the quickest business jet airliner on the time. Range with a firstclass payload was 3,450 statute miles. Its most touchdown weight was 132,800 kilos.


Despite the obstacles that had plagued the Convair 880’s design definition, the plane that first took to the sky from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field on January 27, 1959 exuded velocity. A slender, drag-reducing fuselage prolonged from its pointed nostril, its razor-thin wings had been swept again, and its turbofans had been housed in lengthy, skinny nacelles. It subsequently landed on Coronado Island’s North Island Naval Air Station after a profitable maiden flight.

During its 14-month, three production-aircraft flight take a look at program, the kind achieved Mach 0.93 speeds, which exceeded its 0.89-maximum; its water tank immersion persistently utilized an inner, 8.6-psi stress, which itself exceeded its 8.2-psi design purpose; and the simulated pressurization cycle, coupled with upward and downward flexing of its wings, resulted within the equal of 20 years of service life. Every take a look at was handed with out structural failure, leading to FAA kind certification the next yr, on May 1.

Although the plane ought to theoretically have been inaugurated into service by TWA, its launch buyer and, in lots of respects, its designer, the respect fell as an alternative to Delta Air Lines. Hughes, supply of each catalyst and battle, was as soon as once more behind the impediment.

Oblivious to TWA’s monetary functionality, he ordered 33 707s and 18 CV-990s, a sophisticated, higher-performance successor to the CV-880, even if it neither wanted such a large fleet nor may decide which varieties had been applicable to which routes. Because his personal millionaire standing had been lowered to one among debt, he couldn’t afford a 76-aircraft expenditure himself nor may TWA safe the mandatory loans to cowl it.

Forced, subsequently, to delay their supply, he was unable to supply TWA its rightful launch provider standing and he even inhibited additional plane manufacturing with armed guard surveillance.

In the occasion, Delta, the kind’s second operator, grew to become its first. In order to arrange for its inauguration, it had opened the Delta-General Electric Jet Familiarization School on March 11, 1957 in Atlanta, the primary such airline-established facility, with an preliminary, 26-strong class. All had been subsequently elevated to instructors.

Delta’s first glimpse of its new flagship was attained throughout a July 1957 go to to Convair’s manufacturing facility in San Diego, however the plane was solely in plywood mock-up type on the time. By the top of the yr, the wing subassemblies had been constructed and wing-to-fuselage mating occurred in October of 1958. Attended by some 1,000, its roll-out ceremony occurred two months later, on December 15.

Hopes, spirit, and carry mixed the next month when it rose into the sky and accomplished the profitable one -hour, 16-minute maiden flight of what it thought-about its medium-range jet plane. On February 6, 1960, two Delta pilots acquired their Convair 880 kind certification and 4 days later, C. E. Woolman, the airline’s president, was given the golden key to his first plane at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field.

Speed, the plane’s meant benefit over present quad-engine jetliners, was demonstrated earlier than the kind even entered service. In an deliberately staged demonstration, a Delta Air Lines Convair 880 lined the two,359 miles between San Diego and Miami in three hours, 31 minutes, 54 seconds on its supply flight, cruising at 641 mph and crossing Texas in a mere 50 minutes, earlier than persevering with to its Atlanta vacation spot, marking the second time the provider achieved a cross-country file after the earlier one established throughout its DC-8 supply from Santa Monica to the identical Florida metropolis.

A subsequent sector to Atlanta, following its Florida arrival ceremony, certified it for its Delta-bestowed title of “undisputed velocity champion,” reflecting the kind’s design purpose and the aggressive benefit it provided over present Boeing and Douglas varieties.

Delta inaugurated “Royal Jet Service” with the CV-880 on May 15, 1960 from Houston to New York-Idlewild with plane N8802E configured with a 12-place ahead lounge and a 72-passenger, four-abreast firstclass cabin. Two different inaugural routes had been additionally flown that day-from New York to New Orleans with N8804E and from New York to Atlanta with N8803E.

The occasions additionally marked the second time in its historical past that it had finished so with a brand new jetliner due to extenuating circumstances. During the primary, a time distinction had bestowed it with the respect over United with the DC-8-10.

Nine CV-880s delivered that yr enabled Delta to supply an rising variety of intermediate-range routes with it, together with Dallas-Atlanta and Houston-New Orleans on July 1; Chicago-New Orleans and Chicago-Atlanta on August 1; Houston-St. Louis-Chicago and Philadelphia-Baltimore-New Orleans-Houston on October 30; and Chicago-Miami and Cincinnati-Miami by the top of the yr. By December of 1961, it additionally operated the kind internationally-in this case, to Montego Bay in Jamaica and to Caracas in Venezuela.

It careworn the velocity of each its DC-8s and CV-880s in two of its commercials. “Delta means probably the most jets to probably the most locations” in a single and “The quickest, quietest, most luxurious jetliner journey to the world is now accessible as new Delta Convair 880s hyperlink New York nonstop with Atlanta, New Orleans, and Houston.” In the opposite. It continued by saying that “eighteen main cities will quickly be on Delta’s Convair 880 and DC-8 jet routes.”

By mid-1972, the CV-880 notched up 9 official velocity data throughout their routine scheduled operations. But on December 5 of the earlier yr, it had already relinquished its all-first class technique, reconfiguring its plane with 56 four-abreast first and 32 five-abreast coach cabins. The ahead lounge was altogether eradicated.

Its 17-strong fleet, sequentially registered N88801E to N8817E, in the end touched down in 24 cities.

Offering the identical jet speeds and luxury on medium-range routes as its DC-8s did on its longer ones, and offering unmatched competitors to Eastern with its piston-powered varieties, Delta acquired overwhelming passenger acceptance and reward, and its pilots would typically level out its rival’s slower-flying, propeller plane as they handed them.

Because it launched pure-jet expertise on routes by no means having beforehand acquired it, it was in a position to credit score the 880 with its progress.

Yet all was not as clean as its promoting recommended. Although, like all newly built-in plane in an airline’s fleet, it demonstrated the anticipated teething troubles, it skilled a deadly crew coaching flight on May 23, 1960. Piloted by Captain Henry L. Loube, who was being educated, the plane, designated Delta Training Flight 1903, rotated and commenced a steep climb, first banking to the left after which to the suitable, at which level it stalled and plummeted to the bottom, killing all 4 crew members.

It was decided that the quantity 4 engine had been inadvertently throttled again to the idle place and that the plane naturally yawed in that course. With solely 2.5 seconds during which to get better, it was not ready to take action.

Nevertheless, the kind enabled enterprise passengers to fly to extra distant locations and return dwelling the identical night, whereas leisure-oriented ones fly additional afield in shorter instances.

Both the Convair 880 and the Douglas DC-8 offered elevated productiveness, since they accommodated extra passengers and achieved larger productiveness, working a larger variety of day by day flights than the pistons they changed. Their larger reliability additionally resulted in lowered maintenance-necessitated downtime.

Higher than anticipated gas prices, nonetheless, resulted of their earlier-than-intended retirement as they constituted partial cost for the Boeing 727-200s that changed them. Delta operated its final scheduled CV-880 flight in 1973.

TWA’s monetary scenario continued to rob it of its inaugural-carrier standing. Indeed, six plane leased to New England-based Northeast Airlines, which itself later merged with Delta, gave it second-operator standing after Howard Hughes agreed to launch six of TWA’s 30 still-undelivered plane.

Aircraft N8482H set its personal transcontinental supply velocity file on November 30, 1960 when it lined the San-Diego-Boston distance in 4 hours, 17 minutes, at a time when the ten,000-foot, 250-knot velocity restriction had but to be carried out.

Featuring a 32 first and 65 coach class inside, tis first Convair 880, principally sporting TWA’s inside outfitting, was inaugurated into service the next month, on December 15, between Boston and Miami with an intermediate cease in Philadelphia, as soon as once more pitting its pure-jet plane towards Eastern’s slower piston ones to Florida.

Although it in the end operated a half-dozen, sequentially registered N8478H to N8483H, monetary difficulties prompted their untimely return. But they had been subsequently changed with 4 others, registered N8492H to N8495H, that includes 24 first and 74 coach class cabins and, by 1966, yellow exterior liveries to mirror the provider’s new “Northeast Yellow Bird” picture. It emphasised their benefit in its “world’s quickest jetliner” commercials.

Even earlier than the Delta merger, it started to interchange its CV-880s with 727-200 trijets of its personal.

Despite the design-determining enter by way of Howard Hughes, TWA by no means had the respect of being the primary to inaugurate the Convair 880 into scheduled service, though it may boast of working the most important variety of them-to the tune of 28. Seventeen days after the January 1, 1961 supply of its first, it had amassed an preliminary, five-strong fleet, which included one instance that had offered crew familiarization coaching.

Actual service implementation occurred on January 12 from 5 cities in its route system-namely, New York-Idlewild, Chicago-O’Hare, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles-but Dayton, San Francisco, and Kansas City quickly adopted by the top of the month.

As with different Convair 880 operators, its preliminary inside luxurious imaginative and prescient, with a 12-place ahead lounge, eleven four-abreast first-class seat rows, and 7 five-abreast financial system ones, progressively yielded to elevated income and capability, partially to cater to educate class journey demand, leading to a 77-passenger most important cabin that might solely be serviced with the set up of an extra aft galley. Although its narrower fuselage, solely accommodating five-abreast seating, proved a detriment to airline gross sales, passengers discovered it a bonus, since four-fifths of all seats had been both window or aisle ones.

By the top of August of 1962, TWA served 17 US home locations with the superlative-speed Convair 880, its longest route, from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, a digital transcontinental one.

The following yr, it acquired the six plane that had been intermittently leased to Northeast, and by October of 1964, all routes west of Wichita, Kansas, had been served by them, ending its period of piston Lockheed Constellation operation there.

Demonstrating its design objectives, the Convair 880 achieved a number of velocity data in scheduled service. On January 24, 1961, for example, a TWA instance flew from Chicago to New York in one-hour, 11 minutes, reaching an 849-mph floor velocity in the course of the Columbus-Pittsburgh portion of it.

As had occurred with each Delta and Northeast, TWA grew to become the third provider to interchange the quad-engine Convairs with tri-engine 727-200s when it introduced a 17-firm and 17-optioned order for them on April 25, 1973. The following yr, on June 15, the final CV-880 flight, with plane N824TW, was operated between Chicago and Kansas City.

Despite what could also be thought-about accolades, the Convair 880 nonetheless fell in need of its promised velocity. Along with its slender cabin and competitors from the quickly-designed Boeing 720 to compete with it, it solely attained 48 gross sales.


Although the plane’s superior efficiency served as its power, it nonetheless failed to satisfy its efficiency objectives. As a end result, Convair designed a minimal-change variant that might enhance its velocity and vary.

Designated CV-880M, it launched 4 forefront slat panels, two of which spanned the gap between the engine pylons and two of which ran from the outer powerplant to the wingtip. These, extending ahead and down to extend airfoil camber, had been actuated along with the present, double-slotted trailing edge flaps and improved low-speed carry. Yet the hole between the wing-to-fuselage intersection and the inside engine was equally filled-in this case, by Kreuger flaps that prolonged up- and outward from their under-wing retraction positions, making certain correct air move over the horizontal stabilizers, all in an association that was not not like that of Boeing’s personal 727, which employed this Krueger flap, forefront slat, and trailing edge flap configuration to realize most low-speed carry.

Wing loading elevated to 96.25 kilos per sq. foot.

Fuel capability additionally increased-in this case, to 13,870 US gallons after set up of three middle part bag tanks.

Yaw axis management was augmented with a bigger fin, whose rudder was now managed by a mixture of aerodynamic and hydraulic energy boosting, though the horizontal stabilizer’s elevators remained aerodynamically operated.

Power was offered by 4 11,650 thrust-pound General Electric CJ-805-3B turbofans.

A strengthened undercarriage with larger capability brakes catered to the marginally larger weights, and a retractable tail skid was launched.

With new most payload and takeoff weights of 26,780 and 203,400 kilos, respectively, he Convair 880M, which had initially been designated Model 22M, had a 4,210-statute-mile firstclass payload vary. Its most touchdown weight elevated to 155,000 kilos. The variant’s larger carry lowered its stall velocity to 106 mph and it required a 4,930-foot runway for touchdown.

The first such CV-880M, which was a modified CV-880, first took to the skies on October 3 and was quickly joined by two different plane that constituted the nine-month flight take a look at program.

Although US-based Capital Airlines, a significant Vickers Viscount turboprop operator, was the kind’s launch buyer after it positioned a seven-strong order, it was cancelled after United Airlines acquired the provider. United itself selected the comparable, however wider-cabin Boeing 720 for its intermediate-range wants, its six-abreast seating capability sealing the deal.

This transferred the launch buyer title to Civil Air Transport (CAT) of Taiwan, which took supply of its first plane on June 5, 1961 and inaugurated it into service the next month, on July 17.

Viasa Venezuelan International Airways grow to be the key South American operator of the modified model, enabling it to attach Caracas with each Miami and New York on August 8 and to deploy its longer-range DC-8s on transatlantic routes to Europe.

Only twelve days later, Alaska Airlines, the one US provider to order it, positioned it in service between Anchorage and the Lower-48, and Swissair, which ordered the higher-performance Convair 990 (extra about which see), leased two CV-880Ms for interim use on its Far Eastern sectors as of September 10 till it was in a position to take supply of the later model.

In the Orient, two main carriers accounted for the kind’s operation. Cathay Pacific linked its Hong Kong hub with it as of April 8, 1962 with its nine-strong fleet, which bore registrations VR-HFS, -HFT, -HFX, -HFY, -HFZ, -HGA, -HGC, -HGF, and -HGG.

Japan Air Lines (JAL) positioned it into home service on its high-density routes, alongside its present DC-6Bs, DC-7Cs, and Viscounts. As with Viasa, it relegated its DC-8s to its long-range, intercontinental sectors to Europe.

A single CV-880M was bought by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within the US.

As had occurred with the unique Convair 880, its 880M successor achieved a number of velocity data throughout routine passenger flights. On December 4, 1961, for example, a Civil Air Transport CV-880M lined the Taipei-Tokyo distance in 128 minutes, recording a 635.68-mph velocity. Earlier that yr, on September 19, one other CAT plane flew from Seoul to Tokyo in a mere 74 minutes, attaining a 679.2-mph velocity.

Despite the Convair 880M’s improved efficiency, solely 17 plane had been, ultimately, ordered, all, aside from Alaska Airlines, by overseas carriers.

Article Sources:

Lewis, W. David, and Newton, Wesley Phillips. Delta: The History of an Airline. Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 1979.

McClement, Fred. It Doesn’t Matter Where You Sit. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.,


Proctor, Jon. Convair 880 and 990. Miami: World Transport Press, Inc., 1996.

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