The Convair CV-240 was an American airliner produced by Convair from 1947 to 1956.
Design and development
The design began life in a production requirement by American Airlines
for a pressurized airliner
to replace the classic Douglas DC-3
. Convair's original design had two engines
and 40 passenger seats. The first 240 flew on 16 March 1947
, and production aircraft were first delivered to American on 28 February 1948
. Seventy-five were delivered to American, with another fifty going to Western Airlines
, Continental Airlines
, Pan American Airways
, and Trans Australia Airlines
A CV-240 was the first private aircraft used in a United States presidential campaign. In 1960, John F. Kennedy used a CV-240 dubbed Caroline (after his daughter) during his campaign. This aircraft is now preserved in the National Air and Space Museum.
- CV-240-21 Turboliner: turboprop-powered conversion fitted with Allison T38 engines. It became the first turboprop airliner to fly in the United States (on 29 December 1950), but ongoing problems with the engines resulted in development being terminated and the prototype being converted back to piston power.
- CV-340: built for United Airlines, was basically a CV-240 lengthened to hold an additional four seats. The wings were also enlarged for better performance at higher altitudes. The CV-340 replaced the DC-3 in United service. The airline flew 52 340s for 16 years without a fatality.
- CV-440 Metropolitan: CV-340 with improved soundproofing and an option of weather radar.
- Convair CV-540: conversion from a Convair CV-340 aircraft with two Napier Eland turboprop engines in place of the piston engines. Six aircraft were converted by Napier for Allegheny Airlines.
- Convair CV-580: conversion from Convair CV-340 or CV-440 aircraft with two Allison 501 D13D/H turboprop engines in place of the piston engines, an enlarged vertical fin and modified horizontal stabilisers. The conversions were performed by Pacific Airmotive on behalf of the Allison Engine Company.
- Convair CV-600: conversion from a Convair 240 aircraft with Rolls-Royce Dart turboprop engines in place of the piston engines. CV-600 conversions were performed by Convair. The CV-600 first flew with Central Airlines on 30 November 1965. The CV-600 aircraft that flew with Air Metro Airways was configured as a forty passenger airliner. In August 2006 a single Convair CV-600 aircraft remains in airline service, with Rhoades Aviation.
- Convair CV-640: conversion from a Convair CV-340 or -440 with Rolls-Royce Dart turboprop engines in place of the piston engines. The conversions were performed by Convair. In August 2006 a total of 9 Convair CV-640 aircraft remain in airline service, with Rhoades Aviation (3) and C&M Airways (6).
- Convair CV5800: conversion from a Convair CV-580 by Kelowna Flightcraft Ltd. in Canada. The CV5800 is a CV-580 stretched by 14ft 3in with the CV-440's original tail unit. These conversions also have a new freight door, digital avionics with EFIS and Allison 501-D22 engines.
Accidents and incidents
- June 19, 1954 - A Swissair Convair CV-240 crashed due to fuel starvation in the English Channel near Folkestone.
- October 20, 1977 - Three members of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed when the Convair CV-240 they were aboard crashed near a forest in Gillsburg, Mississippi. The probable cause of the crash was fuel exhaustion and total loss of power from both engines. The pilot, co-pilot and the band's assistant road manager were also killed. Some 20 other passengers survived but with terrible injuries.
- September 8, 1989 - Partnair Flight 394 a Convair 580 LN-PAA crashed into the Sea near Hirtshals, Denmark after the tailfin parted from the fuselage due to metal fatigue. All 55 occupants were killed.
- October 3, 2003 - A Convair 580 freighter, ZK-KFU, crashed into the sea near Paraparaumu, New Zealand after severe icing caused the aircraft to stall and enter a spiral dive. The aircraft subsequently suffered an in-flight breakup. Both flight crew were killed.
- August 13, 2004 - An Air Tahoma Convair 580 freighter N586P - crashed during approach to landing in Covington, KY, killing the FO. Cause of crash was fuel starvation as a result of improper fuel cross-feed application. Details provided in: http://www.ntsb.gov/Publictn/2006/AAR0603.pdf.
- September 1, 2008 - An Air Tahoma Convair 580 freighter, N587X, conducting its first flight following a maintenance "C" Check crashed in Pickaway County, Ohio immediately after departure from Columbus's Rickenbacker International Airport. The Flight had declared an in flight emergency and was attempting to return to the departure airport. Reports indicate the flight was also being used as a training flight for the First Officer. All three occupants, the Captain, First Officer, and a company pilot observer, were killed in the crash or post-crash fire. Specifics about the causes of the crash are still under investigation by the NTSB.