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Convair 240

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Convair CV-240
A restored Convair CV-240 in Western Air Lines livery, at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California
Type Airliner
Manufacturer Convair
Maiden flight 16 March 1947
Primary user American Airlines
Produced 1947–1956
Variants C-131 Samaritan
CC-109 Cosmopolitan

The Convair CV-240 was an American airliner produced by Convair from 1947 to 1956.


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, and thus it was designated the CV-240.[citation needed] 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, KLM, 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.


Civil variants

  • 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.[1]
A Convair 580 operated by the Australian arm of New Zealand airline Pionair. This particular example was converted from a CV-340
  • 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.[1]
  • 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.[1] 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.[2]
  • 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.[1] In August 2006 a total of 9 Convair CV-640 aircraft remain in airline service, with Rhoades Aviation (3) and C&M Airways (6).[2]
  • Convair CV5800: conversion from a Convair CV-580 by Kelowna Flightcraft 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.

Military variants



A Convair 580 freighter operated by the IFL Group


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 - Four 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 crashed into the Sea near Hirtshals, Denmark after the vertical stabilizer parted from the fuselage due to vibrations caused by 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.

Specifications (CV-240)

General characteristics

  • Length: 74 ft 8 in (22.76 m)
  • Wingspan: 91 ft 9 in (27.97 m)
  • Height: 26 ft 11 in (8.20 m)
  • Wing area: 817 ft² (75.9 m²)
  • Empty weight: 25,445 lb (11,540 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 42,500 lb (19,280 kg)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" 18 cylinder air cooled radial engines, 2,000 hp (1,490 kW) each


See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Frawley, Gerald. "Convair CV-540, 580, 600, 640 & CV5800", The International Directory of Civil Aircraft 1997/98 p86. Aerospace Publications, Fyshwick ACT 1997. ISBN 1 875671 26 9
  2. 2.0 2.1 Flight International, 3-9 October 2006

External links

Template:Convair aircraft

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Convair 240".