- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Convair CV-580
Convair 580 Conair - C-FFKF - Air Tanker 44
1954 Convair 580 (ex. CV340-31)
C-FFKF (sn 179)
Conair - Air Tanker "44"
Photo taken Aug. 2009
Penticton Airport, BC Canada (YYF / CYYF)
Photo © AirplaneMart.com
Convair 580 - Conair - C-FEKF - Air Tanker "45"
1953 Convair 580 (ex. CV340-32)
C-FEKF (sn 80)
Conair - Air Tanker "45"
Photo taken Aug. 2009
Penticton Airport, BC Canada (YYF / CYYF)
Photo © AirplaneMart.com

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, the unpressurised Model 110 had two engines and space for 30 passenger seats. It first flew on 8 July 1946. American deemed the design to be too small and the aircraft NX90653 was used therefore used by Convair for development work for the 240 series before being broken up in 1947.

Convair's revised design, the pressurised and stretched Model 240 was developed to accommodate 40 passengers. The first 240 flew on 16 March 1947, and production aircraft were first delivered to American on 29 February 1948. 75 were delivered to American, with another fifty going to Western Airlines, Continental Airlines, Pan American Airways, KLM, Swissair 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.
Kelowna Flightcraft Ltd. currently hold the type certificate for this aircraft.


Civil variants

CV-240: Initial production version. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines.

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 14 ft 3 in 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

C-131 Samaritan: The CV-240/340/440 series was used by the United States Air Force for medical evacuation and VIP under this designation

T-29 Trainer: A trainer model of the C-131 was used to instruct navigators and radio operators

R4Y Samaritan: The U.S. Navy used the Samaritan under this designation

Canadair CL-66: conversion from CV-440, with Napier Eland turboprops in place of the piston engines. The conversions were performed in Canada byCanadair. In Canadian Air Force service they were known as the CC-109 Cosmopolitan. All were re-engined in 1966 with Allison 501-D13.


Civilian operators

Aero California - CV-340
Aeromexico - CV-340
Aeroquetzal - CV-580
Air Chathams - CV-580
Air Fiji - CV-580
Air Freight NZ - CV-580 & CV5800
Air Resorts - CV-440s that were formerly operated by American Eagle
Air Tahoma - CV-240 & CV-580
Allegheny Airlines CV-340, CV-440, CV-540 & CV-580
American Airlines
Ansett Airlines - CV-340, CV-440
ARCO Aerolíneas Colonia S.A. CV-240, CV-600
Aspen Airways CV-580
Aviateca - CV-240, CV 440, 340
Braniff International Airways - CV-340
Cal Sierra Airlines - CV-580
Canadian Pacific Airlines - CV-240
Chathams Pacific - CV-580
Continental Airlines
Delta Air Lines - CV-340 & CV-440
Desert Air - CV-240
ERA Aviation - CV-580
Finnair CV-340 (converted to CV-440) & CV440
Frontier Airlines - CV-580
Garuda Indonesia - CV-240, CV-340 & CV-440
Hawaiian Airlines - CV-340
IFL Group - CV-580 & CV5800
JAT Yugoslav Airlines - CV-340 & CV-440
Kar-Air CV-440
Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter - CV-580 & CV5800
KLM - CV-240 & CV-340
LACSA - CV-340
Líneas Aéreas Paraguayas (LAP) - 3 CV-240
Lake Central Airlines - CV-340 & CV-580
Linjeflyg - CV-340 & CV-440
LOT Polish Airlines - CV-240 (5 in 1957-1966)
Nolinor Aviation - CV-580
North Central Airlines - CV-580
Northeast Airlines - CV-240
Northwest Airlines - CV-580
Pacific Western Airlines - CV-640
Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
Pakistan International Airlines - CV-240
Philippine Airlines - CV-340 (1950's-1960's)
Pionair - CV-580
Prinair - CV-580
Republic Airlines - CV-580
SABENA - CV-240 & CV-440
SAS - CV-440
Serviços Aéreos Cruzeiro do Sul - CV-240, CV340
Swissair - CV-240
Trans Australia Airlines
United Airlines
Varig - CV-240
Western Airlines

Military Operators

- Royal Australian Air Force - Two CV-440 Metropolitans (RAAF serial A95-313 and 353) were in service with RAAF from 1956 to 1968. No. 34 Squadron RAAF

- CV-440 & CV-580

- CV-580

- CV-440

- CV-440

- Paraguayan Air Force: CV-440/C-131D

- CV-440

Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka Air Force - CV-440

Other Operators

- National Research Council (Canada)
- Conair Group Inc. (C-FEKF CV-580) (C-FFKF CV-580)


22 January 1952 - American Airlines Flight 6780 crashes in downtown Elizabeth, New Jersey in the first fatal accident after a record 840,000 safe flying hours.

19 June 1954 - A Swissair Convair CV-240 crashed due to fuel starvation in the English Channel near Folkestone.

March 20 1955 - American Airlines Flight 711, a Convair CV-240, struck the ground during final approach in Springfield, MO. Of the 35 person aboard, there were 22 survivors.

January 28, 1966 - Lufthansa Flight 005 crashed on landing after an approach in low visibility to Bremen, Germany. All 46 passengers and crew on board lost their lives.

December 24, 1968 - 20 are killed when Allegheny Airlines flight 736 crashes near Bradford, PA. Two weeks later,

January 6, 1969 - Allegheny Airlines flight 737 crashes near Bradford, PA, killing 11.

20 October 1977 - Six persons were killed, including three members of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd 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 among the dead. Some 20 other passengers survived, some with terrible injuries.

January 9, 1983 - Republic Airlines flight 927 landed at Brainerd, MN, right wing down, veered to the right until the right propeller struck a 2 to 3 foot snow bank. The blade separated from the engine and penetrated the cabin, killing one passenger.

8 September 1989 - Partnair Flight 394 a Convair 580 LN-PAA crashed into the Sea near Hirtshals, Denmark after the tailfin suffered severe vibrations due to it being attached to the fuselage with forged bolts; the vibration caused a rudder hard-over. All 55 occupants were killed.

3 October 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 pilots were killed.

13 August 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.

1 September 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. A recently released NTSB report blames elevator trim cables reversed during maintenance as the cause of the crash.

Specifications (Convair CV-240)

General characteristics
Crew: 2 or 3
Capacity: 40 passengers
Length: 74 ft 8 in (22.76 m)
Wingspan: 91 ft 9 in (27.97 m)
Height: 26 ft 11 in (8.21 m)
Wing area: 817 ft² (75.9 m²)
Empty weight: 29,500 lb (13,410 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 42,500 lb (19,320 kg)
Powerplant: 2× Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp 18 cylinder air cooled radial engines, 2,400 hp (1,790 kW)(wet) each

Maximum speed: 315 mph (274 knots, 507 km/h)
Cruise speed: 280 mph (243 knots, 451 km/h)
Range: 1,200 mi (1,043 nmi, 1,930 km)
Service ceiling: 16,000 ft (4,880 m)
Rate of climb: 1,520 ft/min (7.7 m/s)

Last updated November 09, 2009
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Convair CV-240 family".
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