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Convair CV-240

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

CV-240 family
A restored Convair CV-240 in Western Air Lines livery, at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California
Role Airliner
Manufacturer Convair
First flight 16 March 1947
Primary user American Airlines
Produced 1947–1956
Number built 1181
Variants C-131 Samaritan
CC-109 Cosmopolitan

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. 75 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.

Kelowna Flightcraft Ltd. currently hold the type certificate for this aircraft.


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.

A Convair 580 operated by the Australian arm of New Zealand airline Pionair. This particular example was converted from a CV-340
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.
  • 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

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



KLM Convair CV-240
KLM Convair CV-240

A Convair 580 freighter operated by the IFL Group
A Convair 580 freighter operated by the IFL Group

A Nolinor Convair 580 landing at Vancouver International Airport
A Nolinor Convair 580 landing at Vancouver International Airport

Military Operators

CV-440 & CV-580
  • Paraguayan Air Force: CV-440/C-131D
 Sri Lanka

Other Operators



  • 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.
  • 8 September 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.
  • 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. Details provided in:
  • 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. The report can be found at

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 (1,491 kW) each


See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

External links

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

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