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United Caravelles---details of who ordered what.  
User currently offlinePanair From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 29 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 8 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3597 times:
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In the November issue of AIRWAYS, in an article, A Decade of the RJ (page 30), there is a comment that United bought 20 Caravelles. I seem to remember that these Caravelles were ordered by Capital Airlines, not United, and United acquired them when they took over Capital. I can find pictures of Capital aircraft (Viscount, etc.), but no Caravelle. Anyone know these details?

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7494 posts, RR: 56
Reply 1, posted (12 years 8 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3548 times:

UNITED was the one and only US airline to operate a "Caravelle" fleet. First UA Caravelle service begun on July 14th 1961. It was a "Caravelle VI-R"

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User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 8 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3496 times:

The SE210-6R version of the Caravelle was built to meet US/FAA standards, and if I remember well, quite a few changes in the cockpit configuration, size of windshields, small window on the front LH cabin door, engine reversers, rather than the "drag chute" used on the older versions.
Back in these days they used 3 cockpit crewmembers, captain, first officer and second officer (as UAL called their flight engineers) - a UAL pilot contract requirement to have 3 crewmembers (as they later did in the 737 as well)... But I remember that the VI-R may have had the flight engineer station basically removed (or "forward facing") - or could possibly be certificated to be flown by 2 pilots only, without flight engineer... Douglas at one time had considered building the Caravelle under licence, I remember something about a request for a potential order from TWA, but then, Douglas decided to design the DC-9 twin jets as answer to the Caravelle or BAC One/Eleven twin jets.
I flew as passenger once on a UAL Caravelle, between ORD and JFK in the late 1960s... they were configured in "all 1st class", they called the "Red Carpet Class".
Many UAL Caravelles ended up with Transavia Holland, as well as Africa or South America... Some ended up with executive interior.
Understand that pilots who flew them loved them...
Happy contrails -
(s) Skipper

User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16525 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (12 years 8 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3472 times:

Actually Airborne Express operated a small fleet of cargo Caravelles.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
User currently offlineMilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2078 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (12 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3410 times:

Capital did not order the Caravelle's, United did. Capital ordered Comets, and Electras and never took delivery of either.

United operated 20 Caravelle VI-R's from 1961 through 1972. They were operated on the East Coast only and never flew west of OMA in scheduled service, although I believe that they were ferried to SFO for major maintenance. They held 64 passengers in 16 rows of 2-2 first class seating, throughout their service with United.

After initial service at IDL (JFK), all Caravelle flights out of NYC were from EWR. The Caravelle was also used on the Men Only Executive Extra Fare flights replacing the DC-6B from ORD to EWR departing at 5:00 p.m. in each direction. (The DC-6B Executive Flights operated from LGA). The Caravelle also inaugerated Jet service at stations such as DSM, BHM, OMA, FWA, SBN, TOL, and TYS long before United began 737 service in 1968. When the Caravelles were retired, they were stored at DEN. 13 of the 20 were sold to Sterling Airways of Denmark. Airborne Express did operate some Caravelles, and they were originally United ships. The registration numbers were 1001U through N1020U. The Caravelle was a very comfortable airplane to fly on and allowed United to offer pure jet service in competition with American, Northwest, and Eastern's Electra turboprops; however, the development of the 727 and 737 gave United more versatile airplanes, and no more Caravelles were acquired. United's Caravelles were powered by Rolls Royce Avon Non Fan Jet engines. The Caravelle was also the last main line trunk carrier airplane to operate in an all First Class configuration.

User currently offlinePanair From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3400 times:
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What was the date of the United-Capital merger?

User currently offlinePanair From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3384 times:
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Thanks for the history... Only flew Caravelles on Swissair and Thai.

User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7228 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (12 years 8 months 22 hours ago) and read 3221 times:

Capital merged probably May, conceivably June of 1961. For the first time (?) United became the worlds second-largest airline, after Aeroflot. (Measured by RPKs.)

User currently offlineDc863 From Romania, joined Jun 1999, 1591 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (12 years 8 months 22 hours ago) and read 3211 times:

I believe United had a "men only" Caravelle flight between LGA-ORD around 5:00pm back in the late 60s.

User currently offlineTrident From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 484 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 3150 times:

United acquired Capital's fleet of Viscounts folllowing the merger. Maybe that's what you are thinking of.

Initially, Sud Aviation had a marketing deal with Douglas to promote the Caravelle in North America. The deal ended after a very short while. Oddly enough, Douglas' first short haul jet, the DC-9, followed the Caravelle's basic layout. A coincidence or a bit of nefarious activity by Donald Douglas?

User currently offlineRjnut From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 3067 times:

I remember in 1970 I saw a UA caravelle at the old downtown airport in Kansas City...The Cincinnati Bengals had charted the plane to come to play the Chiefs..

I was young and i think it had an effect on me because i started to like the Bengals (not more than the Chiefs!) because I associated them with that BEAUTIFUL airplane!

User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7228 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

I'm guessing neither United nor anyone else ever scheduled a Caravelle out of La Guardia; can anyone find one in a timetable? Like Milesrich said, the men-only flight moved to EWR when it switched to Caravelles.

User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

What was the selling point of UA's men-only flight? I realize it was an entirely different era, but I don't quite see what demographic (aside from men, of course) they were catering to.

New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineDc863 From Romania, joined Jun 1999, 1591 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2953 times:

Timz my mistake I meant to say EWR not LGA. N844AA I guess United wanted to cater to just businessmen for one flight a day between New York and Chicago.

User currently offlineCsavel From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1478 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2945 times:

I am guessing the rationale was in those days, men could be "men" without any false chivalrous decorum - which could be a major scoring point with the Organization men of the day. They could curse, smoke cigars (in the smoking section) talk about sex, do deals, drink, all stuff proscribed in "mixed company."
Wonder what the female flight attendants (or sexy stews as they were likely called) thought about it.

Anyone know how long those men-only flights lasted? I am guessing even by the late sixties, it would appear to be an anachronism.

I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
User currently offlineWpmike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2885 times:

To Milesrich: Excellent info on this subject. Only have seen 1 Caravelle ever. A United ship at Minneapolis midday in summer of 1965. Anyone have any flight particulars on that time frame and airport?

User currently offlineMilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2078 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2799 times:

United never scheduled any Caravelles out of LGA. Jet Service from LGA began on June 1, 1964 with 727-022's to ORD. I flew on one out of there a few days later. The weekend before, I was a guest on a friend's parents' boat that was docked in Flushing Bay, and watched a United Caravelle take off from LGA, but it must have been a proving flight. You can check every UA schedule from 1964 on and you will find that the Caravelles were operated out of EWR. In late 1964 or 1965, I flew on a Caravelle from JFK to ORD but it was an equipment substitution. The last Caravelle flight on United I flew on was in 1971 from ORD to EWR, my first was in 1962 on the same route. Believe it or not, many people avoided United Caravelle flights because of the slightly higher first class fares. The only other airline's Caravelle I ever flew on was an AZ flight from TLV to ATH in early August of 1969. The Caravelle was a wonderful airplane, and as a teenager, I always enjoyed flying on it.

The United - Capital merger took place on June 1, 1961, and the first combined schedule was on July 1, 1961. (I have one that I bought on Ebay some years ago.) That schedule also marked the introduction of the Caravelle, with service beginning 7/14/01 (Bastille Day, how ironic) with three roundtrips a day, including the all men Executive on the IDL-ORD route. Shortly thereafter, the former Capital shops at DCA began painting the Viscounts in United colors. The only other Capital aircraft ever operated by United after the merger were a few DC-3's operated for a few months in 1961 on the route between DCA and BUF via PHL, HAR (Capital City Airport, Olmstead/MDT was still and Air Force Base)IPT, ELM, and ROC. June 30, 1961 was the last day of Capital Constellation and DC-4 service. Capital also operated some leased Pan Am DC-6B's. None of these were retained by UA but may have been operated for a short time after the merger. Prior to the merger, Capital inaugerated jet service between CLE/PIT and MIA with UA Boeing 720's. These aircraft remained in United colors.

A "thrill" for me as a kid was my first Viscount flight, from ORD to MLI in 1963, when UA began really integrating the Viscounts into the schedule and operating them on routes that were not originally Capital ones. United kept 47 Capital Viscounts and operated them until the phaseout of props (except for SLC-ELY-EKO-RNO-SFO) during the winter of 1968/69, that coincided with the delivery of 75 Boeing 737-222's.

I was a student at the University of Colorado when all the Caravelles were parked at Stapleton. When the remaining 13 were sold to Sterling, there was a big article about it in the Denver Post. At the same time that all of the Caravelles were parked, the phase out of the 720 began, and the entire fleet of 29 was parked in DEN and MSP. The oldest 720 was only 11 1/2 years old when it was parked.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 7142 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2742 times:

I remember very well back in 1972 when Sterling Airways took over 13 ex. UA Caravelle 6R. It was quite some addition to the Sterling fleet which was some ten pretty new Caravelle 10B - with PW JT8 engines.

The Sterling crews had for a few years been bragging about their "superior" Caravelles. SAS only had the Caravelle 3 which the Sterling people named the "Flintstone Caravelle" - it was the time of the great Flintstone cartoons.

And then they got their own load of RR Avon powered flintstones...

It was probably a clever move. They were very cheap. Sterling as a pure charter operator had a bad season problem. They could sell everything during school summer holidays, but the rest of the year the charter market was rather limited at that time.

So for a few seasons those 6R flintstones were busy packed with 100 seats for two summer months, bringing Danes to Spanish sunshine and cheap booze, and mostly parked for the rest of the year.

But when they were ready for a D check, then they were converted into fire exercise objects.

Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 329 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2684 times:

As a teen in France, I flew several times on Air Inter Caravelles. I remember that there were at least four rear facing seats, so that two groups of four passengers could converse around two small fixed tables.

Were there such arrangements in the interiors of other carriers? The Air Inter Caravelles were almost certainly retired Air France planes.

Also, those triangular windows were quite the rage in France at the time. I remember them in garage doors.

I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
User currently offlineDouglasdc8 From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2641 times:

As a former United employee, I'd like to quote in it's entirety an old pamphlet I have in my collection of memorabilia. I don't know what year it's from and I don't know if I can do this in one shot, but I'll try! It is entitled:


"Ever since the days when a businessman held a sack of mail on his lap and munched a chicken sandwich, United has looked for ways and means of improving his lot. We heated his cabin, provided a young trained nurse to look after him, hired chefs and built kitchens to assure him of bigger and better meals.
It was-and is-a never ending quest.
In 1953, United's executives decided to do something revolutionary for the traveling executive. They had in mind an airborne "club". One that would give the male traveler a chance to relax in manly fashion after his grueling business day.
Informality was the watchword. Travelers on "The Executive" as the new flights were called, were permitted (nay, encouraged) to doff their suitcoats, loosen their ties, slip out of their shoes and let the cares that had infested their day silently slip away as they relaxed with cocktails, steak and cigars.
Amid the derisive snifs and snide remarks of some feminists-and loud cheers from harried male travelers-the first Executive flights took off at 5 pm on April 26, 1953. They were an instant and continuing success. The prestige soon became secondary. Like most successful products, The Executive filled a need that was to continue well into the jet age.
With the advent of United's fleet of smaller, 'second-generation' jets, an increasing bumber of schedule have been offered in the New York-Chicago corridor. Today, United flies twenty-eight nonstop Club Cummuter jets between New York's La Guardia and Chicago's O'Hare every business day. And thirty-two other flights operate between O'Hare and New York's other two airports, Newark and JFK International.
These flights incorporate many little refinements and special touches developed to make traveling more pleasant for the ubiquitous businessman. Hot, delicatessen-style sandwiches served with cold beer as a between meals snack are but one example. Our stewardess kits are loaded with many others. Friendly things, we call them.
And a great many of them stemmed from our experience with The Executive and our desire to serve the needs of the men who travel on The Executive. Thus it is that The Executive flights have served an even broader purpose than originally conceived.
With all the other flights now available, and with the fine services on these flights, the need for The Executive has gradually diminished. It is with genuine regret and no little nostalgia that we announce the retirement of the United's Executive Flights on January 14.
The Executive has done much to make "...the friendly skies of United" more than a mere catch phrase to many male travelers.
We'd like to thank you for your loyal support of The Executive. It is our earnest hope that you will continue to look to United to fill your travel needs."

The pamphlet has a photo of the Caravelle on the front of it. It does not have any copywrite date on it.

User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2597 times:


Although only UNITED actually ordered and received their Caravelle VI-R's there was at one time another US airline that had plans to buy the Caravelle. It was TWA and the plans were to re-engine the Caravelle who had the RR Avon with a GE engine. GE from USA received a Caravelle and refited with GE engines to start tests that lead to an eventual order from TWA This was called Caravelle VII. Also at that time Douglas started to work closely with Sud Aviation in a process that could lead Douglas to produce the Caravelle to US market. Soon after Douglas developed their own twin-jet ( DC-9) and TWA was one of the first to order it! Looks to me that Douglas received some good know-how about the Caravelle to produce it's airplane. The Caravelle that had the GE engines stayed around but came back to France and reversed to the RR Avon. I had the chance to see only one US registred Caravelle, it was N1001U from Litton that came at least twice to Lisbon. Besides that I saw plenty of Caravelles, from TAP who had 3 ( CS-TCA/TCB/TCC ), Sabena, Iberia, Finnair, Sterling, Air France, etc. etc. But the rarest Caravelle I saw was infact two, 6V-AAF from Senegal Government and one from Rwanda. Those were very rare and great airplanes.

User currently offlineMilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2078 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 2502 times:

The 6/14/72 schedule is lacking the 5pm Executive. As of 11/15/68, UA 211 and 212 were still in the schedule, (The OAG even shows the $3.00 extra fare and men only) so they were discontinued in either on January 14th of 1969, 1970, 1971, or 1972. The best story about the Executive that I ever heard was one from a Flight Attendant that said she was delayed at EWR one evening, and was working the flight with a brand new hire from the South. They were waiting their turn to take off for ORD. While in line they served drinks and macadamia nuts. (United in the early 60's served a small round container of macadamias with drinks in First Class and in One Class (S).) When the captain called back to the galley and told the F/A, of Southern extraction, that they were #2 or #1 for takeoff, she made the following PA announcement, "The captain has informed me that we are now #1 for takeoff, so if y'all would just hold your drinks in one hand, and your nuts in the other, we will be on our way to Chicago." (The FAA rule that cups had to be picked up, was not yet instituted.)

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