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TWA Convair 880 Onboard Experiences  
User currently offlineJackbr From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 666 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15815 times:

With the 707 being the "flagship" of the TWA fleet with the full service offerings, eg meals, while the 727 operated shorter flights where the same level of service could not be expected, where did the Convair 880 fit in?

The 880 operated some fairly long flights, eg LAX/SFO/LAS-ORD, and since they would be competing with airlines such as UA/AA/CO on these routes, I would think the Convair 880 would be a "full service" aircraft.

Can anyone provide certainty?

51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinecv990Coronado From South Africa, joined Nov 2007, 342 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 15554 times:
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I have a staff timetable from July 1972 and the CV880 certainly had full meal and drink service on routes from CHI to the Eastcoast. Also from STL to both East and West coast destinations. I remember flying from LAX to SFO on an 880 it was an amazing aircraft very smooth, comfortable and you could feel the power - not as much as Concorde but impressive.


SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
User currently offlineisitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 15521 times:

The 880 was in service before the 727. Not many US carriers used the 880/990 jets.
For distance it was a short to mid-range jet like ORD-MKC(kansas city municipal)OKC-STL, IND-IDL, MKC-PHX
ORD-DEN, PIT-IDL, CMH-IDL to name a few routes. The seating was 2-3 in Y class and total seats was around 90-100 or so.Thats not exact but close.

It was the first commercial jet powered by G.E.

The 880 is a fav with me because that was my first jet.
WATCH THIS.........
June 18 1961
ORD-MKC
TWA flight 115
Reg number N830TW
Flight route was BOS-ORD-MCI-LAX-SFO.
Window seat left side behind the wing....the row number 18 stands out but I'm not sure.
Ya don't forget stuff like that!

The slow death(over a few years)came when the 727-200 showed up. The phasing out of the Convair jets was hastened with the
entrance of the smaller jets, DC9-30's and 737's.

safe   



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4972 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 15480 times:

I flew on a DL CV880 YUL-BOS, equipment sub for a B727-200, in July 1973.

One thing I recall standing out was the incredible acceleration on take-off ... unmatched until a no-flex takeoff on a light B767-300! With respect to the CV880, it had more to do with the GE turbojets than the thrust/weight ratio.

The GE turbojets had a very very fast acceleration rate from idle to max power. This was of course due to previous uses of the engine in a military function.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 1058 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15251 times:

TWA ran the 880 on some fairly long routes. If I'm not mistaken, LAX-CVG and LAX-PIT were done. The latter is almost a transcon. I'm told that in the case of strong headwinds, an interim fuel stop on these routes was not uncommon.

In November of 1967, a nonstop LAX-CVG flight crashed on finals, landing short of the runway during a visual approach in bad weather. It destroyed ship N821TW, which flew TWA's inaugural Convair 880 service in 1961. There were only a few survivors of the impact, which occurred in an apple orchard.

TWA 880s ran head-to-head with AA's 990s on the ORD-SFO route (imagine having that choice!).

It was a beautiful aircraft, with a very sporty look and comfortable cabin.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15171 times:

One of my biggest regrets of my years at DL was never having flown on the 880.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineN747PA From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15161 times:

Here's what the TWA 880 interiors looked like at their retirement:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12548624@N03/


User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 5029 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15148 times:

I flew on a DL 880 ATL-ORD in 72. The thing I remember most is a small metal plate on the bottom of the seats in front of me had "880" in a stylized font on it.

And the engines smoked like hell!, the tails always seemed to be blackened. But then again, so did the tails of DC-9's and 727's.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15130 times:

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 7):
And the engines smoked like hell!, the tails always seemed to be blackened. But then again, so did the tails of DC-9's and 727's.

Like this????





 



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineflyguy89 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1924 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 15102 times:

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 4):
In November of 1967, a nonstop LAX-CVG flight crashed on finals, landing short of the runway during a visual approach in bad weather. It destroyed ship N821TW, which flew TWA's inaugural Convair 880 service in 1961. There were only a few survivors of the impact, which occurred in an apple orchard.

I remember hearing about this. my god-father's grandparents were killed in that crash.


User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1997 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 15041 times:

I flew quite a few trips on TWA and Delta's 880's. The cabin service was the same as on the 707 or DC-8, but there was no movie projection or audio system. The 880, with five abreast seating, was very comfortable in coach, and really preferable, from a comfort standpoint to the Boeing or Douglas. TW, I believe, only had one hull loss, that resulted in any fatalities, the one at CVG listed above. Delta lost one on a training flight, and one in December of 1972 when it was struck by a North Central DC-9 at ORD which was taking off. The Delta flight was directed by ATC to cross the active runway. The tail was "sawed off" but there were no casualties on the Delta flight, but most of the passengers on the NC DC-9-30 did not survive. TW operated 880's through out their system and on just about all East West domestic routes except the transcons. They did operate ORD-LAX/SFO and DEN-JFK. I flew on my last 880 flight from ORD to TPA in late 1973 on Delta, and my first 880 flight was on NE, IDL-MIA in 1962. Northeast made a big deal of the five across seating, in their Jim Dooley, "come on down" TV ads, filmed poolside in Florida. Their slogan was, Fly Northeast, the airline that never squeezes (or it may have been crowds" you in six across.

User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 14968 times:

Quoting milesrich (Reply 10):
The tail was "sawed off" but there were no casualties on the Delta flight,

Actually, the tail was NOT "sawed off".....there was only a small chunk out of the tail, but there were tire tracks across the top of the fuselage where the NC DC-9 struck. The a/c sat for quite awhile at our hangar (DL's) at ORD with all DL logos and names removed.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 5029 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 14759 times:

In fact Convair was going to try to market a smaller version of the 880 as a bizjet. I saw a film from Convair that was for marketing. It would have been a much shorter fuselage with 4 engines. Now THAT would have been neat!


Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineMacsog6 From Singapore, joined Jan 2010, 531 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14701 times:
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Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 12):
In fact Convair was going to try to market a smaller version of the 880 as a bizjet. I saw a film from Convair that was for marketing. It would have been a much shorter fuselage with 4 engines. Now THAT would have been neat!

Ever see a McDonnell Douglas 119. It looks exactly like a scaled down Convair 880.

http://aerofiles.com/mcdon-119.jpg



Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
User currently offlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1095 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14663 times:

Quoting milesrich (Reply 10):
The tail was "sawed off" but there were no casualties on the Delta flight, but most of the passengers on the NC DC-9-30 did not survive.

Actual Milesrich, 10 of the 41 passengers on board died that day. Better than "most", but still tragic.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 14412 times:

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 14):
Actual Milesrich, 10 of the 41 passengers on board died that day. Better than "most", but still tragic.

I was thinking it was more than that. I know it took about 45 minutes to discover the crash site because it was foggier than hell that night. I had just gotten to work, right after the crash.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinedc863 From Denmark, joined Jun 1999, 1558 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14283 times:

I always thought the tail soot on the DC-9s, and 727s was the result from reverse thrust. Can anyone provide a pic of the "dirty tail" 880?
I know the 737-100/200s had a small area just aft of the wing on the fuselage that would have the soot stain after many landings but I don't recall the 880s ever having a dirty tail from their sooty engines.


User currently offlineisitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14065 times:

Quoting milesrich (Reply 10):

TW dumped one on a training flight at MCI, N820TW.
September 1965........The crew walked away but the plane burned to nothing.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14013 times:

Quoting Macsog6 (Reply 13):
Ever see a McDonnell Douglas 119. It looks exactly like a scaled down Convair 880.

The McDonnell Model 119 was designed, built and canceled years before Douglas was part of the name.

After all you wouldn't call it the Boeing Model 119 would you?


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25291 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14001 times:

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 4):
It was a beautiful aircraft, with a very sporty look and comfortable cabin.

While comfortable, the 5-abreast cabin was one factor that made the 880/990 a commercial failure.

I only made it onto one 880, TWA BOS-JFK, but I remember the flight clearly.


User currently offlineCMHfreqflyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13962 times:

Thanks for starting this thread. My very first plane trip was on a TWA 880 from CMH-LGA in 1967. To a six year old kid it was an amazing experience, although I have no clear recollection of the interior of the plane. At the time, and at least into the mid- 1970's CMH had an observation deck on top of the gates, so you could see, hear, feel and smell the jets as they would taxi up to the gates. I also remember very smoky, noisy and very very cool take-offs from both the 880's and the 707's that TWA routinely flew into CMH at the time.

One question - I do remember a first-class lounge on flights from CMH to either LGA or JFK, but would it have been an 880 or a 707? I would have flown both on TWA several times in the late '60's and early '70's.

Thanks!
Daryll


User currently offlineairtechy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 12568 times:

Wasn't the 880 the plane where moisture collected in the overhead ac duct while the plane was parked and then dumped out the gaspers onto the back row of seats when the plane rotated for takeoff? I seem to remember getting doused on one of my DL flights.

Jim


User currently offlineJackbr From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 666 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 12516 times:

Quoting CMHfreqflyer (Reply 20):
One question - I do remember a first-class lounge on flights from CMH to either LGA or JFK, but would it have been an 880 or a 707? I would have flown both on TWA several times in the late '60's and early '70's.

Originally, the 880 had a large lounge. This was removed fairly early into the 1960's becase it took up so much room, and was replaced with standard F class seating.

The 707 always had a small lounge located next to the First Class galley


User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5478 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 12457 times:

Sadly, I never had the opportunity to fly on an 880 or for that matter any other Convair bird. At least I got to tour Elvis's plane the Lisa Marie at Graceland. Believe it or not the windows were covered with plastic panels I guess to keep out the sunlight and heat of the Memphis climate. However, I managed to slide a panel several inches open to get a feel for the Convair experience. Only an aviation nut would do this. Of course, I'm into Elvis. ツ

And as others have said, the advent of the 727 and DC-9 were the final nails in the coffin for the Convair jets. Also, only a handful of airlines flew them. Anyone know if Eastern and National and even Pan Am consider adding them to their fleets? Pan Am and Eastern back in the day had their hands on almost any of the major players in the industry.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5651 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 12394 times:

Not to hijack the thread, but to provide contrast, in the June 1963 CX timetable CV-880s are shown as operating HKG-TPE-TYO; HKG-MNL & HKG-BKK-SIN-JKT

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
25 longhauler : I did the same thing in an Air Museum in England, I had to touch a Comet 1. One of the docents laughed, as he said he sees that a lot!
26 mayor : An ex-DL bird.
27 Post contains links ItalianFlyer : I never had the chance to fly the 880 (was a bit before my time) but did walk through the Elvis plane!! lol Quick question: I notice in all the inter
28 CMHfreqflyer : OK, thanks Jackbr - that is probably what I was remembering. My very vague memory is that the lounge had maybe 8-10 seats, arranged along the sides.
29 arrow : I had two flights on a TWA 880 -- both from JFK to BOS. One was with my father, the second was with my "date" after a day-trip to NYC for the World's
30 TVNWZ : And TWA didn't even want the plane. But Howard Hughes wanted them to have the plane. So they got it, anyway.
31 Post contains links and images longhauler : The forward lounge of the CV880 and CV990 were quite large by narrow body standards. But the intent in the beginning was to make them "sellable" seats
32 Type-Rated : General Convair ramblings. In NYC at the Hotel Americana on Times Square around 1970 there was a huge wall size poster of a AA Convair 990 flying over
33 4holer : Howard Hughes' meddling doomed any chance the 880 had of succes, especially early, when it could have gotten some momentum. Also, those GE engines we
34 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : It's been the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers for quite a few years. I stayed there once many years ago (probably in the 1970s) when it was the
35 Post contains links Viscount724 : Not always. Many 707s did not have the lounge. Some had 6 first class seats in that space and some had extra storage, closet, galley space etc.QF use
36 Type-Rated : Wow! Thanks for those pics Viscount724. That's the place! I never knew it was owned by American, but it would make sense for them to have a wall size
37 Jackbr : This is very true, and yes the -338C also had the crew rest area there As did BOAC 707-336C's, I believe I would be tempted to say all dometic US 707
38 ss278 : Two points.... First, I had a grad school finance professor who worked for Convair in the late 50's early 60's. One of his favorite "case studies" was
39 zippyjet : One of the first delivered actually like 1959! ツ
40 Post contains images zippyjet : There was the famous Americana hotel in the Bal Harbor section of Miami Beach which later became a Sheraton. This property opened in 1956. (the year
41 isitsafenow : That would be a model 420, me thinks. safe
42 milesrich : The Americana Hotel chain had absolutely NOTHING to do with American Airlines. It was a division of Lowe's Hotels. They had the Americana in Bal Harb
43 milesrich : BOAC's first 707's were Rolls Royce Conway equiped -436's but the later ones were 336's with PW's JT-3D's.
44 isitsafenow : Yep. BOAC first bunch was RR equipped. The later batch was P&W. safe
45 WA707atMSP : Loew's sold Americana Hotels to AA in 1972. American Airlines previously owned several hotels, which were known as "Flagship Inns". After AA bought t
46 Jackbr : The 707-336C's delivered between 1968 and 1971 to BOAC had a crew rest area in the lounge location The 707-436's, I'm not sure.
47 Viscount724 : Thanks. I can recall AA and Americana Hotels doing various joint promotions, tour packages etc. I guess that was just a coincidence..
48 dc863 : These aircraft would've had a lounge as quite a number of -436s flew long haul routes to Australia.
49 Viscount724 : After reading WA707atMSP's reply re AA owning Americana for several years in the 1970s, I see my recollection wasn't wrong after all.
50 WA707atMSP : Americana Hotels was a subsidiary of American Airlines, Inc. in the 1970s. AA annual reports at that time had several pages of information about how
51 milesrich : I stand corrected. I did not know or remember that American bought the Americana chain from Lowe's in 1972, only to sell it a few years later. I staye
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