Topic Author
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CV-340/440/580 Differences

Wed May 03, 2000 9:27 am

What is the main difference between the CV-340/440/580 models? Is the only difference the engine types, or were any body modifications made to an upgraded model such as relocation of exits?

Also, with little structural modification, would it be possible to replace the engines on the CV-580 with say, a Saab 2000's engines?

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RE: CV-340/440/580 Differences

Wed May 03, 2000 10:07 am

The differences in the Convair propliners was in passenger capacity first and foremost, with the CV240 being the smallest. Avionics, range and passenger capacity were upgraded or increased with subsequent models.

It is my understanding the CV240, 340 and 440 were piston powered, and the 540 was as well. The CV580 resulted when the original PW radial engines were replaced with Allison turboprops, like those found on the Lockheed L188 Electra. There was also a CV600 which was powered by Rolls-Royce Dart turboprops. Freighter versions of the CV580 HAVE been stretched to produce the CV5800.

As far as re-engineing with PW turboprops from a SAAB 340, it's possible (hell, you could probably put jet engines on a CV5800...   ) but not likely, given the age of the aircraft.
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RE: CV-340/440/580 Differences

Wed May 03, 2000 10:28 am

I think there was a 640 model in there somewhere.....
The GE CT-7's on the Saab340 might not lift the Convair off the ground. Convair's were built like tanks and many are still flying cargo routes around the world. I'm afraid the same won't be said for the Saab340.

However, the Saab2000's use Allison engines that are very powerful. Too bad Saab now longer is in the airliner business.
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RE: CV-340/440/580 Differences

Wed May 03, 2000 10:51 am

I am not really up on the difference between the 340/440 but both where piston powered, the 580 is a convered 340/440 with Allison 501 engines. The 640 was likewise convereted to RR engines....There is also another version that was repowered with a canadian engine....Sorry I don't have specifics on they last too...but if memory serves the RR engines where darts.

It shouldn't be too big of a trick to convert one to the latter allison engines. Not only are they used of the SAAB 2000 but they are also the same engines that are used on the new versions of the C-130. On that aircraft they also replaced 501 engines.
Topic Author
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RE: CV-340/440/580 Differences

Wed May 03, 2000 12:42 pm

Thanks for the info!

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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 4:50 am

RE: CV-340/440/580 Differences

Thu May 04, 2000 3:02 am

There are couple of differences between 340 and 440. First of all 440 had better sound proofing, engine nacelles were a couple of centimetres longer for better aerodynamics and ventilation and the exhaust system is different when looking from rear. 440 was called the Metropolitan. And what comes to differences between 240 and 340 is lenght.
If I remember right the Dart powered 240s were 600s and 340/440 were 640s.


RE: CV-340/440/580 Differences

Thu May 04, 2000 5:45 am

Focussing a little more on the Convair 580...

This airplane is to Turbo Props what the GTO is to Muscle Cars (Or Harley to Motorcycles). Converted from the CVR 440 in the 1960s, many 580s still serve as box haulers and pax haulers in Canada/Americas and some over seas.

I briefly flew the 580 as a FO fresh out of the military for our charter division. I always got a rush starting the 501s with the window open when the weather was nice. They sounded reliable and rumbled like the 1380cc on my 1990 softy.

There was a real good article in Airliners/Airways a while ago on the 580.

Anyway, flying it was pretty straight forward. You just had to be REAL careful advancing the throttles (the props were liable to auto feather otherwise). With a notch of flaps, the 580 would get airborne with little back pressure on that 1940s style yoke. Flaps would be retracted at about 400 AGL or so.

It was real comfortable to fly in. Roomy with big square windows. PAX loved to fly in it.

When North Central Airlines chose the CVR-580 over the F-27 in the late 1960s, they said it was the best choice they ever made. The 580 handled the snow and ice of the frozen tundra (Rhinelander, Iron Mountain, Hibbing, Int Falls, etc) like a snow cat. There would have been a lot of cancellations due to weather on account of the high wing/gear config of the f-27 and its (relative to the Allison) underpowered RR DART engines.

I have never heard of a CVR powered with Canadian Engines (PW CANADA??!). Not ruling it out. However, Kelowna FlightCraft has modified a lot of CVR-580 airframes and stretched them. I believe that they are still 501 powered.

To this day, the CVR is one of my favorite (besides the F-4) aircraft to fly.
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RE: CV-340/440/580 Differences

Thu May 04, 2000 10:32 am

I still haven't been able to find any more info about the Canuk engined version....If memory serves the engines where based on a Napier turboprop design. Either way I don't think any made it south of the border.....or there where a lot of them made

There are quiet a few differences between the 240 and later versions.....The 240 had a much blunter nose design and had a ventral airstair rather then the one of the right side like the latter models.

It will not be the engines that kill this aircraft off. It is going to be the propellors.....The square blade Aeroproducts props haven't been manufacuted in 25 years. They are a hollow blade design with ribs and stringers inside it just like a wing. The Lockheed Electra uses the same blades and it is a problem with that aircraft too.

The CV-5800 is the Kelwona strech....It brings the aircraft out to a 70 seater. Also they replaced the Aeroproducts props with the round tipped Hamilton Standard prop that is used of the P-3 Orion aircraft. As far as I know the prototype is the only one that has been converted so far......but don't hold me to that.
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RE: CV-340/440/580 Differences

Fri May 05, 2000 8:48 am

Allegheny Airlines operated a Convair 540 fitted with Napier Elland turboprops in July 1959 on an experimental basis. A limited number of Elland powered 540's were built and Allegeheny used them until 1962. However, Napier ceased all development work on the Elland and the 540's were subsequently withdrawn from service.

Canadair also converted thirteen 440's to 540 Elland configuration, one prototype, two for Quebecair and 10 for the Royal Canadian Air Force as CC-109's.

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