Jackbr
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Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:59 am

When did Frontier Airlines receive/retire their Convair fleet, and what routes were they used on?

A bit of background research on this site and others suggests Frontier had a fantastic reputation for service at the time - would Frontier offer full hot meals etc on the CV-580s?
 
MEA-707
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:28 pm

I flew them in 1980 Denver-Jackson Hole roundtrip, I think a flight of about 80 minutes. As I remember (I was 9 at the time) they served a big cold meal. A big plate covered by a hard plastic top with I think some bread, pie, juice, don't exactly remember the contains.
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citationjet
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:35 pm

Here is a great Frontier site with some 580 information:
http://fal-1.tripod.com/

This page of the site shows the 1978 Convair 580 routes in the thinner lines.
http://lamkins.tripod.com/OldFrontierAirlines3.html
A few of the thin route lines in Nebraska were actually flown by Twin Otters (Chadron, Alliance, and Sydney Nebraska).

My wife started with Frontier as a ticket agent in ICT in 1977. ICT had 580 service from Dallas > Lawton, OK > OKC > Enid, OK > Wichita, KS (ICT) > Salina, KS > Manhattan, KS (MHK) > Topeka, KS > Kansas City (MCI).

[Edited 2012-01-02 04:55:43]

This site has info photos on every Frontier Convair:
http://aviationphotographs.net/Front...ines/Aircraft-Convair/Convair.html


[Edited 2012-01-02 04:59:41]
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n7371f
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:42 pm

The Convair 580's flew under the Frontier network a couple of times...first being with Frontier itself. They were in the process of being retired during the first few years of the 1980's; 1983 I believe was the last time the 580 flew with Frontier with Frontier pilots.

Shortly after their retirement many of the 580's came back to the FL network flying under 'Frontier Commuter' titles. The planes were operated by some off-shoot of Combs (ADC Airlines or something like that) and the purpose was to feed the Frontier hub in Denver.

This service did not last long...Frontier Holdings' subsidiary Frontier Leasco owened the 580's and leased them to this Combs' division and they defaulted on the leases. The whole thing was a mess as Frontier realized it needed the feed from its old subsidy cities to push traffic across the Denver hub but by late 1984, Frontier was collapsing.
 
sparky35805
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:27 pm

Convair 580 service started on June 1 1964 by Frontier after two aircraft were converted and personel trained.Frontier was the first airline to operate the type.
 
citationjet
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:35 pm

Quoting sparky35805 (Reply 4):
Convair 580 service started on June 1 1964 by Frontier after two aircraft were converted and personel trained.Frontier was the first airline to operate the type.

The two aircraft were probably N73126 and N73127, based on the info that they were converted to 580's in April 1964 based on this website:
http://aviationphotographs.net/Front...ines/Aircraft-Convair/Convair.html

.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
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TWA1985
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:15 pm

Quoting n7371f (Reply 3):
The whole thing was a mess as Frontier realized it needed the feed from its old subsidy cities to push traffic across the Denver hub but by late 1984, Frontier was collapsing.



It's interesting to note that throughout 1985 service steadily declined on Frontier. My mom said that most routes that received full meals were downgraded to snacks by late 1985. The timetables confirm this. By the fall of '85, the only full meals offered were breakfast, with a few lunch flights scattered throughout. Otherwise, it was just a snack. Anyone remember what the later snacks consisted of?
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ScarletHarlot
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:46 pm

Honeywell flies a beautiful ex-Frontier bird as their avionics test plane out of PAE. N580HW, formerly N580AS (AlliedSignal).


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Photo © HGabor

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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:18 am

They also flew the CV-580 into Hot Springs, AR too.
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milesrich
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:24 am

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
When did Frontier Airlines receive/retire their Convair fleet, and what routes were they used on?

A bit of background research on this site and others suggests Frontier had a fantastic reputation for service at the time - would Frontier offer full hot meals etc on the CV-580s?

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 5):
The two aircraft were probably N73126 and N73127, based on the info that they were converted to 580's in April 1964 based on this website:
http://aviationphotographs.net/Front....html
Quoting sparky35805 (Reply 4):
Convair 580 service started on June 1 1964 by Frontier after two aircraft were converted and personel trained.Frontier was the first airline to operate the type.

The majority of Frontier's Convair fleet came from UAL. UAL received 55 Convair 340's from Consolidated Vultee/Convair, 73101 - 73155. Most of Frontier's fleet continued to carry the same RR#'s before and after conversion to Allison powered 580's. UAL received their Convairs from 1952-54, and they were the backbone of their short haul fleet, replacing DC-3's and DC-4's. In 1956, UAL retired their last DC-3 which had been operated on the San Joaquin Valley milk runs. In 1959, UAL was able to rid themselves of the following points that were transferred to the original FL: BFF, GRI, and LBF; IOW that was transferred to OZ; and TWF, BLI and OGD which were transferred to WC, and with that transfer sold several Convair 340-31's to Frontier. In 1960, UA shed CYS and ALW, with CYS already served by FL, and ALW going to WC, and UA sold off more Convairs. During 1960-61, United replaced their Convairs that served smaller cities east of SLC with DC-6's and DC-7's. Prior to that MLI, CID, DSM, SBN, FWA, TOL, ABE, and PVD were only served with Convairs. By July 1961, when the first merged UA-Capital timetable went into effect, Convairs were only operated from SLC to the West and Northwest, and mostly up and down the west coast on the SAN-LGB-LAX-BFL-VIS-FAT-MCE-MOD-SCK-SAC-SFO-MFD-EUG-SLE-PDX-SEA-YVR route, the LAX-SBA-MRY/SNS-SFO route plus one trip a day on the SFO-OAK-SAC-RNO-ELY-EKO-SLC route, and RNO and SLC to BOI. Salinas was dropped in 1961 or early 1962. Again, more Convairs were sold to FL each year during 1961-1967 period. United ended Convair service and replaced them with DC-6's, even on the San Joaquin Valley route, in late 1967, or very early 1968. These cities were also the last cities to have their DC-6's replaced with 737's in late November, 1968.

I think the Frontier United relationship was fostered because Frontier fed so much traffic to UA at Denver and SLC.

As far as hot meals, Frontier had excellent meal service on their Petroleum Club flights in the early 1970's. They became the preferred airline between DAL and DEN as they served surf and turf in coach, as they had no first class. My only flight on Frontier 580 was from TUC to PHX in October of 1970, when I connected in PHX to a FL 727-291 on to DEN. I do not believe Frontier ever served hot meals on the Convairs. I think their hot meal service started when they received their first jets, Boeing 727's, both 727-191's and 727-291's, all of which were sold to BN when they received their 737's. I remember articles in the Denver Post at the time in which some employees expressed disappointment that Frontier was going to dump their 727's. Frontier's first jet flights served the following routes as I remember, OMA-MKC-FSM-DAL, DEN-ABQ, DEN-MKC, DEN-GJT-SLC, OMA-LNK-DEN. I think they were awarded the DAL-DEN nonstop route after the introduction of 727's.
 
sparky35805
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:31 am

Uniteds last DC-6 flights took place in early 1970 SLC-EKO-ELY-SFO.They were replaced by Convair 508s wet leased from Frontier,operated by Frontier crews.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:42 am

Quoting milesrich (Reply 9):
The majority of Frontier's Convair fleet came from UAL.

Apart from the ex-UA 340s, 9 of Frontier's 580s were originally dellivered as 440s to Sabena. Another was the 440 prototype which operated as a corporate aircraft for a couple of U.S. oil companies before Frontier.

Apart from Frontier's 30 or so 580s (ex-340/440s), shouldn't overlook the 11 Convair 600s (R-R Dart conversion of the original Convair 240 which couldn't handle the power of the Allison 501) that Frontier inherited when they merged with Fort Worth-based Central Airlines in 1967. Frontier didn't keep the -600s very long. About half the ex-Central 600s were originally delivered as 240s to AA, plus a few ex-Garuda and Ethiopian.
 
milesrich
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:05 pm

Quoting sparky35805 (Reply 10):
Uniteds last DC-6 flights took place in early 1970 SLC-EKO-ELY-SFO.They were replaced by Convair 508s wet leased from Frontier,operated by Frontier crews.

. February 27, 1970, I believe, but as late as July 1, 1968, all those California cities including Fresno had only DC-6 service, and VIS-MCE-MOD-SCK-SLE did not receive 737's until November. Except for the ELY-EKO flight which they retained three DC-6B's for, UA DC-6 service ended on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in 1968. I am sorry if my post left the impression that the Sixes didn't soldier on to these two points for another 15 months.
 
ckfred
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:30 am

After Frontier bought Central Air Lines, it eventually replaced DC-3s with CV-580s on the "milk runs" between Kansas City (Municipal and later International) and Dallas (Love Field and DFW). The first stop on the southbound flight was Parsons, KS. I think Bartlesville, OK was the next stop, while also stopping at TUL and OKC.

I think around 1976, Frontier dropped the milk run between MCI and DFW, and Air Midwest took over, flying Metros.

Frontier also flew CV-580s on Joplin-Kansas City, while Ozark was flying between Joplin (about 1 hour by car to the east of Parsons) and St. Louis, eventually with DC-9s.
 
milesrich
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RE: Frontier Airlines Convair 580s

Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:18 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 13):
After Frontier bought Central Air Lines, it eventually replaced DC-3s with CV-580s on the "milk runs" between Kansas City (Municipal and later International) and Dallas (Love Field and DFW). The first stop on the southbound flight was Parsons, KS. I think Bartlesville, OK was the next stop, while also stopping at TUL and OKC.

I think around 1976, Frontier dropped the milk run between MCI and DFW, and Air Midwest took over, flying Metros.

Frontier also flew CV-580s on Joplin-Kansas City, while Ozark was flying between Joplin (about 1 hour by car to the east of Parsons) and St. Louis, eventually with DC-9s.

FL also operated Central's Convair 600's on those routes for a short period of time. Those aircraft were parked less than two years after the merger and sat at FL's DEN base at Stapleton with their windows taped, etc., I remember them sitting there during the 1969-73 period when I attended the University of Colorado and later lived in Denver.

Both Central and Ozark served Ft. Leonard Wood, MO (TBN) from STL, and FL continued that service using CN's CV-600's after the merger, with FL's flights continuing on to Harrison, Arkansas.

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