Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
doulasc
Topic Author
Posts: 891
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:12 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:24 am

In the US only TWA,Delta and Northeast had Convair 880s,I guess Northeast's ended up at Delta with the merger
in 1972.The Convair 880s were retired after the 1973 oil crisis.What other airlines outside the US had 880s and 990s.
American Airlines was the only US carrier to have the Convair 990 and retired it in 1968,I believe they leased one
to Northeast.
Did the Convair 880 and 990 failed to get more orders due to stiff competition with the Boeing 707/720 and Douglas
DC-8. Also the cabin width wasn't long enough to accommodate 3-3 seating in coach and could only do 3-2 seating.
Was the Convair 990 a long range jet or only a medium range.After the 880/990 ceased production Convair never
tried again to build another airliner.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:35 am

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
Was the Convair 990 a long range jet or only a medium range.

The 990 didn't match the range of most 707 and DC-8 models.

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
Also the cabin width wasn't enough to accommodate 3-3 seating in coach

That was a big mistake, one Boeing almost made with the 707 originally. When the DC-8 was launched with a wider cabin designed for 3-3 seating, Boeing redesigned the 707 with a wider fuselage, almost identical to the DC-8 (707 was one inch wider).
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 7054
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:40 am

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
What other airlines outside the US had 880s and 990s.

If you mean both, I guess I've seen pictures of Swissair , otherwise one type or the other, SAS, Cathay Pacific, JAL, Varig, perhaps Garuda, APSA of Peru, the other airline from Liban (not MEA).
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:46 am

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
I guess Northeast's ended up at Delta with the merger
in 1972.

No, Northeast disposed of their 880s long before the merger with Delta. Most were gone by 1963 after only 2 to 3 years service with Northeast, and the last few by 1968. I think most Northeast 880s were leased from TWA and went back to TWA.
 
doulasc
Topic Author
Posts: 891
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:12 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:51 am

I noticed a air cargo operator Profit Express had some 880s converted to cargo configureation,How many 880s did they have
and what airlines did they get them from.
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 7054
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:58 am

Quoting doulasc (Reply 4):
How many 880s did they have and what airlines did they get them from.

Apparently only one.

http://www.oocities.org/aeromoe/fleets/profit.html

https://www.airliners.net/search/phot...arch=22-00-46M&distinct_entry=true
 
kl671
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:00 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:33 am

There is an article on this site that gives a good history of the 880 and 990.

https://www.airliners.net/aviation-articles/read.main?id=67
 
User avatar
mayor
Posts: 6218
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:58 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:31 am

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
Did the Convair 880 and 990 failed to get more orders due to stiff competition with the Boeing 707/720 and Douglas
DC-8. Also the cabin width wasn't long enough to accommodate 3-3 seating in coach and could only do 3-2 seating.
Was the Convair 990 a long range jet or only a medium range.After the 880/990 ceased production Convair never
tried again to build another airliner.

As originally delivered to DL, it was in an all FC configuration, 2-2 with leather seats thruout. Later they were converted to a more conventional FC/EC layout
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
strfyr51
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:12 am

I'cw only seen a couple of CV880's and CV990's up close. I suspect part of the reason was the CJ805 a Rear Fanned J79.
Had they used the JT8D Which was a forward fanned J52, they might have had better luck and performance.
The CV880 and 990's claim to fame was that they could cruise in the High Mach numbers .92-.96M.
I don't know what the range was as compared to the B707 or the DC8. I do know they were considered a HOT ROD of an airplane though they didn't have that great of reputation by the guys who worked on them.
Supposedly they had a LOT of excess "monkey motion" around their Flight control and flap Rigging that was critical to their performance.
But I do know the J79 was a thirsty thoroughbred of an engine built for performance. Not a whole lot of consideration given to reliability though GE was well in advance of PW or Allison
with their variable geometry compressor vanes as they are now the industry standard though Bleed Poppet valves are still widely in use ..
The CFM-56 the CF6 and the GE90 Engines all benefit from what GE Achieved with the J79..
It was just another Piece showing our ingenuity.
 
AR385
Posts: 6936
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:19 am

I think:

1) Even for it´s time it was a gas guzzler
2) Too little capacity
3) Limited in range

The higher cruising speeds at which it flew were its only advantage but due to the high fuel consumption and limited range it was a wash.

[Edited 2015-02-21 22:53:49]
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 6537
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:45 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 9):
I think:

1) Even for it´s time it was a gas guzzler
2) Too little capacity
3) Limited in range

The higher cruising speeds at which it flew were its only advantage but due to the high full consumption and limited range it was a wash.

Another reason was the 880s and 990s were extraordinary complex. I remember reading they had lights to indicate even tiny insignificant things. They were well built, but too overly complicated.

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
In the US only TWA,Delta and Northeast had Convair 880s,I guess Northeast's ended up at Delta with the merger

As noted Northeast ordered their own 880s. AS also flew an 880 and a 990.
 
User avatar
rikkus67
Posts: 1342
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2000 11:34 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:15 am


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jerry Hughes



Nordair operated the 990A in 1968 for Summer Charters. It carried US registration and American flags (the flags, at least for a while). It was leased from Modern Air. Rare operator, but still one based in North America (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
 
User avatar
saleya22r
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:13 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:49 am

Spantax was a major 990 operator in Europe long after most other airlines had retired them. They flew charters from Northern Europe to Spain & Canary Islands. They had them well into the 80s I believe. 880 was a a rare bird in Europe. Incidentally, I have been on board of both Convair jets. At least in 1977 Air Malta had leased CV880s from (I think) Cathay flying mainly charters down there.

Here she is next to an IL 18..

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Air-M...a/Convair-880M-(22M-21)/1306582/M/

Note the white green livery no airline name visible
 
gr8slvrflt
Posts: 1493
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 10:53 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:34 pm

The market for a short/medium range jet in the early 60s was quite small in the U.S. The Boeing 720 itself sold in relatively small numbers. Most of the major trunk lines of the day had new fleets of four engine turboprops (either Electras or Viscounts) to fill their needs. The only major operators of the 880 were also the only major carriers without turboprops. The much more capable 727 became available not long after the Convair jets appeared.
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
ZRH
Posts: 4371
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 1999 11:32 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:44 pm

In 1972 I flew in a Swissair Convair 990 "Coronado" from Zurich to Athens (not really a long-haul flight):


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © R.A.Scholefield

 
User avatar
saleya22r
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:13 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:07 pm

Quoting ZRH (Reply 14):
In 1972 I flew in a Swissair Convair 990 "Coronado" from Zurich to Athens (not really a long-haul flight):

For those interested:
http://www.sr692.com/fleet/22_cv990/index.html

Several SR Coronados were in fact later acquired by Spantax, perhaps the last 990 operator?
What cabin configuration did they have with SR? First? Business? According to the above site the capacity was just 100 pax -an error?? Also the range mentioned is less than in other sources.
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:58 pm

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
.What other airlines outside the US had 880s and 990s.

I may have missed some, but this should be pretty complete:

880:
JAL
Civil Air Transport (Taiwan)
Cathay Pacific
Air Malta leased one briefly
Lanica (ex-DL in the mid 70s)
Viasa
Swissair (interim until delayed 990s were delivered)

990:
Swissair
SAS leased from Swissair
Varig
Spantax
Nordair
Internord (charter outfit in Scandinavia, late 60s)
APSA (Peru)
Garuda
MEA and Lebanese Inrternational
Iberia (one painted in their colors)
Air France (leased from AA but painted in AF livery)

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
No, Northeast disposed of their 880s long before the merger with Delta. Most were gone by 1963 after only 2 to 3 years service with Northeast, and the last few by 1968. I think most Northeast 880s were leased from TWA and went back to TWA.

NE had 880s in two batches, and endless financial problems which caused fleets to go in and out like a revolving door. The first three were delivered in 1961 and flew until 1963 or so. They were from TWA and went back to TW. NE acquired a few others a couple of years later. They continued until early 1968 and were painted as Yellowbirds. They leased an ex-AA 990 from FB Ayer in 1968.

Quoting mayor (Reply 7):
As originally delivered to DL, it was in an all FC configuration, 2-2 with leather seats thruout. Later they were converted to a more conventional FC/EC layout

I have heard that but I have never seen a photograph of it. Early Convair pics of the cabin do indicate at least one airframe configured 2-2 all the way through, but not leather.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 10):
AS also flew an 880 and a 990.

Bit o' trivia: AS was the only airline to OWN both an 880 and a 990.

Quoting saleya22r (Reply 15):
What cabin configuration did they have with SR? First? Business?

First (2-2) and Economy (3-2). First was about 20 seats, with a four-place sofa lounge just behind the L1 passenger door. Passengers loved it, according to SR comments in the press at the time.
 
jmdc861
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:05 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:13 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 16):
had 880s in two batches, and endless financial problems which caused fleets to go in and out like a revolving door. The first three were delivered in 1961 and flew until 1963 or so. They were from TWA and went back to TW. NE acquired a few others a couple of years later. They continued until early 1968 and were painted as Yellowbirds. They leased an ex-AA 990 from FB Ayer in 1968.

Some great memories for me were those early '60s days when Northeast's daily 880 would fly into Fort Lauderdale Airport from Idlewild/JFK in New York each evening. My dad would take me out to FLL so many evenings to watch it pull into the gate (where you could view it outside by a fence). After all passengers were off, the gate agent would allow me to go on board and chow down the left over filet mignons from the first class galley. Would enjoy them in the "lounge" which Northeast had in their F cabin on the 880s.

Following morning while playing on Fort Lauderdale beach would watch the same 880 take off and return to JFK.

Those were the days!

JMDC861
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8139
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:35 pm

I personally think that caused the Convair 880/990 to fail was this: the loss of two TWA L-1049 Constellations in 1956 and 1960 due to mid-air collisions. These two collisions--caused by serious deficiencies in air traffic control systems--forced much tighter controls on airspace and as a result, jet airliners ended up flying slower on transcontinental flights so ATC could better monitor and control the flight. As such, this immediately erased the speed advantage of the Convair jet airliners in favor of the Boeing and Douglas jet airliners, both of which had superior fuel burn at the slightly slower speeds demanded by the ATC improvements in the 1960's. That's why today, jets like the current Boeing 737 and A320 Family models don't cruise at Mach 0.85 like you get with longer-rainged airliners--I think it's more like Mach 0.78 to 0.82.
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:38 pm

[quote=jmdc861,reply=17]After all passengers were off, the gate agent would allow me to go on board and chow down the left over filet mignons from the first class galley. Would enjoy them in the "lounge" which Northeast had in their F cabin on the 880s.[/quot

Amazing memories.

I dont' know about the first set of 880s that were leased from TWA, but the later ones only had one coach galley module and it must have been crazy feeding all those folks, although it was just a 2.5 hour flight with 74 pax in back.

Correction to my earlier post: the second batch of NE 880s came along in fall 1963, shortly after the first three were returned to TWA. The 'new' ships had apparently been stored at Ontario for a year. So much intrigue over these aircraft.

[Edited 2015-02-22 09:41:05]
 
User avatar
mayor
Posts: 6218
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:58 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:44 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 16):
I have heard that but I have never seen a photograph of it. Early Convair pics of the cabin do indicate at least one airframe configured 2-2 all the way through, but not leather.

I may have been wrong about the leather. This was before I started with DL ('71) and I'm sure they were re-configured before I started. I also forgot about the lounge up front.


This video may help


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V9i2KF0-DY
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 6537
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:45 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 18):
I personally think that caused the Convair 880/990 to fail was this: the loss of two TWA L-1049 Constellations in 1956 and 1960 due to mid-air collisions. These two collisions--caused by serious deficiencies in air traffic control systems--forced much tighter controls on airspace and as a result, jet airliners ended up flying slower on transcontinental flights so ATC could better monitor and control the flight. As such, this immediately erased the speed advantage of the Convair jet airliners in favor of the Boeing and Douglas jet airliners, both of which had superior fuel burn at the slightly slower speeds demanded by the ATC improvements in the 1960's. That's why today, jets like the current Boeing 737 and A320 Family models don't cruise at Mach 0.85 like you get with longer-rainged airliners--I think it's more like Mach 0.78 to 0.82.

I'm not aware this is true at all. The 1960 mid-air resulted in the 250 knot limit below 10,000 feet. There was nothing about cruise.
 
User avatar
mayor
Posts: 6218
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:58 pm

Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:34 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 18):

The nail in the coffin was the '73 fuel crisis, although I'm sure there were plans afoot to replace them before that.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:17 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 22):
The nail in the coffin was the '73 fuel crisis, although I'm sure there were plans afoot to replace them before that.

I have heard from TWA veterans that the 880 would have been replaced long before they were if the airline had a better balance sheet, oil crisis or no. They consumed more fuel than the 707-131B, with fewer seats. As it was, they managed to park them by late spring 1974 after getting some new 727-231s.

Delta retired the 880 by late 1973, but I am sure they would have been phased out anyhow, especially with the NE merger and the introduction of the 727-200s. I would be curious to hear from DL veterans about plans to order the 727s anyhow, with or without the NE merger. DL held off on the three-holer but I am sure they would have needed their own eventually.
 
User avatar
mayor
Posts: 6218
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:58 pm

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:25 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 23):
Delta retired the 880 by late 1973, but I am sure they would have been phased out anyhow, especially with the NE merger and the introduction of the 727-200s. I would be curious to hear from DL veterans about plans to order the 727s anyhow, with or without the NE merger. DL held off on the three-holer but I am sure they would have needed their own eventually.

That's all within a year or two of when I started and never heard any rumors of 727 buys. That doesn't mean they weren't planned, but with the DC-8s still in the fleet, I wonder if they were needed, yet. However, I seem to remember that it wasn't all that long after the merger was completed that we started to get some factory fresh 727s from Boeing.
The route system, at that time (even with the merger) was still not all that large.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11208
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:29 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 8):
Had they used the JT8D Which was a forward fanned J52

No, the P&W engine was a fanned J-57 (JT-3D). The civilian version was the JT-3C. The JT-8D didn't come out for a few more years., first showing up on the B-727, and later the DC-9.
 
fanofjets
Posts: 2034
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2000 2:26 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:06 am

Another US CV990 operator was Modern Air. Some of the airline's aircraft were based at Berlin. Because of Cold War restrictions, these jets had to operate at fairly low altitude, adding insult to injury as far as the type's poor fuel economy was concerned.

Galaxy was a short-lived charter operator; Denver Ports of Call and Nomads flew the CV990 on behalf of flying clubs.

Quoting doulasc (Reply 4):

I noticed a air cargo operator Profit Express had some 880s converted to cargo configureation,How many 880s did they have
and what airlines did they get them from.

Profit Express had two CV880s - N54CP, pictured, and N817AJ, which was originally a Delta ship.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:22 am

Quoting mayor (Reply 24):
That doesn't mean they weren't planned, but with the DC-8s still in the fleet, I wonder if they were needed, yet.

Right, the standard body DC-8s remained until the late 70s at least. It's the 880s that really had to be parked after the first oil crisis. I don't know if it's true, but I heard that on some routes the L10 burned less fuel than the Convairs!

Assuming at least a 1-to-1 replacement of the 880, the 727-232 would have been an obvious choice to fill in, but the arrival of the L1011s complicated matters and added capacity as well. I wonder what they were considering down in ATL.

I always found it interesting that DL skipped the DC-9-50 in the mid-70s as well.
 
maxpower1954
Posts: 1067
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:32 am

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 21):
Quoting RayChuang (Reply 18):
I personally think that caused the Convair 880/990 to fail was this: the loss of two TWA L-1049 Constellations in 1956 and 1960 due to mid-air collisions. These two collisions--caused by serious deficiencies in air traffic control systems--forced much tighter controls on airspace and as a result, jet airliners ended up flying slower on transcontinental flights so ATC could better monitor and control the flight. As such, this immediately erased the speed advantage of the Convair jet airliners in favor of the Boeing and Douglas jet airliners, both of which had superior fuel burn at the slightly slower speeds demanded by the ATC improvements in the 1960's. That's why today, jets like the current Boeing 737 and A320 Family models don't cruise at Mach 0.85 like you get with longer-rainged airliners--I think it's more like Mach 0.78 to 0.82.

I'm not aware this is true at all. The 1960 mid-air resulted in the 250 knot limit below 10,000 feet. There was nothing about cruise.

I'm with you - I don't think this is correct either. The Grand Canyon collision in 1956 led to an accelerated installation of enroute ATC radars. Virtually all were in place by February 1959 - the start of the first transcontinental jet service by American with the 707.

Aviation writer Martin Caidin was on board and spent most of his time in the cockpit, where cruise speed was .84. Recall that ATC had been dealing with high altitude military jet traffic at these speeds for a number of years.

The speed limit below 10,000 became 250 knots within 30 nm of an airport after the New York mid-air in 1960. It became 250 below 10,000 everywhere after a few jetliner/lightplane collisions in the late 1960s.
 
maxpower1954
Posts: 1067
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:19 am

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 27):
Right, the standard body DC-8s remained until the late 70s at least. It's the 880s that really had to be parked after the first oil crisis. I don't know if it's true, but I heard that on some routes the L10 burned less fuel than the Convairs!

Got me to thinking here. From my DC-10 days, you could figure around 15,500 pounds an hour at typical weights, at Mach .82. An L-1011 would not be that far from that figure.

From the November 29, 1962 Flight International issue on current transports.

Convair 880 - FL 350, 150,000 pounds weight Mach .84 cruise - fuel burn was 10,760 pounds an hour.

This airplane has become legendary among airliner fans over the years. I was around 880s quite a bit in the late 1970s during my Corrosion Corner days as a 707/DC-8 pilot in Miami. It was very noisy and smoky, but then again it didn't seem any louder or polluting than the straight turbojet 707s or DC-8s I flew. I also noticed they didn't fly very much. Time has tended to exaggerate the capabilities and characteristics of the 880/990, I think. A famous line from the the movie, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" comes to mind - "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend!".

I am sorry I didn't get to fly it though! It was a beautiful airplane to look at. At least I did get to ride on a Delta 880 from MCO to PBI back in 1972.

Here's a link to an article about one of the 880 operators in MIA - hauling beef to South America!

http://www.oldjets.net/index_bestanden/Page3196.htm

[Edited 2015-02-22 19:29:21]
 
User avatar
rj968
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:57 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:42 am

Here's Delta's all first interior. I don't know how many of the 17 were delivered like this , or how long it lasted. My first flight on one was in 1962 and it was Lounge/First/Coach. I had a chance to sit in one of those lounge seats, Fiberglass with a thin foam cushion, like something you would find in a fast food place today! At least most DL 880 flights were in the two hours range. During the piston era many airlines had all first class planes for the best routes, and all coach for other routes.



RJ
 
rheinwaldner
Posts: 1869
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:58 pm

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:47 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 8):
The CV880 and 990's claim to fame was that they could cruise in the High Mach numbers .92-.96M.

Anecdotes from Swissair operations underlining this are:
- Reported flight(s) from Zurich to Geneva in 13 minutes...
- Fake ship attacks in the port of piraeus...
Many things are difficult, all things are possible!
 
User avatar
rj968
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:57 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:02 am

Here's Monarch at MIA airing out the cabin before landing;

Monarch 880 MIA


RJ

[Edited 2015-02-22 21:04:00]
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Quoting rj968 (Reply 30):
Here's Delta's all first interior. I don't know how many of the 17 were delivered like this , or how long it lasted.

That's interesting. Those sure do look like white-upholstered seats, maybe intended to be leather. This pic from a museum archives shows all 2-2 but with the brown/red cloth seats that became DL's standard F class design:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/8870898352/in/photolist-evTF7W-evQxVt-evTF8f-evTFtd-evQxGz-evTFgo-evTFeU-evTEVu-evTF2j-evTF9b-evQxRr-evQxNz-evTF3b-evQxC2-evQxUM-evQy4r-evTFjL-evTEUG-evTFMu-evQx3X-evTEzy-evTEzA-cyjVSq-cyjUsw-cyjUpN-cyjUeG-cyjUh7-cyjUes-cyjUs7-cyjNqb-cyjMRu-cyjKMU-cyjTUW-cyjU3y-cyjU2N-cyjTWj-cyjTLf-cyjTcC-cyjTqQ-cyjTof-cyjNA5-cyjTCY-cyjTJN-cyjTNy-cyjTeY-cyjNzo-cyjNDQ-cyjTRN-cyjTzb-cyjTBN/

(lord, long link).

Anyhow, it makes me wonder if the white seats in that rendering you showed weren't just left 'blank' for want of a better word, and all this time lead to the rumor that white leather throughout was going to be the DL cabin.

That being said, I would not be surprised if they did fly all-F for awhile.

BTW, TW used to sell the port-side lounge seats as F seats. This apparently caused an uproar with those who happened to be assigned there, so starting very early, maybe late 1961, TW started pulling the lounge seats on that side and adding standard F seats. The TW 880s flew for some time with the 'half lounge' before it disappeared altogether, liekly by 1963 or so.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:51 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 16):
Quoting saleya22r (Reply 15):
What cabin configuration did they have with SR? First? Business?

First (2-2) and Economy (3-2). First was about 20 seats, with a four-place sofa lounge just behind the L1 passenger door.

Pretty sure it ws 16 F and 84 Y, total 100, at least in the latter years of service.
 
User avatar
rj968
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:57 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:24 am

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 33):
Anyhow, it makes me wonder if the white seats in that rendering you showed weren't just left 'blank' for want of a better word, and all this time lead to the rumor that white leather throughout was going to be the DL cabin.

I didn't mean to imply that the seats were white, I just used that to show the configuration. The actual interior photos from the same Delta 880 brochure (titled "Pure White, pure Jet") are the same as the you tube video posted earlier. I can't load the picture for some reason.

It's always interesting to me that the CV-880/990 still get so much attention on this site, keep them coming!

RJ
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:34 pm

Quoting rj968 (Reply 35):
I didn't mean to imply that the seats were white, I just used that to show the configuration.

OK, thanks, because some time ago I DID hear from people that DL was indeed going to do it in white leather. I think this is mistaken for reasons I mentioned. White leather is not at all in line with DL's mindset and at the time, and leather seats were not an airline item until the late 70s (Braniff seems to have started that whole thing).

It is most certainly TRUE that DL planned an all-F 880, but things changed prior to service entry, or not long thereafter. If someone has a DL timetable from May 1960 we could settle that.

In 1960 TWA had settled on all-F as well, to follow Delta. There are some interior pics of the TWA 880s with 2-2 all the way through, two cabins separated by the coat racks (which DL did not seem to have). By the time the TW 880s went into service (1961, after many delays due to the Howard Hughes craziness), they had replaced the F seats behind the rack with 2-3 coach. It was only 35 seats at first, but then it grew to be double that size.

I also found out that during the 1960s, the TW 880 seating would change seasonally. In the 1965 time frame, there would be 32 F + 62 Y seats during winter, but 24 during summer (at which time the economy would increase to 72 accommodate vacationers). By the late 60s they settled on the 24+72 = 96 year round, which was then tweaked by removing 4 F class seats and two economy seats in 1971 for the 'Ambassador' service baggage compartments. They remained that way until retirement in '73, '74.
 
maxpower1954
Posts: 1067
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:50 pm

This is from the October 1, 1960 Delta schedule showing 84 seats in the 880, same as the original brochure above.

http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/dl/dl60/dl60-11.jpg

[Edited 2015-02-24 08:53:12]

February 1, 1962 shows 88 seats now installed.

http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/complete/dl62/dl62-16.jpg


[Edited 2015-02-24 09:11:35]
 
highflier92660
Posts: 737
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:16 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:25 pm

As time goes on few airliners have acquired as much mystique and myth as the Convair 880/990As. They were initially designed in an era when the airlines placed a premium on speed and comfort over economics. Indeed a decade earlier the big three U.S. carriers- American, TWA and United- were treating the Los Angeles to New York Idlewild route as if it were the Daytona 500. Airlines were upgrading their piston equipment like auto manufacturers changed models years; the DC-6B became a DC-7 with the magic wave of an engine change and the traveling public could hardly keep up with the numerical designations L-1049A, L-1049G and 1649A.

Convair was so eager to please potential airline customers that they fell prey to two of the biggest airline legends of the day, the aeronautical visionary genius (and world-class nutcase) named Howard Hughes at TWA and later one of the best Lets-Make-A-Deal airline CEOs ever born, American Airlines' C.R. Smith. In the case of C.R. Smith, the stretch here and a nip-and-tuck there resulted in a entirely new aircraft (990) with Convair eating the development cost. And in the end Convair's transcontinental Ferrari turned out to be more like an airborne Edsel. The longest flight segment I could find for American using the 990A was Phoenix to New York.

How fast was the 990? There are probably people still alive that swear the aircraft could fly transonic straight-and-level and borderline supersonic on decent. The reality was most crews flight planned around 0.84 Mach. An informed poster on another thread lent more reality with these limitations of an 990A ops manual. The 990A flight limitations with fuel in Richard Whitcomb's anti-shock pods was an Mmo above 21,500 feet of 0.912. Without fuel in the pods, Convair's airborne stallion was limited to a pedestrian Mmo of 0.784 or about what your typical Boeing 737-800 traveling from LAX to Cleveland flies. So much for C.R. Smith's Blue Streak service from coast-to-coast.
 
User avatar
mayor
Posts: 6218
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:58 pm

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:14 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 36):
It is most certainly TRUE that DL planned an all-F 880, but things changed prior to service entry, or not long thereafter. If someone has a DL timetable from May 1960 we could settle that.

The Delta museum's website states that they were delivered with 84 seats, all F/C.


http://www.deltamuseum.org/exhibits/...y/aircraft-by-type/jet/convair-880




They state 84 seats, but of the regular seats, I count 76 plus 12 in the club compartment. I was wrong, however about the leather........don't see any in the photos in the brochure.....just cloth.

[Edited 2015-02-24 13:25:55]
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:28 pm

I'm sure Boeing trying to sink a perceived threat didn't help the situation at all: the Boeing 720 was Boeing's direct marketing response to the CV-990.

But, the GE CJ805 was a very poor engine choice. It was so bad that airlines wanted to dump their CV-880/CV-990 fleets in the 1960's, before there was an fuel crisis, due to excessive fuel consumption.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:37 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 39):
They state 84 seats, but of the regular seats, I count 76 plus 12 in the club compartment. I was wrong, however about the leather........don't see any in the photos in the brochure.....just cloth.

TW sold six of those twelve lounge seats as F seats, but never found out if DL sold any, or left it open 100% as a lounge. TW pax were not happy about being assigned the lounge. It's entirely possible that DL flew them with all-F for an initial period, but they later announced a changeover to F+Y, and that prompted TW to do the same prior to inaugurating 880 service in 1/61.
 
maxpower1954
Posts: 1067
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:27 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 40):
I'm sure Boeing trying to sink a perceived threat didn't help the situation at all: the Boeing 720 was Boeing's direct marketing response to the CV-990.

The 720 was conceived by Boeing as a Convair 880 killer and it did the job. The United 880 order was all but finalized but the Boeing 3 + 3 seating did the 880 in. Once that happened it was basically over.
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:10 am

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 42):
. The United 880 order was all but finalized but the Boeing 3 + 3 seating did the 880 in

United had a thing about six across. Ironically, the 880 seats were 1.5" wider and the armrests were bigger. The 720 only lasted until 1972 in the UA fleet, so the 880 would have met the same fate, I'm sure.
 
maxpower1954
Posts: 1067
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:33 am

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 43):
United had a thing about six across. Ironically, the 880 seats were 1.5" wider and the armrests were bigger. The 720 only lasted until 1972 in the UA fleet, so the 880 would have met the same fate, I'm sure.

Yes, and the turbo-jet powered JT3C 720s of Braniff and Eastern were also retired by 1972 or so. The 720B at AA, CO, NW and WA lasted a few years longer.

The 720 was really an interim type, the 727-200 did the same mission on domestic routes for less money. And when Delta and TWA had enough 727s, the 880 was history as well.

The first 20 years of the Jet Age evolved quickly, with only 12 years separating the 707 from the 747. Today, even the A320 has been in service 25 years!
 
User avatar
dlednicer
Editor
Posts: 552
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:35 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:36 am

Quoting Highflier92660 (Reply 38):
How fast was the 990? There are probably people still alive that swear the aircraft could fly transonic straight-and-level and borderline supersonic on decent. The reality was most crews flight planned around 0.84 Mach. An informed poster on another thread lent more reality with these limitations of an 990A ops manual. The 990A flight limitations with fuel in Richard Whitcomb's anti-shock pods was an Mmo above 21,500 feet of 0.912. Without fuel in the pods, Convair's airborne stallion was limited to a pedestrian Mmo of 0.784 or about what your typical Boeing 737-800 traveling from LAX to Cleveland flies

The FAA TCDS for the Convair 990 (4A30 Rev.7) lists Mmo as follows:
Models 30 & 3CA -5, -6 & -8 Versions, Outboard Anti-Shock Bodies Empty: 0.912M above 21,500 ft.
Models 30 & 30A -5 Version Outboard Anti-Shock Bodies With Fuel: 0.784M above 21,400 ft.
Models 30 & 30A -6 & 8 Versions Outboard Anti-Shock Bodies With Fuel: 0.718M above 21,600 ft.

The FAA TCDS for the Boeing 720 (4A28 Rev.8) lists Mmo as follows:
Basic: Mmo = 0.906 at 23,400 feet and above
Alternate (higher MZFW): Mmo = 0.906 at 27,900 feet and above
720B: Mmo = 0.90 at 23,300 feet and above
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:36 pm

Quoting Highflier92660 (Reply 38):
The longest flight segment I could find for American using the 990A was Phoenix to New York.

I heard that there was a SFO-JFK night service at one point, but the AA 990 could only do eastbound (favorable winds). Modern Air got the 990 to do transatlantic by cutting back on the mach number. It helped with the fuel guzzling as well.

Quoting Highflier92660 (Reply 38):
And in the end Convair's transcontinental Ferrari turned out to be more like an airborne Edsel.

The issues with the 990's speed - and penalties paid by Convair - were serious. I am curious as to whether these quoted mach numbers were before or after the aerodynamic mods designed to 'bring it up to speed' if you will.
 
User avatar
saleya22r
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:13 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:21 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 46):
I heard that there was a SFO-JFK night service at one point, but the AA 990 could only do eastbound (favorable winds)

Interesting as in the 70s Spantax used to fly HEL LPA non stop with the 990, 4700 km or 2538 NM westbound.
JFK SFO is 2247 NM
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:48 pm

Quoting saleya22r (Reply 47):
Interesting as in the 70s Spantax used to fly HEL LPA non stop with the 990, 4700 km or 2538 NM westbound.
JFK SFO is 2247 NM

AA was flying the 990 at more competitive mach numbers in scheduled service. I'd be curious if Spantax eased back on the speed a bit for charter ops. That seems to be the key to getting range and more economy out of the 990. It was designed for these high mach numbers, but was incredibly inefficient in that regime.
 
highflier92660
Posts: 737
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:16 am

RE: Why Did The The Convair 880/990 Fail

Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:40 pm

According to John Proctor's 1996 book on both Convair jetliners, Modern Air did fly the Convair 990A from Philadelphia to Vienna, a distance of 4,319 statute miles. To achieve that distance the aircraft was flown at .78 Mach.

Proctor's book is a wonderful source of little-known historical airline trivia. It seems Modern Air also flew something called a Busenvogel flight using the Convair 990A. From the photo on page 74 of the happy female flight attendants dressed in revealing uniforms seemingly designed by a predessesor of Victoria's Secret, it appears as if this particular Modern Air flight was an aeronautical cross between Oktoberfest in Munich and a party at the Playboy Mansion. The male passengers on that flight probably didn't protest if their jetliner was crawling along at .78 Mach.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos