Convair, which is a contraction of
Consoldated-Vultee Aircraft, was located in San Diego (the home of the
Classic Airliner Page), and produced the B-24 Liberator and the B-36
Peacemaker, among other famous planes. The Convair-Liner project started
with the CV-110 prototype, but American convinced Convair to alter it into
the CV-240. Convair wanted American's order for 50 aircraft, and took a
large loss on the order which CR Smith eventually allowed to be reduced to
allow Convair to sell the planes at a profit. Other US operators included
Western, Pan Am, Continental, and Northeast. After the aborted
negotiations with TWA and Eastern for a "Super 240" (see the Martin 404
page), Convair realized that airlines were not going to accept their
current offering, and in response to a United inquiry, developed a plane
very similar to the cancelled Super 240, and called it the CV-340. United
took 55, and more US orders came from Braniff, Continental, Delta,
Northeast, and National.
The CV-340 earned an enviable reputation for
reliability and profitability, and was also popular in South America. The
final piston-powered development of the Convair-Liner was the CV-440
Metropolitan, which was 5 mph faster and quieter than the CV-340. Although
a fine aircraft, most sales were made overseas, and especially in Europe.
In the US, Continental, National, Braniff, Delta, and Eastern all had
The lives of the CV-340 and CV-440 have been lengthened by the conversion
to turboprop power, the most common engine used being the Allison 501,
named the CV-580. This conversion increases speed by by 40 mph, and
provides a much more economical operation. Many CV-580's are still in
service, along with rapidly dwindling numbers of piston-powered Convair-Liners.
Engines: Two 2,400 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-99
91 ft. 9 in.
Length: 74 ft. 8 in.
Height: 26 ft. 11 in.
Max. Weight: 41,780 lbs.
Max. Speed: 340 mph
Ceiling: 25,000 ft.
Range: Approx. 500 miles with full payload
Crew: 3 plus 37 passengers