Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Fail : Convair 880

As well as the miltary-based Sunday Fail series i am also going to recycle my "Not Classic Airliners" series which was on yet another now defunct blog and presented commercial airliners which never made it. And here is the first episode...

It is pretty much forgotten these days but back in the classic days of Boeing 707s, Douglas DC-8s and Vickers VC-10s you also had Convair's attempts at a jet airliner. The Convair 880 was not a success though and only sold 65 examples. The 880 was faster than the 707 but also more expensive to run and even back in the cheap oil days of the 1960s that was more important. General Dynamics made a huge loss on the 880 and it's sister airliner the 990 athough one was sold to Elvis as his personal plane. By 1975 none were still in service with major airlines though a few continued in service as cargo airliners or with smaller airlines and in one case a test plane for the US Navy until the late 1990s.

I've always thought it was one of the best looking jet airliners. None are flying nowadays but a few still exist around the world, one in Portugal now serves as a strip club apparently. Despite only 65 being sold it was involved in 17 accidents and 5 hi-jackings so it was not a lucky jet.

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