Convair Introduces the CV-240 Family – Airways | Airlines

Convair 240 Hb Irv Swiss Air Lines Ringway 25.03.50.jpg

DALLAS — The Convair CV-240 is an American airliner manufactured by Convair from 1947 to 1954. The company delivered the first production Convairliner to American Airlines (AA) on February 29, 1948.

The aircraft was initially developed as a potential replacement for the widely used Douglas DC-3. The CV-240 (with “2” engines and “40” passengers – hence the name) featured a more modern design with cabin pressurization, allowing passengers a more comfortable flying experience.

As the launch customer, AA placed an initial order for 100 new CV-240s (later reduced to 75). Fifty more were ordered by Western Airlines, Continental Airlines, Pan American Airways, KLM (KL), and Trans-Australia Airlines. Swissair (SR) would use the type.

The 240 series made some inroads as a commercial airliner and had a long development cycle that resulted in various civil and military variants. Although the number of CV-240s has been reduced, multiple forms of the Convairliners continue to fly in the 21st century.

United Airlines Convair 340 color air to air, circa Nov 1958. Photo: UNITED AIRLINES ARCHIVES

Development, Variants


The development of the Convair CV-240 went through several stages. After aborted negotiations with TWA and Eastern for “Super 240” orders, Convair temporarily halted the production of the 240 series. However, in response to an inquiry from United Airlines, Convair redesigned the Super 240 and named it the CV-340.

United Airlines (UA) ordered 55 CV-340s, and more orders came from Braniff, Continental, Delta, Northeast, and National airlines in the U.S. The CV-340 also gained popularity in South America. The success of the CV-340 led to the development of the CV-440 Metropolitan, which was the final piston-engined variant of the Convairliners.

John F. Kennedy used Caroline, the Convair CV-240, during his presidential campaign. Photo: National Air and Space Museum

Presidential Campaign, Other Notable Uses


The…

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