Convair Aircraft

The Convair 880 is an American narrow-body jet airliner produced by the Convair division of General Dynamics.

Convair 880 Narrow-body

Design and development

The Convair 880 is an American narrow-body jet airliner produced by the Convair division of General Dynamics. It was designed to compete with the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 by being smaller and faster, a niche that failed to create demand. When it was first introduced, some aviation circles claimed that at 615 mph (990 km/h), it was the fastest jet transport in the world. Only 65 Convair 880s were produced over the lifetime of the production run from 1959 to 1962, and General Dynamics eventually withdrew from the airliner market after considering the 880 project a failure. The Convair 990 was a stretched and faster variant of the 880.


Convair began development of a medium-range commercial jet in April 1956, to compete with announced products from Boeing and Douglas. Initially the design was called the Skylark, but the name was later changed to the Golden Arrow, then Convair 600 and then finally the 880, both numbers referring to its top speed of 600 mph (970 km/h) or 880 ft/s (268 m/s). It was powered by General Electric CJ-805-3 turbojets, a civilian version of the J79 which powered the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom, and Convair B-58 Hustler.

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The United States Navy acquired one 880-M in 1980, modifying it as an in-flight tanker. It had been purchased new from Convair by the FAA, and used for 18 years. Unofficially designated UC-880, it was assigned to the Naval Air Test Center at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, and employed in Tomahawk Cruise Missile testing and aircraft refueling procedures. The sole UC-880 was damaged in a cargo hold explosive decompression test at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, in 1995. The aircraft managed to remain theoretically controllable via backup systems unique to the 880 and 990.


Convair Aircraft
Convair 880 Narrow-body

The first example of the initial production version, the Model 22, made its maiden flight on January 27, 1959.[3] No prototype was built. After production started, the Federal Aviation Administration mandated additional instrumentation, which Convair added by placing a "raceway" hump on the top of the fuselage, rather than ripping apart the interiors over the wing area. The final assembly of the 880 and 990 took place at the Convair facilities in San Diego, California.

Convair 880 Narrow-body: Specifications

  • History

    Role Airliner

    National origin United States

    Manufacturer Convair

    First flight January 27, 1959

    Introduction May 1960 with Delta Air Lines

    Status Retired

  • Users

    Primary user United States Air Force

    Primary users Trans World Airlines

    Delta Air Lines

    Japan Airlines



  • General Info

    Produced 1959-1962

    Number built 65

    Variants Convair 990 Coronado



Convair 880 Narrow-body


The genesis of the B-36 can be traced to early 1941, prior to the entry of the United States into World War II. At the time it appeared there was a very real chance that Britain might fall to the German "Blitz", making a strategic bombing effort by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) against Germany impossible with the aircraft of the time.


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