Convair Aircraft

The Convair CV-240 is an American airliner that Convair manufactured from 1947 to 1954, initially as a possible replacement for the ubiquitous Douglas DC-3

Convair CV-340/440


The design began with a requirement by American Airlines for an airliner to replace its Douglas DC-3s. Convair's original design, the unpressurised Model 110, was a twin-engine, low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, with 30 seats. It was powered by Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engines. It had a tricycle landing gear, and a ventral airstair for passenger boarding. The prototype Model 110, registration NX90653, first flew on July 8, 1946. By this time, American had changed the requirements to include pressurization and deemed the design too small. Convair used the first prototype for 240 series development work before they had it broken up in 1947.


To meet the requirements of airlines for a pressurized airliner, Convair produced a revised design—the Model 240. This had a longer but thinner fuselage than the Model 110, accommodating 40 passengers in the first pressurized, twin-engined airliner. The 240 first flew on March 16, 1947.

The Model 240 was followed by the Model 340, which had a longer fuselage, longer-span wings, and more powerful engines. The 340 first flew on October 5, 1951. In 1954, in an attempt to compete with turboprop-powered airliners like the Vickers Viscount, Convair produced the Model 440 Metropolitan, with more streamlined cowlings, new engine exhausts, and better cabin soundproofing. As the "Super 240" evolved into the CV-340 and CV-440, the design reached the limit of piston-engine performance, and future development centered on conversion to turboprop power

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After aborted negotiations with TWA and Eastern for "Super 240" orders, Convair temporarily halted 240 series production. In response to a United inquiry, Convair redesigned the Super 240, calling it the CV-340. United ordered 55, and more US orders came from Braniff, Continental, Delta, Northeast, and National. Other orders came from abroad, and the CV-340 was popular in South America. The CV-340 earned a reputation for reliability and profitability, and was developed into the CV-440 Metropolitan, the final piston-engined variant of the Convairliners

Convair CV-340/440

Convair delivered the first production Convairliner to American on February 29, 1948. They delivered a total of 75 to American—and another 50 to Western Airlines, Continental Airlines, Pan American Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Swissair, Sabena, and Trans Australia Airlines

  • History

    Role  Airliner

    Manufacturer  Convair

    First flight  March 16, 1947

    Introduction  February 29, 1948 with American Airlines
    Used in RCAF As VIP
    CL-109 Cosmopolitan


  • Primary Users

    Crew: 2 or 3 flight deck crew

    Capacity: 40

    Length: 74 ft 8 in (22.76 m)

    Wingspan: 91 ft 9 in (27.97 m)

    Height: 26 ft 11 in (8.20 m) Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CA3 Double Wasp / CA15 / CA18 / CB3 or CB16 18-cyl air-cooled radial engines, 2,400 hp (1,800 kW) each

  • General Info

    Maximum speed: 315 mph (507 km/h; 274 kn)

    Cruise speed: 280 mph (451 km/h; 243 kn) (maximum)

    Range: 1,200 mi (1,043 nmi; 1,931 km)

    Service ceiling: 16,000 ft (4,900 m)

Convair CV340 / 440 Series


A CV-240 was the first private aircraft used in a United States presidential campaign. In 1960, John F. Kennedy used a CV-240 named Caroline (after his daughter) during his campaign. This aircraft is now preserved in the National Air and Space Museum.


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