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 John Schmidt (dc8schmidt@twc.com) | Home > 
The Turboprop Convairs 9 / 2018
By 1959, twin engined turboprop aircraft were entering the market, which effectively would obsolete the Convair twins. Meanwhile D Napier and son of England equipped and obtained certification for an Eland powered Convair which was designated the 540. This aircraft was leased to Allegheny for in service evaluation.
Later, Canadair acquired the rights to produce the Convair, including 3 unsold 440s with the intent of producing the Eland equipped 540s in Canada. Thirteen were built, ten of which went to the RCAF, and two were sold to Quebecair.
While the Eland powered Convairs were less than successful, the concept resulted in two very successful re-engining programs using Rolls Royce and Allison engines. Fifty years later Convair turboprops are still flying.
Album by John Schmidt. 1 - 67 of 67 Total. 11011 Visits.
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Enlarge photo 1
Allison Turbo Convair #1 TK
The first turboprop Convair to take to the air was N24501, on December 29, 1950. It was equipped with 2 Allison 501 A4s. Not ready for prime time, the aircraft remained a test bed. It was 1955 before the Eland equipped 540 model flew. Card is a rare Real Photographs issue by courtesy of Tadd Kotick

Enlarge photo 2
Canadair Convair 540 KCF
An excellent postcard view of N440EL, the first Eland equipped Convair that went to Allegheny for route proving. Passengers approved and 5 more were produced for Allegheny.
The airliner was originally delivered to Varig, and after service with Allegheny was converted to a 580 for AVENSA.
The card is a Taxiway productions issue by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 3
Convair 600 KCF
General Dynamics went a step further, equipping the older 240 with Rolls Royce Dart engines in 1965. Shown is the first 600. It was originally built for Garuda in 1950. After modification and certification it was delivered to Central in December of 1965. Frontier operated it for 3 years after the merger, and sold it to Seulawah Air of Indonesia in 1970, where it operated its final 9 years. Card by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 4
Convair 5800
The final Convair modification was by Kelowna Flightcraft, which resulted in the enlarged freighter designated 5800. Card by Kelowna Flightcraft?

Enlarge photo 5
Air Algerie Convair 640
This excellent image of Air Algerie's 640 is unfortunately not a postcard. 7T VAO , as well as 7T VAY were ex Lufthansa 440s, delivered in 1968. They operated until 1983. VAO went to SMB Stage, Kitty Hawk and finally Rhoades

Enlarge photo 6
Air Florida  Commuter Convair 580
Originally a 340 delivered to Continental in 1953, this aitcraft was converted to a 580 for North Central in 1968. It was sold to Key Airlines for service as an Air Florida Commuter in 1981. It remained with Key after 1984, but went to Quebecair in 1988, continuing with Inter Canadian and Intair until 1991.
Card is an AeroGem issue.

Enlarge photo 7
Allegheny  Convair 540 #2a
A very nice image of one of the pioneer turboprop Convairs. This one, N542Z, was originally delivered to United in 1954. In 1960 it was equipped with Napier Eland turboprop engines and delivered to Allegheny. Five 540s served from 1960-1962, proving popular with travelers but unreliable due to engine issues. It was later converted to a 580 and served with several carriers, ultimately arriving at Nolinor in 2001.
Card is an IAWP issue, cropped some to feature the aircraft.

Enlarge photo 8
Allegheny  Convair 580 #1
An excellent Allegheny issue of their first 580, N5802. Delivered new to Delta in 1957, it was sold to Allegheny for conversion to 580 in 1965. Sadly written off in 1968.

Enlarge photo 9
Allegheny  Convair 580 #2
An excellent IAWP issue of N5835, a 580 originally delivered as a 340 to Ansett in 1957. It served with Allegheny from 1967 to 1978,when it was sold to Commuter Airlines, which later became Freedom.
Later flew with Air Ontario, Can Air Cargo and Kelowna in Canada.
Card is an IAWP issue from 1985

Enlarge photo 10
American Eagle  Convair 580
A very nice postcard view of an American Eagle Convair 580 by Al Morin Productions. N73164 was originally delivered to Sabena in 1956. It was converted to a 580 for Frontier in 1968, operating until 1983. It went to Metroflight for American Eagle in 1985, operating only until 1988. In 1991 it made its final stop with TAM of Bolivia, WFU in 1997

Enlarge photo 11
Aspen Convair 580 #1
The most stylish fleet of 580s certainly belonged to Aspen. This one, N73133, was originally a United 340, delivered in 1953. It was converted for a corporate operator in 1968, but sold to Aspen in 1975. In 1992 it went to Kelowna Flightcraft in Canada, and in 2000 to Conair Aviation. Still current?
A Mary Jayne's issue

Enlarge photo 12
Aspen Convair 580 #2
N 73126, another ex United 340 came to Aspen in 1978 after 16 years with Frontier. Aspen operated it from Nov. 1978 to March of 1991 when sold to Renown Aviation. Now WFU
Card is an IAWP issue.

Enlarge photo 13
Aspen Convair 580 #3
This nice view on a Mary Jayne's issue shows N5814 In flight. This one was originally a National Airlines 340, delivered in 1953. It went to Allegheny in 1960, and was converted to a 580, operating until 1976. Aspen operated it until sale to a dealer in 1989. It was later operated by Kelowna and Conair. Written off in 2010 while engaged in a firefighting flight.

Enlarge photo 14
Avensa Convair 580 #1
This card shows AVENSA's 440 YV-C-EVD after conversion to a 580. It is the aircraft shown on AVENSA's Convair 440 card. AVENSA continued to operate it until sale to Nordair Metro, which became part of Inter Canadian in 1987. WFU in 1989

Enlarge photo 15
Avensa Convair 580 #2
AVENSA, long a Pan Am affiliate adopted the large block type titles on their fleet in the 1980s. This beauty was delivered to Iberia in 1958, and was converted to a 580 for General Motors. AVENSA bought it in 1983 operating until the early 1990s.

Enlarge photo 16
Bar Harbor Convair 600 #2
Bar Harbor operated a small fleet of(6) Convair 600s for a decade from 1979-1989. N 94208, shown on this IAWP issue was born in 1948, serving American as the Flagship Adirondacks. In 1964 it was sold to Trans Texas and later converted to a 600. It operated for Trans Texas, and Texas international for 15 years before joining Bar Harbor.

Enlarge photo 17
Canada West Convair 640
An excellent Buchair issue of Canada West's 640 C-GCWY. Delivered in 1953 to KLM as a 340 the airliner has had an amazing career. Sold to Martinair in 1964 it was converted to a 640 and is shown on the Martinair 640 card #1.
It went to Omni Aircraft sales in 1971, then to Wright airlines from 1982 until 1988, when sold to Canada West. WFU in 1990, it was sold to Norcanair. In 1993 it went to Century Airlines and in 2012 was sold to Aeronaves TSM, where it is still operating and a regular visitor to Louisville.

Enlarge photo 18
Caribair Convair 640
What a postcard this would be! Unfortunately it is a photo apparently from Caribair of their beautiful 640, N3407. Delivered to Braniff as a 340 in 1952 it was sold to Caribair in 1965, and modified to a 640. In December 1973 it went to Zantop operating cargo flights until sold to SMB Stage, where it operated from 1981 until WFU in 1995. This is the aircraft shown on the SMB Stage image below.

Enlarge photo 19
Central  Convair 600
A beautiful Central Airlines issue of N74858, their first 600, delivered in May of 1965. This airliner was originally a Garuda aircraft delivered in 1950, and operated for almost 15 years before return to General Dynamics for modification.

Enlarge photo 20
Central  Convair 600 #2 KCF
After 5 years of service with Central and Frontier, the airliner returned to Indonesia in 1970, operating for Seulawah Air Services until WFU in 1979. The card is a rare vintage card kindly shared by Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 21
Continental  Express Convair 580
A nice view of N73106, delivered as a 340 to United in 1952. Like others, it was acquired by Frontier in 1963, and converted to a 580 in 1965. In 1983 it became a freighter with Combs Airways, but was resurrected as a passenger airliner by Sierra Pacific in 1985. From 1986-88 it was leased to Rocky Mountain, operating as Continental Express until retirement.
Card is an IAWP issue.

Enlarge photo 22
D H L Convair 580 #1
A number of 580s became freighters, such as OO-HUB, operating for DHL. This was originally a National 340, delivered in 1953. In 1960 it went to Allegheny, later to be converted to a 580.
It was sold to Commuter/Freedom Airlines in 1978, operating until sold to Air Ontario in 1984. In March of 1988 it was converted to a freighter for DHL, operating until 2006.
Card is an Avimage issue.

Enlarge photo 23
Emery Convair 580
One of the many ex United 340s that became 580s was N5810, operated for a decade by United before sale to Allegheny in 1962. Allegheny converted it to a 580 in March of 1966.
In 1976 it went to Evergreen to operate for Emery Air Freight. It later flew for Interstate, CanAir Cargo, Air Tahoma, and finally, Chilean Airways.

Enlarge photo 24
Era Alaska Convair 580
Era Aviation flew scheduled flights to many Alaska destinations, using Convair 580s as shown on the above Buchair issue. This one, N568JA, operated from 1981-2003, before sale to Kelowna Flightcraft.
It was originally a United 340, serving from 1953 through 1962. It operated for Frontier from 1963-1979, after conversion to 580. It made brief stops with Gem State and Golden Gate before sale to Jet Alaska in 1981. Jet Alaska became part of Era in 1987.

Enlarge photo 25
European Air  Convair 580
A nice postcard view of European Air Transport's 580, OO-VGH, a 580 acquired from Air Ontario in 1987. It was, in fact, the only passenger 580 operated by EAT. Like many 580s it started life as a United 340 in 1952, was converted to a 580 and served with Lake Central / Allegheny from 1966-1976. It then joined Great Lakes in 1976 which later became Air Ontario.
The airliner in previous colors can be seen on Lake Central Convair 580 #1 below.
Card is a vintage Antwerp Airport issue.

Enlarge photo 26
Farmer's Union Convair 580
An uncommon Farmers Union travel club issue of their 580, N73133. This aircraft operated from 1972-1975, before sale to Aspen. It, like many others was originally a United 340, converted to 580 in 1968.

Enlarge photo 27
Farmers Union Convair 580 #2 MDS
A second Farmers Union issue of their Convair 580 on the ramp. A very rare card by courtesy of Mario Da Silva.

Enlarge photo 28
Forbes Convair 580
This outstanding Forbes Magazine issue features their Convair 580, N331G, later re-registered as N60FM. This aircraft was the original test aircraft for the 440 modifications. Ultimately it was sold to Englehardt Industries and converted to a 580. Acquired by Forbes in 1967 and apparently traded to Douglas in 1974. Subsequently sold to the Department of Energy, and finally the Saskatchewan government in 2006.

Enlarge photo 29
Freedom Convair 580 #2
Another excellent IAWP issue showing the Freedom Airlines 580 N 5835. This is the same aircraft shown on the Allegheny 580 #2 card shown above.

Enlarge photo 30
Frontier  Convair 580 #1
This is the common Frontier   issued Convair 580, showing N 73127, one of their fleet of 32.

Enlarge photo 31
Frontier  Convair 580 #3
Less common is this splendid oversized card of the 580. More than any other airline, Frontier promoted and advertised the 580 aircraft.

Enlarge photo 32
Frontier  Convair 580 #5 KCF
This vintage card from a numbered unidentified set also shows N73127 in flight.
The airliner was delivered to United as a 340 in 1953, and was sold to Frontier in December of 1962. It was one of the earliest 580 conversions (May 1964), and served Frontier until October of 1980. Sold to Sea Airmotive and subsequently leased to Atlantic Gulf Airlines. Now broken up at Tuscon.

"Card by courtesy of Kuo-Chin..."
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Enlarge photo 33
Frontier  Convair 580 #7 KCF
A rare oversized Frontier issue from Kuo-Ching Fu showing a 580 and promoting new frequencies from Denver to Memphis.

Enlarge photo 34
Frontier  Convair 580 #2
An excellent postcard view of N73136, showing a 580 in later Frontier colors. Also ex-United this aircraft served Frontier from 1961-1983, first as a 440, and after 1966 as a 580. It was sold to Metroflight as an American Eagle in 1985, then joined the other 580s at Kelowna Flightcraft. In 2011 it went to Pionair Cargo in Australia. Now preserved.

Enlarge photo 35
Great Lakes Convair 580
Apparently Great Lakes did not issue a 580 card, but this nice image was taken from their brochure describing the aircraft.

Enlarge photo 36
Lake Central Convair 580 #1
A nice in flight Lake Central issue of their 580 N73118. Delivered to United in 1953, it served until March of 1966. Converted to a 580 for Lake Central, it continued to operate after the Allegheny merger until April of 1976, when sold to Great Lakes. In 1987 it was transferred to European Air Transport. This is the aircraft shown on the EAT card above. B/U in 1994

Enlarge photo 37
Lake Central Convair 580 #4
Shortly before the Allegheny merger, Lake Central adopted this color scheme, which was not particularly well received. N 73138, shown on this IAWP issue followed the same path as 73118, but was later leased to Canair Cargo.

Enlarge photo 38
Martinair Convair 640 #1
A very nice view of Martinair's Convair 640 PH-CGD, on a card issued by Euromotel Limburg. It was delivered to KLM as a 340 in 1953, and went to Martinair in  1964. It was converted to a 640, serving Martinair until 1971, Omni International until 1982, and Wright until 1988. Went to Canada West, Norcanair, Century, and is current with Aeronaves TSM
This is the aircraft shown on the Canada West card above as well as the Norcanair

Enlarge photo 39
Martinair Convair 640 #2
An uncommon Martinair issue of PH-MAL, an ex Swissair 440 sold to Martinair in 1967. Converted to a 640, it operated for Martinair from 1967-71.Sold to Omni International, it was quickly resold to Zantop where it operated for 25 years. Later served with Century, and finally with Aeronaves TSM of Mexico.

Enlarge photo 40
Martinair Convair 640 #3
A final look at Martinair's 640 is this excellent oversized Martinair issue, part of a rare 4 card set.

Enlarge photo 41
Nolinor Convair 580
An excellent Avimage issue of a Nolinor passenger 580, perhaps the last operating passenger 580. The Canadian airline now operates (8) 580s as well as 737-200s.

Enlarge photo 42
Norcanair Convair 640
Convair 640 C GCWY was acquired by the reborn Norcanair in July of 1990. Originally delivered to KLM as a 340 in September, 1953, it was sold to Martinair in 1964. Martinair converted it to a 640, and operated it until 1971. (this is the aircraft shown on the Martinair 640 #1 card above).
  In 1971 it went to Omni International, operating until sold to Wright in February 1982. It was acquired by Canada West in 1988, operating until wfu in 1990. It was then acquired by the 2nd Norcanair, operating until 1993. In September of that year Century Airlines acquired the aircraft. It was sold to Aeronaves TSM in 2012, and amazingly, is still operating.

Enlarge photo 43
Nordair Convair 580
C GNMQ was one of the United 340s that was converted to a 540 for Allegheny. In 1963 it went to AVENSA and was later modified to a 580. Sold to a leasing company in 1979 it went to Interstate and then returned to AVENSA in 1982.
It arrived at Nordair in 1986, remaining with successor companies until a brief stop at Charter One.
The card is a Nordair issue

Enlarge photo 44
Nor-Fly Convair 580
A beautiful Nor-Fly issue of their 580 LN BWN. This airliner was born as a 340 for KLM in 1953. It joined Mohawk as a 440 in 1964, and was sold to Lake Central for conversion to 580 in 1967. It remained in service with Allegheny after the merger and later served Mountain West and Sierra Pacific before joining Nor-Fly in 1980. It was sold to Partnair in 1985, operating until sale to Kelowna in 1991. In 2003 it was sold to Air Freight NZ. Still active?

Enlarge photo 45
North Central Convair 580 #1
A splendid IAWP issue of North Central's Convair 580 N90857. It began life as a Continental 340, operating from 1953 to 1959, when it was sold to North Central. Converted first to a 440, then in 1967, to a 580 by North Central.
It was sold to Simmons in 1985, but was traded to Shorts toward their 360s. Spent its time from 1985 to 1995 with Westates, and finally joined the other Convairs at  Kelowna in 1995.

Enlarge photo 46
Pacific Western Convair 640 #3 KCF
Pacific Western operated 6 Convair 640s. Shown on this International Airlines Museum issue is CF-PWS, an ex All Nippon 440 converted to a 640 in 1965. Briefly leased by Hawaiian, it arrived at Pacific Western on Feb. 27, 1967. There it served for 11 years, and later became a Time Air Aircraft. This is the aircraft shown on the Time Air card below. WFU 1991
"card by courtesy of Kuo-Chin..."
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Enlarge photo 47
Pacific Western Convair 640 #1
An excellent Pacific Western issue of one of their ex-All Nippon 640s on the ramp with flight crew.

Enlarge photo 48
Pacific Western Convair 640 #2
A very nice postcard view of Pacific Western's CF-PWU on the ramp. This was originally  Convair 340 #10, delivered to ARAMCO in September of 1952. Returned to General Dynamics in 1966, it was converted to a 640 and sold to Pacific Western in 1967. In 1976 it was sold to Worldways, and in 1982 joined Wright. In 1987 it was sold to Viking International, in 1994 to Kitty Hawk, and finally to Rhoades in 2000. Now WFU

Enlarge photo 49
Partnair Fleet #1 KCF
A rare Partnair Issue, showing their Convair 580 LN PAA, along with a King Air.
This ex-United 340 became a 580 for General Motors, and was sold to SAHSA of Honduras in 1971. It operated for Prinair from 1981-85, and paseed through Kelowna before arriving at Partnair in May 1986. Sadly, this airliner was lost in an inflight break up over the North Sea, September 8, 1989

Enlarge photo 50
Prinair Convair 580
This is a nice Prinair issue of one of their 580s on the ramp with flight crew. Prinair operated 5 Convair 580s between 1980 and 1987.

Enlarge photo 51
Quebecair Convair 540 #1a
The only airline issued 540, this is Quebecair's CF LMA at Rimouski.  Originally this was Convair 440 #454, one of 3 unsold aircraft. Acquired by Canadair it was modified to a 540 and used for marketing for a year. Quebecair took delivery in 1960, but sold it to the RCAF in May of 1962.
It was later converted to a 580 and delivered to AVENSA in 1967. It subsequently was operated by Interstate,Kelowna, and ironically back to Quebecair in 1986. Now with Nolinor. WOW!

"Image is cropped slightly to..."
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Enlarge photo 52
Republic Convair 580 #1
A nice view of a Republic Convair 580 sometime after 1979. N 4824C was originally a Delta 440 sold to North Central in 1966. Converted to a 580 in 1967, it stayed with Republic and even flew for Northwest.
It finally was sold to Air Venezuela, but fate is unknown.

Enlarge photo 53
Royal Canadian Air Force Convair 540 #1 KCF
An excellent in flight card of RCAF CL-66 11156. One of the 13 Canadair built 540s it was delivered in 1960, operating for 5 years, and then  re-engined with Allisons in 1966. That was the end of the Eland powered 540s.
It was WFU from RCAF in 1994, but was operated by at least 3 private owners, crashing in the Congo in 2004

Enlarge photo 54
S A T A (Swiss) Convair 640
This beautiful 640 was delivered to Swissair as a 440 in 1957. It operated for Swissair for 11 years before conversion and sale to Swiss charter airline SATA in 1968. It operated for SATA until DBR on a hard landing in 1973.
The card is a JJ issue

Enlarge photo 55
S M B Stage Convair from Brochure
This outstanding in flight view of an SMB Stage 640, is not a postcard, but was on the cover of a brochure I received from the airline. Shown is N3407, originally delivered to Braniff in 1952, and also seen on the Caribair image above.

Enlarge photo 56
Safair Convair 580 #1
Safair of South Africa published this outstanding set of in flight postcards of ZS-LYL in 1988

Enlarge photo 57
Safair Convair 580 #2
Safari only flew 2 580s. This one was delivered to Safair in April of 1988, while Safair was still operating as Air Cape. It  was ultimately sold to Court Air in December of 1993.

Enlarge photo 58
Safair Convair 580 #4
ZS-LYL was a 340 delivered new to Delta in 1953, and later converted to a 440.  It was sold to North Central in 1962, and in 1969 was finally converted to a 580.
It was sold to TAM of Bolivia in November of 1974, where it operated through 1979. It returned to the US in 1980, operating for Gulf Air Transport until sale to Safair.

Enlarge photo 59
Safair Convair 580 #3
This final Safair issue is certainly my favorite 580 card. The airline left a nice legacy of postcard views of their Convairs.

Enlarge photo 60
ScanBee Convair 580
A rarely seen Convair was this Scan Bee 580 shown on a vintage Aeroprint issue. This aircraft served as a corporate plane for General Dynamics until sold to Gulf Oil in 1962. Later converted to a 580 and sold to Montex Drilling in 1971. After 1977 it served several corporate owners until acquired by ScanBee in 1980. In 1987 it joined the other 580s at Kelowna, but was resold to Air freight NZ in 1990. Still active.

Enlarge photo 61
Summit Convair 580
A nice ramp view of Summit's 580 N533SA, even though it could use a bath. Originally a Braniff 340, it became a 580 for Allegheny in 1967, and operated until 1978. Summit converted it to a freighter and operated it for 11 years before sale to Guiness Peat as a lease aircraft. It operated for several airlines in Canada and Portugal, including Canai Cargo and Nolinor. Scrapped in 2011.
  Card is an IAWP issue.

Enlarge photo 62
Time Air Convair 640
A splendid Mary Jayne's issue of C FPWS, in flight. This 640 was delivered to All Nippon in 1957 as a 440. It went to Pacific Western in 1967, and is the aircraft shown on Pacific Western Convair 640 #3KCF above.

Enlarge photo 63
Trans Texas Convair 600
An excellent 1966 issue from Trans Texas showing N94253 in flight. This aircraft was delivered to American in 1948, and operated until April 1964 when sold to Trans Texas. Converted to a 600 in 1966, and remained with Texas International until sold to SMB Stage in 1978. It operated briefly for Royal American, but was acquired by Bar Harbor in 1982. Sold to International Turbine Service in 1989 but was DBR in August of that year.

Enlarge photo 64
Texas International Convair 600 #1
A nice IAWP issue of Texas International's N94253 on the ramp. This is the same aircraft shown on the Trans Texas issue.

Enlarge photo 65
Texas International Convair 600 #2
An excellent view of N 94207 in the final Texas International colors on a JJ issue. It was likewise an American 240, and went directly from Texas International to Bar Harbor in 1979. Sold to ARCO (Aerolineas Colonia) in Uruguay in 1981

Enlarge photo 66
Wright Convair 600 #1
Wright operated a fleet of Rolls Royce powered Convairs. Nine of the 12 were 600s. N74852, shown on this excellent Wright issue, was originally an American 240, delivered in 1949.  Sold to Central in 1961, it was converted to a 600 in 1966. It operated for Frontier after the merger with Central, until sale to Golden Pacific in 1972. It was then repossessed and later bought by Wright in 1976. In 1984 Wright traded it to Shorts for the purchase of 360s, and it was subsequently sold to SMB Stage in 1985. Broken up in 1993.

Enlarge photo 67
Zantop Convair 640
An IAWP issue of Zantop's Convair 640 N5509K. This airliner was delivered new to Hawaiian in 1953. It was sold to Caribair and later was converted to a 640.
In 1973, after the merger with Eastern, it was sold to Zantop, where it operated for 8 years  before sale to SMB Stage in 1981. WFU in 1990

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