First Flight – Convair CV-990 Coronado – January 24, 1961

aviation history

The Convair 990 Coronado was a narrow-body four-jet airliner produced by the Convair division of General Dynamics, a “stretched” version of their earlier Convair 880 produced in response to a request from American Airlines. The 990 was lengthened by 10 ft (3.0 m), which increased the number of passengers from between 88 and 110 in the 880, to between 96 and 121. This was still fewer than the contemporary Boeing 707 (110 to 189) or Douglas DC-8 (105 to 173), although the 990 was claimed to be some 25–35 mph (40–56 km/h) faster than either in cruise.

Swissair bought eight 990As from 1962 onwards, operating them on long-distance routes to South America, West Africa, the Middle and Far East, as well as on European routes with heavy traffic. Their fleet was withdrawn from service in 1975. Scandinavian Airlines also operated Coronados on their long-haul schedules to Tokyo and other points in the Far East.

The 990 was outclassed, from an airline perspective, by the Boeing 707 and 727 and the Douglas DC-8 resulting in poor sales for this fast sleek jet.

General characteristics

  • Crew: Four
  • Capacity: 149 passengers
  • Length: 139 ft 9 in (42.5 m)
  • Wingspan: 120 ft (36.6 m)
  • Height: 39 ft 6 in (11 m)
  • Wing area: 2,250 ft² (209 m²)
  • Empty weight: 113,000 lb (51,256 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 246,200 lb (111,674 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × General Electric CJ805-23B turbofans, 16,050 lbf (71.4 kN) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 621 mph (540 kts, 1,000 km/h) at 21,200 ft (6,460 m)
  • Cruise speed: 557 mph (484 kts, 896 km/h) at 35,000 ft (10,668 m)
  • Range: 3,595 mi (3,124 nm, 5,785 km)

This 990 is at the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne Switzerland.