Aviation Historian 23
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S.Sumbodo - The Convair 990 and Garuda Indonesian Airways
The first of Garuda’s three Convair 990As to be delivered, PK-GJC, named Majapahit in Indonesian service, was operated by the airline for a comparatively short period before being retired along with PK-GJB in 1973, although both had been in storage in Jakarta for some time.
Ready, jet set, go! The first of Garuda Indonesian Airways’ Convair 990As, PK-GJC, named Majapahit, looking sleek over California before delivery in late 1963.
Garuda’s first Convair 990A, PK-GJC Majapahit, gleaming in the California sun at San Diego before its delivery to Indonesia in September 1963.
Showing off the type’s distinctive “Kuchemann’s carrots” to good effect, factory-fresh PK-GJC soars over the southern Californian mesa before its delivery flight to Indonesia. The anti-shock bodies on the wing’s trailing edge reduced a build-up of wave drag experienced by the original 990 design at transonic speeds.
Majapahit on the San Diego runway. The General Electric CJ-805-23 turbofans, with the fans mounted aft of the engine, were a development of the Convair 880’s pure turbojets and offered greater take-off thrust and lower fuel consumption during cruise conditions, the latter being an important factor in the type’s economic viability.
Индонезийская "Garuda" в 1963-1964 годах приобрела три Convair 990, которые вначале строились для "American Airlines", а в 1972 году им на смену пришли DC-8.
One of a sequence of superb General Dynamics promotional photographs taken of PK-GJC in 1963. Although RAF Javelin crews were more accustomed to intercepting Indonesian Tupolev Tu-16 bombers during the 1963-66 Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation, they also were called on to usher Garuda 990s back on to airways.
The last of the Garuda 990As to be delivered, PK-GJA Pajajaran is seen here at Hong Kong being prepared for its next flight on the Jakarta-Tokyo service via Bangkok and Manila, in February 1965. In terms of performance, the 990’s only contemporary rival was the British Hawker Siddeley Trident, which could equal the American jetliner’s Mach 0-9+ cruising speed.
With Lion Rock towering above the airport at Kai Tak, PK-GJA Pajajaran awaits its next onward flight from Hong Kong in February 1965. Three years later this aircraft was lost with all hands when it crashed shortly after take-off from Bombay on a Jakarta-Amsterdam service. Little appears to be have been reported about the cause.
Garuda’s Convair 990A evaluation team, led by Capt Partono (eighth from right in pale suit), at the General Dynamics Convair factory at San Diego just before delivery.
The crew of Pajajaran, including Air Marshal Iskandar (third from left) and pilots Syafei (seventh from left) and Tumbelaka (second from right), are greeted by KLM President Gerhard van der Wai (second from left) at Amsterdam on January 6, 1965.
Garuda’s two remaining 990As were sold to California Airmotive in 1973, PK-GJB coming to grief on Guam during its delivery flight that September. The other, PK-GJC, was eventually acquired by NASA to become N712NA, named Galileo II, as seen here at the Paris Air Salon in June 1977. It was damaged beyond repair in 1985.
Garuda’s second Convair 990A, PK-GJB Sriwijaya, was delivered to Jakarta on October 21, 1963, and is seen here being refuelled at Tokyo-Haneda in February 1965. Despite the 990’s blistering performance, it struggled to compete with its larger and more economical Boeing and Douglas rivals, and only 37 examples were ultimately built.
In January 1965 Garuda launched its weekly Jakarta-Amsterdam Convair 990 service. Indonesian Minister of Air Transport Air Marshal Iskandar, seen here in the right-hand seat of PK-GJA, participated in the inaugural flight on January 6.
The "office" of Garuda Convair 990A PK-GJC at San Diego. A standard flight crew for the 990 comprised a pilot, copilot and flight engineer and often also included an observer or third pilot. The flight instrumentation was well laid out and the view from the cockpit was good, making the type a firm favourite with those selected to fly it.
The stylish 1964 Garuda summer timetable featured the Convair 990’s unmistakable plan view on its opening flap, the rear flap detailing contact information for the company’s offices in Jakarta, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Manila and San Francisco.