Air International 2008-05
W.Mellberg - Convair 990 /Aircraft profile/
Convair 990A N5608, c/n 18 of American Airlines illustrated in the airline's later colours. Originally delivered in 1962 and converted into a 990A the next year, it lasted only seven years in American's service before being sold to MEA. Sold to major 990 operator Spantax in 1972 it soldiered on with this inclusive tour airline until 1984, but like so many other 990s was then stored at Palma, Majorca, Spain until it was eventually scrapped in 1991.
Convair 990A N5612 Flagship Rita c/n 24 of Northeast Airlines. This was the sole example of the type flown by Northeast. Like many 990 operators it leased the aircraft for only a short period, in this case from January 1967 to April 1968 for the airline's New York-Miami service.
Convair 990A Coronado HB-ICC c/n 12 belonging to Swissair, but one of two 990s leased to Ghana Airways for the carrier's twice weekly service between London and Accra. It was eventually donated to the Swiss Transport Museum at Lucerne in 1975.
Convair 990A N5605 c/n 9 of Modern Air Transport, was wet-leased to Air France for six months in 1967 for use on the London-Paris route. Originally delivered to American Airlines in 1962 it was sold to Modern Air in 1967 then Denver Ports-of-Call in 1976 before being retired in 1981.
Convair 990A PP-VJF c/n 19 of VARIG. It was one of three 990s delivered to the airline in 1963, but all were sold by 1971. They were originally ordered by REAL-Aerovias of Brazil which was then absorbed into VARIG. The latter was concerned at the 990’s lower than advertised performance and would have probably cancelled the order had it not been for the $5 million in progress payments already made to Convair.
Convair 990A N5609 c/n 21 of Modern Air, and illustrated in the company's original 990 colour scheme with 'The Silver Palace' titles. Modern Air was a major operator of second-hand 990s, eventually owning or operating ten 990s. This non-scheduled carrier operated its 990s all over the world from its base at Tegel, Germany where several 990s were based for charter and inclusive tour flights.
Spantax accumulated 14 CV-990s, making it the second largest operator of the type to American Airlines. It averaged some 2,300 flying hours annually per aircraft and increased their seating capacity to 149. Convair CV-990 Coronado EC-BTE, c/n 21, was photographed in October 1978.
Lebanese International Airways acquired two 990s from American Airlines OD-AEW, c/n 31, seen here at Orly Airport, Paris and OD-AEX in 1965 and 1966 respectively. Both were destroyed during an Israeli commando raid at Beirut on December 28, 1968.
This fine air-to-air portrait of Swissair HB-ICA photographed in January 1962 clearly illustrates the 990's sleek lines. As can be seen on the fin, Swissair dubbed its 990s Coronado and it was the first airline to put the type into revenue service.