We wrote last week about Biman Bangladesh Airlines retiring the world’s final passenger DC-10. But do you know where planes like this go when they’re done with passenger service? To cargo operators, of course.
The aircraft above is a CONVAIR 340, and I photographed it last month at LAX. It was built, according to FAA records, in 1955. It owned by Gulf & Caribbean Cargo, Inc. of Waterford, Mich. I don’t know exactly what airline flew this plane originally, but it was likely a well known one.
According to its website, Hawaiian Airlines bought the CONVAIR 340 in 1952, paying $520,000 per plane. The aircraft had 44 seats and was equipped air conditioning. It was also the first pressurized plane in the Hawaiian fleet.
Delta had its first scheduled 340 service in March 1953 and retired the fleet in 1970, when jet aircraft made the obsolete. Here’s the first page of a brochure put online by the Delta Museum.
United Airlines retired its 340s in 1968. In November, Air Transport World posted a piece of a United press release highlighting the retirement. Here’s what it said:
“United’s Convair fleet, workhorse of the pre-jet era, has carried 16 million passengers about 171 million miles since entering service in 1952.”