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Michael H., Vernon, AZ
The Convair 240 was built as a replacement for the venerable DC-3 after WWII. Although it was larger, faster and could carry a larger payload, it would not outlast the DC-3. Its lifespan from 1950 to 1985 would be eclipsed by the legend which began in 1933 and still flies today.
Convair began marketing the tricycle-gear Model 240 in 1948 as a modern alternative to the DC-3. The Convair 240 had many advantages, including a pressurized cabin, impressive performance, and reversible paddle-bladed propellers. A commercial success in the U. S., it became a popular transport with airlines around the world.
In 1949 the U. S. Air Force approached Convair to produce a training version of the Model 240, which was designated the T-29. More than 300 aircraft were put to use instructing student navigators and radar operators. Pleased with the aircraft, in 1954 the Air Force ordered 112 additional aircraft as cargo transports, designating them C-131 Samaritans. The C-131 could be configured to carry 44 passengers, 27 stretchers, or 12,000 pounds of cargo.
The Air Force found many additional uses for the C-131 and continued to upgrade its engines and avionics until 1985 when it was finally removed from service. Planes of Fame Air Museum's Convair 240 is adorned with Western Airline markings in recognition of the financial support for the restoration provided by the airline's retiree organization. Western Airlines was one of two airlines to receive initial deliveries in 1948.
|Status: Static Display||Length: 74 ft. 8 in.|
|Manufacturer: Convair||Height: 26 ft. 11 in.|
|Year: 1950||Maximum Speed: 315 mph|
|Model: Convair 240||Cruise Speed: 280 mph|
|Serial Number: 47||Power Plant: 2-2,400hp Pratt & Whitney R2800-CA3 Double
Wasp 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engines
|Crew: 2||Range: 1,200 miles|
|Max T/O Weight: 42,500 lb.||Service Ceiling: 16,000 ft.|
|Span: 91 ft. 9 in.||Armament: none|