View Full Version : Anyone flown a Coronado?

14th Sep 2003, 03:07
Is there anyone out there who flew a Convair 990 Coronado in the 60s or 70s? I'm dying to ask someone some questions about it.

ATC Watcher
14th Sep 2003, 14:41
Ah the CV990 and SPANTAX ! I:E
not hand flown it , but a lot of jump seat hours on it , shoot the questions maybe I can answer.

15th Sep 2003, 14:08
Sorry, just flown it as a passenger. Was too young in the days this beauty was still alive. But never forgot the experience.

By the way, does anyone know a link to informations about the wheels up landing of a Spantax 990 in CGN ? Must been after June 77, but not much after. I have not found anything in any database, and no pictures. I know I have an old newspaper with nice pictures somewhere, but my drawers at home have no Google installed ;)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
15th Sep 2003, 18:10
I remember these lovely beasts flying in and out of Manchester for Spantax in the 60s and 70s. Quite noisy IIRC.

Weren't they the fastest sub-sonic airliner ever built?


15th Sep 2003, 20:07
It was either the Coronado or the Trident...

Flew in a Swissair example from Zurich to LHR in 1972... was only 8, thought the name on the tail was "Concorde"!

What I remember best about the Spantax aircraft was the phenomenal amount of smoke that hung over Gatwick after they departed - I'm sure subsequent arrivals/departures must have been IFR! :ok:

16th Sep 2003, 05:29
Flew a Swissair one from GVA to LHR in '67 or '68, either my first or third airliner flight.
Not many memories, except I still see the image of those sonic "cones" on the wings (must have been sitting behind the wing). Quite noisy too !

Sultan Ismail
16th Sep 2003, 11:24
Bre 901 Coronado LHR - GVA

Took those same flights, was it really so long ago...

16th Sep 2003, 12:28
Delta used to park the baby brother Convair 880 next to us in O'Hare. Now that was one smoky aircraft in flight. The thing that impressed me about the 990 as a passenger was how smooth everything seemed. I was told that the flight controls were primarily spoilers but I may be wrong on that.

16th Sep 2003, 15:39
Spantax from Gatwick to Palma 1968 , aged 8 not much to recall other than it seemed a longer flight in a BAC111 the following year! , I concur with Bre901 on the interesting view of area ruling behind the wings


16th Sep 2003, 17:52
My first flight in a jet was in an Air France Coronado. The only thing I remember was the cockpit door flying open during the T/O.

Every Monday morning crowds used to gather at EGHH to witness the weekly arrival of the Spantax Coronado. They would look eagerly downwind to see a small black cloud appear in the sky. As the cloud grew in size a black speck took shape which grew into the Coronado - the sense of excitement became intense as people placed their bets on how many tires would burst this time.

(Often the black cloud would suddenly get much bigger and more intense as the daring crew realised it was too high and started a go around).

Usually it proceeded to the touch down when the black engine smoke was instantly replaced by clouds of grey tire smoke and, too often, the thud of at least one tire going.

After the turn around (and tire changes) the Coronado would taxi straight from the apron onto the threshold of the nearest, shorter runway 35 (now gone :{) and, with more black smoke, just blast off into the sky.

16th Sep 2003, 20:05
An Air France Coronado Pulse? Do you mean Caravelle perchance?

16th Sep 2003, 21:52

Unless there was a Caravelle with four pylon mounted engines, I'm pretty sure it was a Coronado. I think that AF bought a few from a Far East airline - can't remember which one though. p1

Edited to say that AF leased two Convair 990's from the USA in the late 60's

16th Sep 2003, 23:06
Ahhhh... didn't think they'd ever operated any. Couldn't find a pic on Airliners.



vintage ATCO
17th Sep 2003, 04:43
I remember radar vectoring Spantax Coronados for the ILS. 180kts down the approach I seem to remember, they would gobble up anything in front of them! :D

It always sounded as if there were 20 people on the flight deck of the Spantax ones :D:D:D


17th Sep 2003, 05:55
I seem to remember that Convair was in the Guiness Book of Records for quite some time as having had the greatest corporate financial loss as a result of the 880 & 990 program.

17th Sep 2003, 06:31
Convair was Jacky Cochrane's other half wasn't it? Would, er, one or two other US coprorations have taken over the biggest loss reins by now?

Shame, Convair (and forebears) built some brilliant aircraft: B-58, F-102 and F-106, the entire CV airliner range, Liberator, Catalina...

Golf Charlie Charlie
17th Sep 2003, 09:14
Am I right that the Convair 990 never really fulfilled its design of being the fastest ever airliner ? I seem to recall huge drag problems, which resulted in those rather ugly trailing edge fairings. I think the Convair 990 was really rather a rush-job and was hastily designed.

I think the Convair 880 was more of a class act, however, and an immensely strong aircraft structurally, so I have understood.

Both the 880 and 990 were 5-abreast.

As well as Swissair and Spantax, another 990 operator to these shores was Modern Air Transport, a US non-scheduled carrier (a 'US supplemental', as we used to call them in those days), who had a few ex-American ships.

18th Sep 2003, 00:49
The main influence on the design of the Coronado was Howard Hughes who specified it for TWA. As they were behind the 707 and DC8, Convair had to go with the eccentric requirements of HH.

The Purchasing President of Convair was sacked for pointing out that the cost of the materials was higher than the selling price agreed with TWA.

Ref: "The world's Worst Aeroplanes"