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Convair 880

By Patrick Mondout

The Convair 880 and 990 Coronado series were General Dynamics (parent company of Convair) entries into the crowded market for the first generation of jets. They had some advanced features but were late to market (which cost GD dearly) and ultimately could not compete with the 707 and DC-8.

As the stories of the two Convairs are intertwined and we'd rather no repeat ourselves, please read more about the history of both aircraft here.


Originally delivered to the FAA in August 1961, this unique UC-880 (military designation for the CV-880) eventually found work with the Navy as an in-flight tanker for F/A-18A Hornet aircraft. It was destroyed in a cargo hold explosion test at its home in Patuxent River, MD in 1995.

DOD image by Don Montgomery

(A picture of the first Convair 880 can be found on our Convair page.)

Convair 880 at a Glance
Engines4 GE CJ-805-3A
Cruising Speed610
Length129ft 4in
Height36ft .3in
Final Production1962
Mesurements refer to the original unmodified 880s TWA originally received.


Share Your Memories!

What do you remember about the Convair 880? Were you a member of the flight crew on one? Have you any interesting stories to share? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"I`m the owner of one Convair 880M and this aircraft is now still on the maintanence plan and has a current registration - we used it for cargo. And we have also a CV-990 Executive with business interior and this is still also on the maintainance plan."

--Raimund Hohlfeuer

"The Convair 880 was the most comfortable of the early jets. I've got a bunch of seats from the old TWA ships in my home, still in the Super70s colored-seat covers with working inflatable lumbar support. Groovy!"

--Convairs 4 ever

" I have a prototype model of the CV-880. It was displayed in an airport on a stand in the late 50's and early 60's. It is cast metal and measures approx. 5 ft. long by just under 5 ft. wide. The side has a cutout in the passenger section on one side. There are people seated and an attendant standing in isle. Where first class is supposed to be there is a lounge with sofas and coffee table. Looking through the cockpit windows you see the three personel inside. The markings on the outside have CV-880 and TWA. I do not have the stand but do have the transformer that lit up the wing tip lights (no bulbs). I have been trying to find out how many of these Convair made for display in airports. If anyone has any info please email me at carrstrunk at qwest. net. Thank you Tim"


"Check out the movie Bus Riley's Back in Town - there's an airport scene with a great shot of the ill-fated N820TW. The movie came out in '65 so it must have been shot just before the accident happened."




This CV-880 is used in Tomahawk cruiser missile testing and refueling aircraft.

DOD photo by Vernon Pugh

Model: 880

Manufacturer: Convair

Country: US

First Flight: January 27, 1959

First Passenger Flight: May 15, 1960

Launch CustomerTWA

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