Airlinercafe Home Page

Stop being a lurker - join our community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation!
 

      Author Message

      JEE3


      Upper Deck Member

       Online status  

       
      Add As Buddy
      Posts: 1099
      Location: Stratford, CT.
      Occupation: Police Officer (retired)
      Age: 65

      Post #35469, posted on 01-03-2011 GMT-5 hours    
      There was a time in the "old days" when airline manufacturers built a number of unsold airframes as 'speculation-builds', usually at the end of production. As the cost of airliners increased, these 'speculation-builds' pretty much ended in the late 1950's. For a new German IT carrier, Condor Luftreederei, they were able to start operations with (2) "speculation-build" 440-0's in 1958.
      For Consolidated-Vultee (Convair after 1954) the production of their highly successful 240/340 series was beginning to wind down in 1954. Having lost (2) potential large orders in 1952-53 with Trans-Canada and Capital Airlines choosing the new turbo-prop Viscount, Convair faced a decision whether to shut down the line after the 340's for the U.S. military were delivered or continue with an improved 340. In the end, they decided to offer the improved 340B. Before actual production began, a new model 440 name was chosen and for the first time in the 240/340 series, the type was given a 2nd designation-"Metropolitan"(largely ignored by U.S. customers).
      The new "Metropolitan" offered quieter cabins, due to additional acoustical blankets in the wall and ceilings and the single rectangular exhaust outlets. Most 440's were delivered with radar and a 52-seat optional interior was offered by removing the carry-on luggage area. Despite the 'stretching' of the "Metropolitan" in the advertisements (50's automobile ads were famous for this), the 440 length remained the same as the 340. It was a tribute to dependability of the previous models that Convair was able to sell 199 "Metropolitans", including to several first time customers, one of which was Condor Luftreederei.
      By 1953, post-WW2 sanctions were beginning to be eased concerning the ban on German owned/operated airlines. When the ban was lifted in 1955, (5) major new carriers were created, along with more than (13) 'Taxi-service' companies. Among the (5) 'non-sked's' were Aerotour, Transavia, Lufttransport Unternehmen (LTU), Deutsche Flugdienst & Condor Luftreederei, which was formed in 1957 by Dr. Rudolf Oetker for planned combined air-sea tours (the Condor-group owned various shipping lines). The new airline would start out with (2) brand new 440-0's, which were delivered in July 1958 as D-ABAB & -ADIL (being built in the Fall of '57). The new German IT airline would be rather short-lived and the Red and Black 440's would be quickly forgotten (unable to find any in service photos!)
      For it's founder Dr. Oetker, he would end up being best remembered by Germans for his popular brand of baking soda and his invention of custard powder!
      Another one of the (5) German IT start-ups was Deutsche Flugdienst, formed in 1955 by (2) shipping lines, German State Railways and another new German airline called Deutsche Lufthansa AG, with 26%. The new airline began with (4) 36-seat ex-BEA Vikers Vikings ([1] was leased to Lufthansa).
      Flugdienst's tour operations began on March 29, 1956 on a pilgrimage flight to the "Holy Land". In 1957 (5) ex-KLM 240's joined the fleet, as tours destinations to Majorca and the Canary Islands were added.

      In 1959, Lufthansa increased it's ownership to 95.5% and in late 1961 Condor Luftreederei disappeared forever when Flugdienst purchased Dr. Oetker's airline. The 'Condor' title was kept, bringing back the beloved name of the pre-WW2 Lufthansa subsidiary "Sindicato Condor Ltda" (1927). The new Condor Flugdienst did keep it's soon to become famous Bird-logo.
      Flugdienst's fleet would get a total make-over as (4) Lufthansa Viscount 814's became the sole A/C type, while the (5) 240 were sold off and the (2) Luftreederei 440-0's would join the parent company.
      The now mostly-forgotten 1st Condor Flugdienst color scheme would only appear on the Viscounts, sadly (IMO) never appearing on the 727-100's that would be arriving in a few more years.
      For parent company Lufthansa, their Convair-fleet had a little more complicated beginning.
      In 1953, a provisional holding company 'Luftag' was created, with the backing of the German government, among other private investors. 'Luftag' placed an order for (4) Super G Constellations and (4) Convair 340's. The 1st Lufthansa 340 was nearing completion in early 1954 and took to the skies as N8424H in January 1954.
      Unfortunately, there was a last-minute delay in the lifting of the WW2 Treaty and the (4) 340's were canceled (all sold to other operators). A few months later the order was reinstated and assembly began again.
      When the new 1st 340 was ready for delivery, there had been a change to the tail-logo, with the German flag now replacing the 'Bird'. The first (2) 340's D-ACAD & -ACEF arrived in Hamburg on November 29th. As they would later do in 1967 with the early 737's (upcoming "LS"), Lufthansa decided to re-paint the (4) 340's prior to making their inaugural HAM-DUS-FRA-MUC v.v. flight on April 1, 1955.
      Lufthansa's (4) ordered 440 "Metropolitans" arrived in 1957 and would be the last to wear the original color scheme.
      Interestingly, Lufthansa's (4) 440's were some of the few non-radar equipped deliveries.
      With the delivery of the Viscount 814's in 1958, the new so-called 'parabola" scheme was introduced to the fleet.
      Lufthansa become one of the many customers to purchase kits form Convair to upgrade 340's to 440 standards and eventually all Lufthansa Convairs wore the Red "Metropolitan" titles, although legally the upgraded 340's remained CV-340's.
      In 1962, the "parabola" on the nose and the Yellow-stripe in the widow was removed and the short-lived thin White-stripe beneath the window line would soon disappear.
      (can't have a Lufthansa story W/O a Volkswagen!)
      The best looking (IMO) Convair in the fleet were the (2) Luftreederei 440-0's, the only ones with the long-radar nose!.
      In 1964, the registration was moved from the tail to the window-stripe, changing fron Black to White and the new style "Lufthansa" titles were added in'66.
      The Convairs began to be replaced by the new 737-100's in 1968. Lufthansa's Convair fleet would total (11); (4) 340's (converted to 440 standard), (5) 440's plus the (2) radar-equipped Condor Luftreederei 440-0's. (which is where this story started!).........John3 Special Thanks to Sven "the PRIDEbird" for his Lufthansa help. (Thanks to Airliners.net, Condor.com, August-euler-museum.de, proboards.com, vintagebrowser.com, flightsim.com, save-a-viking.com & SDASM Pbase website. Photographers: Martin Pettit, R.A. Scholefield, Gunter Grondstein & Nils Rosengard.

      Author Message

      Sparky


      Members

       Online status  

       
      Add As Buddy
      Posts: 643
      Location:
      Occupation:
      Age: 70

      Post #35470, posted on 01-03-2011 GMT-5 hours    
      I thin that the last of these white tails went to Mohawk,including the last Convair built airframe.
      Sparky

      Author Message

      JEE3


      Upper Deck Member

       Online status  

       
      Add As Buddy
      Posts: 1099
      Location: Stratford, CT.
      Occupation: Police Officer (retired)
      Age: 65

      Post #35472, posted on 01-03-2011 GMT-5 hours    
      Yes, the last (4) 440-0's sat for almost (2) years until bought by Mohawk in late '59. I read that Fairchild built the last (2) F-27's as "speculation-builds" in 1967. That might have been the last time it was done?




      John3