Memories of flying the Convair 880 825670622 173 My really initial flight on a jet plane got on my journey to Kansas City, Missouri, for a task meeting with TWA in 1963. There was a pass waiting on me at the Chicago TWA ticket counter, and also the aircraft was a Convair 880. They place me in excellent– I really did not understand there was any kind of various other, at the time. The person hosting’s name was Mary. (TWA never ever utilized the term “stewardess;” we really did not also make use of “steward” up until we began employing men in the late ’60s.) When Mary asked if I looked after a treat, all I might think about was my papa advising me never ever to consume anything on a train as though unbelievably costly. I figured an aircraft would certainly be also worse, so I nicely declined.When Mary completed her excellent solution, she once again asked me if I made sure I would certainly not such as a treat. “It’s totally free, “she claimed. Oh, well, I enabled that possibly I would certainly. It was tasty and also can have certified as a lunch, the method airline company food utilized to be. The Convair 880 was the fastest of the first-generation jet airplanes. I believed the trip was terrific. Never ever, in my wildest desires can I have actually thought of, that I would certainly be flying one of these in an issue of months! My initial work with TWA was as a Chicago-based”jet 2nd policeman.” The 2nd policeman placement was produced since the Airline Pilots Assn.( ALPA ), the TWA pilot’s union, required that the brand-new jets be staffed with 3 pilots. The majority of the elderly jet trip designers(primarily technicians) that had actually proceeded to the Lockheed Constellation trip designer setting were not pilot-qualified. People like me were provided the F/O ground college as well as copilot check-out, which instantly made us “the 3rd pilot!” We rode in the dive seat behind the captain, primarily being neglected. The silver lining of this was that I reached discover the procedure as well as our firm rather well– without being under the stress that I would certainly have been as a “genuine” 880 copilot. At the price TWA was broadening I was just a 2nd police officer for concerning 8 months. I after that mosted likely to Connie F/O training as well as flew it for a little much less than a year prior to I was back in training as a CV-880 F/O. My very first years with TWA were a rocket trip! The 880 got on the reducing side of modern technology for the time. It was the initial to make use of chemical bonding of steels instead of mechanical bolts. See the 2 manufacturing movies, one from 1958, the various other 1959, for a comprehensive description. 2nd police officers weren’t enabled to fly. In my time as a an S/O I flew one, matter ’em, one brief leg by a good captain that cautioned me to, “Go very easy; it’s held with each other just with adhesive.” I after that flew the Convair 880 as an F/O from the summertime of 1965 to the summertime of 1967 and also as captain from 1969 with 1973. Due to the fact that it was such a desire to hand fly, regarding every person that flew the 880 dropped in love with it. It did have an excellent auto-pilot and also twin trip supervisors, and also I assume it was our initial airplane to get authorization for CAT II methods. In my point of view it was the most beautiful of the 4 engine jets. The 880 was not without a couple of imperfections. It made use of really high airspeeds on departure and also touchdown as it had no wing leading side high lift gadgets. It was a handful after shedding an outboard engine at V1, and also there was greater than one training trip that wound up “in the mud.” The majority of trip training and also examining at that time was performed in the aircraft till the development of the broad body jets and also the later generation of extra innovative simulators with reasonable aesthetic as well as movement. We did the majority of our trip training at Kansas City’s MCI, where our overhaul base lay. Airline company procedures were still at MKC, which today is Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport, a bizjet beehive virtually within strolling range of midtown KC. All airline company procedures are currently flown out of Mid-Continent International. (MCI). The 880 did not have windscreen wipers; it had what Convair called “rainfall clear,” which was warm engine compressor hemorrhage air blasting them. When you shut the throttles on touchdown it kind of pooped out when the engines rotated down, it functioned well however was extremely loud and also. In a hefty rainfall you needed to get involved in reverse swiftly to rotate them up and also obtain even more air. The 880 was the only aircraft I ever before flew that had nose wheel brakes. A number of problems needed to be fulfilled for them to run: the nose strut needed to be pressed, the wheels focused, and also both brake pedals needed to be dispirited with each other. If it was defective, there were weight decrease fines. You might additionally go down the major equipment just to make use of as rate brakes in an emergency situation descent. This can be reconstructed to 375 kts or Mach.88. The wing anti-icing was a warm cutting edge heated up with engine compressor hemorrhage air and also functioned incredibly. If I bear in mind appropriately, the tail leading sides were heated up electrically. Like the majority of” straight pipeline”jets, the 880 did leave a path of smoke. Like the majority of brushed up wing planes, it often tended to enter Dutch roll so the yaw damper(the tail network of the auto-pilot )was constantly involved after launch as well as disengaged on goal. It was loud as well as great smoky yet so were the very first 707s as well as DC-8s with their non-fan “straight pipeline” engines. The later high bypass proportion engines were a lot more effective, much quieter, as well as really did not smoke a lot on departure. In the very early days several of us called her “ole smoky” and also to fly it was to be “On Top of Old Smoky,” which was a pop music around that time. And also often we called it a Corvair, or when speaking with a 7 oh 7 pilot, one may state, “Oh, I’m flying the 8 oh 8! The 880 was the fastest of the first-generation jet airplanes. We can travel it at Mach.85 and also the Mmo was.88. Some assumed that is where Convair developed the number 880. Due to the fact that the guest cabin had 88 seats and also 88 home windows, others believed it was. Your assumption is just as good as mine … But the best point that ever before took place to me on the 880 got on an evening trip from ORD to SFO, when the most beautiful little person hosting I would certainly ever before seen entered into the cabin with coffees. Our stopover remained in San Francisco. Sharon as well as I had actually never ever become aware of Don Ho, so I asked her to see as well as go what he was everything about. We saw him in a lounge program. We liked him, however not as high as each various other. We’ve currently been wed for 55 years as well as had 3 young boys. 2 came to be professional pilots as well as one is our Fire/Rescue Department Chief. To offset a boy-only household, we currently have 6 granddaughters. Sharon is the only point I ever before swiped from TWA. Jeff was birthed as well as elevated in Madison, Wisconsin. He was “nuts regarding aircrafts”prior to he ended up elementary school-as well as never ever overcame it! He was much more thinking about flying than education and also took place to obtain his scores and also develop time trip advising. He was incredibly privileged to have actually” gone through the best door on the appropriate day”as well as obtain worked with as a pilot by TWA in 1964 at age 22 and also 700 humans resources. overall time. Jeff flew the Connie, DC-9, CV-880, B-747, l-1011 and also b-707 retiring in 1997. Latest messages by Jeff Hill (see all)

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