Consolidated/Convair/General Dynamics
Photo Page


The Larry Westin Consolidated photo page features the Consolidated PB2Y Coronado flying boat and the B-36 Peacemaker bomber. Also included are other Consolidated, Convair and General Dynamics aircraft; including the B-24 Liberator, C-87 Liberator Express (cargo verson of B-24), Model 39 Liberator Liner, L-5 Sentinel, L-13, B-32 Dominator, XB46, B58 Hustler, PBY Catalina, T-29 Flying Classroom, YB-60 Jet Peacemaker, XC-99 Cargo version of the B-36, the WB-57F, the General Dynamics modified Martin B-57 Canbera, the BT-13 "Vibrator" and the Convair 240, 340 and 440 airliners.

Last Updated 11/22/16.

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Long range propeller driven aircraft are a personal favorite. Flying boats of the late 1930's really began practical long range flying. Four engine flying boats such as the Short Sunderland, and "C" and "G" class flying boats; as well as the American Martin M-130 "China Clipper" and Boeing 314 are very famous. The Consolidated PB2Y Coronado featured here, although possibly the least known American 4 engine flying boat, was also the most produced American 4 engine flying boat with 217 examples built.

United A/L Convair 340, N73102, forced Landing after both engines stopped inflight over Saugus (now Santa Clarita), California on 12/30/1964

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Consolidated PBY Catalina & Amphbian
Consolidated PB2Y Coronado
Consolidated Vultee P-66 Vanguard
Consolidated Vultee A-35 Vengeance
Consolidated BT-13 Valiant
Consolidated B-24 Liberator
Consolidated C-87 & RY3 Liberator Express
Consolidated Model 39 Liberator-Liner
Consolidated B-32 Dominator
Stinson (Consolidated Vultee) L-5 Sentiel
Stinson (Consolidated Vultee) model 108
Convair L-13
Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Convair YB-60 Jet Peacemaker
Convair XC-99 Peacemaker Transport
Convair (Consolidated Vultee) XB-46
Convair XF2Y YF2Y Seadart
Convair XP81
Convair 240 - 340 - T-29 - C-131 - R4Y - Military
Convair 240 - 340 - 440 - Civilian
United A/L Forced Landing
To Be Added Later
Convair 58 Hustler
General Dynamics WB-57F
To Be Added Later
Convair 880
Convair 990



Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat

Very nice inflight view of the first Consolidated XPBY-1. Black and White photo about 139K in size, added 09/17/08.

Inflight view of a PBY-5 Catalina. This is the flying boat version (not the amphibian -5A). Little in the way of markings exist. About 74K, originally, added 01/29/99.

Interior view showing a Consolidated PBY Instrument Panel. Color, about 180k in size. Added 11/18/05.

Very nice inflight view of a PBY Catalina, I can't tell from this image if it is a PBY-5 Seaplane, or a PBY-5A Amphibian. Check the top of the engine nacelles as this airplane has shrouds around the exhausts which are used to direct hot exhaust gas out to deice the wing. B&W, about 275K, added 01/23/16.

Inflight view of a PBY-5A Catalina. This is the amphibian -5A. Note all the antennas for the early radar. About 69K, added 11/23/07.

Nice inflight view of RCAF PBY-5A Catalina Amphibian. RCAF serial number 9771 just barely on the water. This particular airplane operated in British Columbia during WWII. B&W, about 275K, added 01/23/16.

Ground view of a PBY-5A Catalina Amphibian showing the extended landing gear of the amphibian. This airplane also has shrouds around the exhausts which are used to direct hot exhaust gas out to deice the wing. B&W, about 126K, added 01/23/16.


Consolidated PB2Y Coronado four engine flying boat

Consolidated PB2Y-2 Ifnlight. This was the first production airplane, bureau number 1633, delivered to the Navy December 31, 1940. Non camoflauged. B&W, about 191K, added 02/06/10.

Consolidated PB2Y-2 Ifnlight from the rear. This airplane was modified after leaving the factory to have the upper waist gun position faired over. B&W, about 200K, added 08/22/12.

Consolidated PB2Y-3 Ifnlight. Believe this view is with the Coronado above San Diego. Note the pilot's side window is open. B&W, about 107K, added 01/01/01.

Consolidated PB2Y-3 Taxiing on the water. Nose has the words "Contract Operation." Photo taken Dec. 1944, official U.S. Navy Photograph. Serial Number 7078. About 98K, added 03/19/97.

Consolidated PB2Y-4 Taking off from the water. Black and White photo about 115K in size, JPG format, added 01/03/97.

Consolidated PB2Y-5 Inflight. Inflight view of Consolidated PB2Y-5 Coronado, bureau number 7179. The shot was taken over a lake. About 90k in size, JPG format. Added 01/03/97.

Consolidated PB2Y-5H JATO Take Off just lifting off the water. This ambulance version has the latest type radome. About 87K, added 03/21/97.

Consolidated Vultee P-66 Vanguard

Inflight view of a Consolidated Vultee P-66 Vanguard. Sweden originally ordered 144 P-66 aircraft. When Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941 the aircraft were embargoed with 129 eventually going to China, with the USAAF keeping 15 for training. Engine was the Pratt and Whitney R-1830. B&W, about 199K, added 01/22/16.

Consolidated Vultee A-35B Vengeance

Inflight view of Consolidated Vultee A-35B-10-VN Vengeance RAF serial number AN562 (crudely censored on the photograph, but visible). This was the 244th Vengeance built by Consolidated Vultee at Downey, California. Airplane was transferred to the RAAF as A27-253. It was struck off charge on February 8, 1949. B&W, about 213K, added 01/22/16.

BT-13 Valiant (commonly called the "Vibrator")

Nice inflight view of a BT-13 "Vibrator". This photo is of sn 40-1190, The 300th BT-13 built, last of the first batch. B&W, about 104K, added 07/20/08.

Beautiful inflight view of a BT-13A "Vibrator". Although officially named the "Valiant" it was more commonly called the "Vibrator." This photo is of sn 41-22172. Lettering near front cockpit says the aircraft is from Minter Field. B&W, about 49K. added 09/14/97.

Inflight view of a BT-13A "Vibrator". This photo is of sn 41-9649. B&W, about 112K, added 02/06/10.

B-24 Liberator

A nice color inflight view of B-24A Liberator. This is serial number 40-2369, the first production B-24. Large American flags painted on the nose and on the top of the fuselage. Color, about 264K, added 11/29/98.

Nice inflight view of B-24D-5-CO Liberator. This is USAAF serial number 41-23788. B&W, about 334K, added 01/29/16.

A very nice inflight view of B-24M-45-CO Liberator. This is USAAF serial number 44-42691, Consolidated San Diego c/n 6627, one of the last B-24's built. Later it was converted to F-7B standard. This was one of the last B-24's manufactured. B&W, about 412K, added 01/22/16.


C-87 & RY3 Liberator Express

Ground view of the C-87 Liberator Express, the cargo version of the B-24 Liberator bomber. About 66K, added 06/09/99.

Ground view of the C-87 Liberator Express, this view shows left rear side of the C-87. Added 10/26/08 about 125K.

Very nice inflight view of C-87 Liberator Express, serial number 44-52987, the last C-87 built. About 158K, added 09/17/08.

Nice inflight side view of RY-3 Privateer the Navy version of the Liberator Express, bureau number 90021. This airplane was transferred to the RAF as Liberator C.IX JT973. Note the RY-3 has a single vertical stabilizer and rudder similar to very late B-24's. B&W, about 193K, added 06/01/15.

Consolidated Model 39 Liberator-Liner

An inflight side view of the first Consolidated Model 39 Liberator-Liner. This is Navy Bureau number 09803. About 109K, added 10/17/07.

An inflight view of Consolidated Model 39 Liberator-Liner. Toward the end of World War II Consolidated used the wings of a B-24, the tail of a PB4Y-2 Privateer, and built an entirely new fuselage to create this special built freighter. Consolidated built just two of these aircraft. That shown is NX30039 in the livery of American Airlines who flew this airplane for about 3 months. Shortly afterward this aircraft, as well as the second example registered NX3939, were scrapped as no interest was shown by the airlines, particularly since many surplus transports were becoming available at very low cost. This aircraft is also identified as the Convair model 104. About 119K, added 07/10/04.

Nice inflight side view of Consolidated Model 39 Liberator-Liner as flown by American Airlines. Registration is NX30039. Believe American Airlines flew this airplane as a freighter only for about 3 months in 1946. Airplane has a 6 foot by 6 foot cargo door. B&W, about 304K, added 10/03/15.

Ground view of the Consolidated Model 39 Liberator-Liner. Two model 39 Liberator-Liner's were built, this image has a different paint scheme than I've seen before. About 79K, added 05/29/05.

Consolidated B-32 Dominator

B32 with early short B29 type vertical stabilizer and rudder. One of only two B32's to use this tail configuration. Via Mark Natola. About 22K, added 04/01/98.

XB-32 with later style Single Fin and rudder. Inflight view of serial 41-18336. This is the third B-32 airplane built. About 40K.

Inflight side view of B32-1-CF 42-108471. This is the first production bomber and shown with turrets. Via Mark Natola. About 32K, added 04/01/98.

Larger scale view of B-32-1-CF serial number 42-108471. This airplane is the fourth built, in combat configuration. B&W, about 70K, added 01/01/10.

B-32-1-CF 42-108472. This is the second production B-32 built. Note the single rudder trim tab of the -1-CF aircraft. This aircraft had the nose gear collaspe on its delivery flight to the USAAF. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair in the landing accident. B&W, about 63K, added 04/01/98.

TB-32 Serial Number 42-108522. The TB-32's lacked the gun turrets of the bombardment aircraft. Except for the missing turrets this photo is representative of the few combat aircraft built. A very nice inflight view, B&W, about 28K, added 08/12/04.

A very nice inflight view of TB-32 serial number 42-108522 of the same aircraft above. B&W, about 127K, added 01/22/16.

Ground view of B-32 Dominator Serial Number 42-108537. The full designation of this airplane is B-32-20-CF. It appears this image was taken at Kingman, Arizona where many WWII aircraft were scrapped. B&W, about 126K, added 09/28/15.

Very nice inflight view of B-32 Dominator Serial Number 42-108547. The full designation of this airplane is B-32-25-CF. Of the total of 118 B-32's manufactured, 3 were prototypes, 40 were TB-32 trainers, and 75 were operational bombers. This particular bomber was assigned to the Army Air Forces Proving Ground Very Heavy Bomber Unit, Squadron "E" at Eglin Field, Florida. Used to develop operational use of the B-32, this particular aircraft is equipped with full armament, however it never saw combat. A very nice inflight view, B&W, about 135K. Added 05/10/14.

Inflight view of a TB-32, unfortunately I cannot see the serial number on the photograph. About 31K, added 6/28/02.

Last of the B32's, believed to be the last B32. Eventually scrapped. Via Mark Natola, about 32K, added 04/01/98.

Stinson (Consolidated Vultee) L-5 Sentinel

Ground view of a Stinson L-5 Sentinel. There is no serial number visible, however examination of the print shows this airplane has full span leading edge slots on the wings. Only the prototype, civil registration NX27772, had full span slots. These long slots caused a big problem trying to recover from spins, and they were shortened to half span on this airplane, and all subsequent L-5 Sentinels. B&W, about 53K, Added 06/28/00.

Nice ground view of Stinson L-5 Sentinel 42-????2. B&W, about 108K, Added 07/20/08.

Very nice in flight view of Stinson L-5 Sentinel 42-14803. This is the fifth Stinson L-5 built. B&W, about 98K, Added 10/14/07.

Consolidated Stinson L-5E Sentinel Ground view of sn 44-17696. Shows doors open, wood prop. About 27K, added 9/30/97.

Stinson (Consolidated Vultee) Model 108 Voyager
and Flying Station Wagon

Several images of Stinson Airplanes. This link takes you to my Stinson photo page. Several Stinson's are available. Added 01/01/02, updated frequently.

Stinson (Consolidated Vultee) L-13

Ground view of the First Stinson XL-13 serial number 45-58708. The first two XL-13 aircraft were built at the Stinson Wayne, Michigan facility. Follow on production occurred at the Convair San Diego facility. B&W, about 102K, added 01/01/10.

Inflight view of the first production Stinson (Consolidated Vultee, later Convair) L-13A serial number 46-068. The L-13 was designed by Stinson at their Wayne, Michigan facility. Two prototypes were built and flown by Stinson at Wayne, MI. With the sale of the Stinson division to Piper in late 1948, Consolidated Vultee kept the rights to the L-13, and put it into production at the San Diego, California, Convair plant. Eventually 300 L-13's were built. B&W, about 51K, added 06/28/02.

Second inflight view of the First Stinson Production L-13A serial number 46-068. This view shows the right side of the airplane. B&W, about 94K, added 11/13/11.

Water take off view of Stinson L-13A serial number 47-290 on floats. B&W, about 159K, added 06/01/15.

Convair B-36 Peacemaker

View of an early B-36B Peacemaker at Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, Texas. This is the first production version of the B-36 before the jet engines were added. Two aircraft can be seen in this image. My thanks to homepage visitor Steve Moseley for sending me this image. About 59K, added 7/5/99.

A beautiful Convair RB-36D In-flight serial number 44-92057. This airplane was originally built as a B-36B-10-CF and was the first B-36 modified to have added jet power in early 1949. The view of this RB-36D is 1/2 front, right side, slightly above, over clouds, over Carswell AFB, Fort Worth. B&W, about 283K. Added 08/17/00.

Same Convair RB-36D serial number 44-92057, manufacture serial number 54. In-flight Convair RB-36D Peacemaker. The view is 1/2 front, right side, slightly above, over clouds. B&W, about 38K. Added 08/17/00.

A view of a RB-36D 49-2688, this time a side view from slightly above. B&W, about 50K, added 8/17/00.

Convair RB-36D. This is the same airplane, 49-2688, but from slightly below. USAF photo. B&W, about 26K, added 10/29/97.

Convair B-36D 44-92095, this airplane was originally built as a B-36B, and modified into a B-36D with the jet engines. A fine inflight view scanned to a higher resolution. B&W, about 201K, added 10/24/11.

Convair RB-36E. This airplane, serial number 44-92020, was built as a B-36A and later modified to the RB-36E configuration shown here. Photo by Warren M. Bodie via the Frederick G. Freeman collection. About 28K, added 10/29/97.

During the 1950's aeronautical engineering was making significant changes and trying new ideas. Here is a view of Convair GRB-36F serial number 49-2707. This airplane was originally built as a B-36F-1-CF Peacemaker. In 1951 it was modified to "FICON" configuration (FICON standing for "Fighter Conveyor"). As a FICON the GRB-36F could carry into the air, launch and recover a fighter. Also shown in this image is a YRF-84F, serial number 49-2430 about to be recovered to the GRB-36F. Ten production FICON aircraft were modified B-36D airplanes. Program lasted until 1953 when the USAF decided it wasn't as practical as hopped. Originally it was intended to use a McDonnell XF-85 as the fighter, however tests with a B-29 showed the XF-85 very difficult to link up with the B-29. After serving as the FICON prototype carrier, this B-36 was further modified to the "Tom-Tom" carrier configuration where a F-84 was to be pulled on each wingtip of the B-36. The Tom-Tom proved impractical. B&W, about 137K, added 01/25/16.

Inflight view of Convair NB-36H serial number 51-5712. This airplane was built as a B-36H-20-CF and was damaged in the tornado August 1, 1952. It was modified to NB-36H with an operating nuclear reactor. The nuclear reactor did not provide any propulsion to the airplane, rather it was tested to measure radiation on the crew. B&W, about 137K, added 01/25/16.

An Aerial view of the Convair plant during B36 production. Taken during the height of B-36 production, also shown are both YB-60 aircraft, one at the middle right, the other almost in the center between hangars. My thanks to Patrick Gallagher, a long time General Dynamics, now Lockheed-Martin, employee for this image. B&W, about 197K, added 11/03/06.

Convair YB-60 Jet Peacemaker

Close up of the YB-60 Nose. This photo shows the unusual weights added to the nose gear when fuel tanks were enpty. My thanks to Don Pyeatt and Prentiss Hutcheson for providing the print. About 40K, added 09/7/97.

Consolidated YB-60. Seen at Fort Worth, believed to be the first airplane 49-2676. My thanks to Don Pyeatt for sending me the photograph. About 35K, added 08/18/97.

Consolidated YB-60 Inflight. 49-2676 on its first publicly released flight view (could not tell from the press release if this was the first flight). My thanks to Don Pyeatt and Prentiss Hutcheson for providing the print. About 46K, added 09/14/97.

Convair YB-60 Inflight side view. Two YB-60's were built, this airplane, USAF serial number 49-2676, was the only airplane flown. About 102K, added 06/21/12.

Consoldiated YB-60 from Above clearly showing the wing plan of airplane number 1, 49-2676. My thanks to Don Pyeatt and Prentiss Hutcheson for providing the print. About 61K, added 09/14/97.

Convair XC-99 Cargo version of the B-36
Some of the photo's of the XC-99 were
taken August 1997 by David Talley

Color ground view of the Consolidated XC-99. Color images during the 1940's are unusual. Here is a very nice color side view of the XC-99, probably at the time of its first flight. Note the large number of people watching, most likely at San Diego, California. My thanks to Bob Trennert for sending this image. About 74K, added 11/04/06.

Consolidated XC-99. A very nice right side view in flight. This is the only XC-99 built, a derivative of the B-36. Serial number is 43-52436. This is a factory photo taken early in the career of the XC-99, about 1949, as it does not have radar nose installed later in its life. Fairly high resolution, very nice inflight view, about 115K, added 3/27/04.

NOVEMBER 2006 UPDATE - the USAF National Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB is in the process of restoring the XC-99. As you might imagine this is a massive undertaking. To accomplish this huge restoration the XC-99 is being dismantled and shipped to Ohio. April Hight took this November 2006 image of the XC-99 Well into the Dismantling stage, and I thank her for sending it to me. About 154K, added 11/01/06.

Consolidated XC-99. A 1/2 Right Rear overview. This is the only XC-99 built, a derivative of the B-36. Serial number is 43-52436. My Thanks to David Talley for sending me the photograph, taken 8/97. About 52K, added 9/14/97.

Consolidated XC-99 seen from the rear. This XC-99 was a cargo derivative of the B-36. Only one XC-99 was built, 43-52436. My thanks to David Talley for sending me the photograph which was taken 8/97. About 37K, added 9/14/97.

XC-99, this is another 1/2 right rear view, closer than the view above. My thanks to David Talley for sending me the photograph, taken 8/97. About 41K, added 9/14/97.

XC-99 Propeller, this view shows a close up of one of the six pusher propellers used on the XC-99. My thanks to David Talley for sending this photograph, taken 8/97, about 38K, added 9/14/97.

XC-99 inflight. This view shows the XC-99 during its work days, before the radar was added to the nose. Quite a contrast to the deteriorated condition it is now. My thanks to Tim Barber, about 34K, added 4/1/98.

Convair XB-46

Inflight view of the Consolidated Vultee XB46 Bomber. This airplane is sn 45-59582. Appears to be over the Mojave Desert near El Mirage dry lake. About 86K, added 11/2/98.

A second inflight view of the Consolidated Vultee XB46 Bomber. This is the only XB46 built, sn 45-59582. About 39K, added 11/2/98.

Convair F2Y-1 Seadart

Convair model 2 XF2Y-1 Seadart shown on the water during takeoff. Convair built 3 Seadart aircraft that actually flew. I believe this is XF2Y-1 Bureau number 137634. The other XF2Y-1, Bureau number 137635 was canceled and not built. The other built and flown Seadarts were model YF2Y-1 with Bureau numbers 135762 and 135763. YF2Y-1 135762 broke up in the air and crashed. Normally the first aircraft of a type is an "X" and service test aircraft are "Y." In this case the X aircraft did fly first, what is unusal is the X aircraft have higher Bureau numbers than the Y aircraft. There are four F2Y-1 aircraft on display, two of these did not fly. B&W, about 144K, Added 09/28/15.

View of Convair model 2 XF2Y-1 Seadart further along on takeoff. This is Bureau number 137635, same aircraft as above. B&W, about 267K, Added 01/21/16.

View of Convair model 2 XF2Y-1 Seadart at takeoff just as it leaves the water. This is Bureau number 137635, same aircraft as above but off the water in the air. B&W, about 279K, Added 01/21/16.

Ground land view of Convair model 2 YF2Y-1 Seadart at North Island Naval Air Station. This is Bureau number 135765, which was completed but never flown. Today this airplane is at Lakeland, Florida. B&W, about 148K, Added 01/21/16.


Convair model 102 USAAF XP81

Toward the end of WWII Convair received a contract to build a fighter with both a propeller turbine engine, and a pure jet engine fighter. This is an inflight view of XP81 serial number 44-91000. Convair is on the vertical stabilizer, while Consolidated Vultee is on the nose. Air intakes for the jet engine are on the side of the airplane just behind the canopy. B&W, about 250K, Added 01/25/16.

An inflight view XP81 serial number 44-91000 from below. The XP-81 was the first U.S. propeller turbine engined airplane. B&W, about 200K, Added 01/25/16.

Ground view XP81 serial number 44-91000 from the back. This shows the jet engine exhaust. B&W, about 179K, Added 01/25/16.

Ground view XP81 serial number 44-91000 from the left side. B&W, about 196K, Added 01/25/16.


Military Convair 240's - 340's
T-29's - VT-29's - C-131 - R4Y-1

Convair T-29A Flying Classroom. Serial number 49-1936, inflight view shows clearly the 4 astrodomes and multitude of antennas. B&W, about 40K, added 9/21/98.

Convair T-29B Flying Classroom Serial number 51-5118, inflight view similar to the "A" model above. B&W, about 55K, added 12/27/98. UPDATE - Jason McMahon, a Convair pilot for Honeywell Flight Test suggested this airplane was now on the FAA register as N99380. Checking I found 51-5118 was construction number 249, and Convair c/n 249 is now shown as a model Convair 240, N99380 on the FAA register. It appears it retains the Pratt and Whitney R-2800 engines. Airplane information updated 05/26/14.

Ground side view of VT-29B USAF 51-5164, msn 240-295, taken at Edwards AFB about 1960. This airplane was manufactured as a T-29B and later converted to VT-29B. This airplane has an unique "thimble" nose of unknown purpose. The T-29 aircraft were delivered without weather radar which was addded at a later date. On USAF T-29 aircraft the radar antenna was installed under the fuselage. Later this airplane went to a civilian operator as N80150. B&W, about 195K, added 01/25/16.

Another ground 1/2 front view of VT-29B USAF 51-5164 at Edwards AFB about 1960. This is the same airplane as is in the image above. B&W, about 203K, added 01/25/16.

Ground 1/2 front view of VT-29B USAF 51-7916 at Edwards AFB about 1960. This airplane is msn 240-328 and has the standard T-29B/VT-29B nose with the weather radar antenna under the fuselage. Later this airplane was sold to a civilian operator as N147PA. B&W, about 212K, added 01/25/16.

Inflight view of Convair R4Y-1, Bureau number 141000, manufactures c/n 283, built in 1955. To the Davis-Monthan AFB "bone yard" as 1G004 Oct 25, 1979. Later sold and converted to a model Convair 640 with Rolls Royce Dart engines. Currently on the FAA register as N866TA. B&W, about 167K, added 09/28/15.

Civilian Convair 240's - 340's - 440's

Ground side view of Convair 240, registered to American Airlines, NC94219, a model 240-0, named Flagship Newark, this is construction number 33, delivered March 9, 1948. B&W, about 70K. Added 04/01/12.

Inflight view of the above photo, Convair 240 NC94219, an American Airlines model 240-0, named Flagship Newark, this is construction number 33, delivered March 9, 1948. B&W, about 102K. Added 09/28/13.

Inside cabin view of Convair 240. The interior is one of the Pan American Convair 240's with seating 2 on each side of the aisle with 10 rows, 40 passengers total. B&W, about 144K. Added 06/12/13.

United Air Lines Convair 340 c/n 2 FAA registration N73102
Force Landed during a regularly scheduled flight
after both engines stopped due to fuel starvation
December 30, 1964 at Saugus (now Santa Clarita), California
with 4 crew members & 43 passengers on board - no injuries

Inflight view of Convair 340, N73102, from below registered to United Airlines, a model 340-31, construction number 2. This was the first Convair 340 for United. B&W, about 130K. Added 07/20/08.

Second inflight view of Convair 340, N73102, from above registered to United Airlines, N73102, a model 340-31, c/n 2. This was the first Convair 340 for United. B&W, about 123K. Added 10/18/09.

This airplane, N73102, experienced a forced landing only a few miles from my home in Saugus, California on December 30, 1964. United scheduled this aircraft to fly a non stop flight from Freseno Air Terminal (FAT), to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), a distance of 209 statue miles, 181 nautical miles. While over the Santa Clarita Valley, the town of Saugus, both engines stopped. The United pilot did an excellent job of making a "dead stick" forced landing, gear up, in an onion field in Saugus, CA. This is an aerial view of Convair 340 N73102 immediately after the forced landing in a Saugus field showing the entire airplane in the field. Appears that some of the crew are still on site. Only 2 minor injuries occurred to the 43 passengers, and 4 crew. Image B&W, about 180K, Added 02/15/14.

United mechanics hoisted the airplane, lowered the landing gear, replaced the propellers and some other parts. Convair 340 N73102 being given basic repairs on site after a forced landing. A United Airlines pilot made the take off from the onion field, flew the airplane gear down to San Francisco for in depth mechanical examination of the ship. Images B&W., about 162K, Added 07/20/08.

Click here to view the NTSB data card the United A/L Convair N73102 forced landing at Saugus, CA. So far I have been unable to locate the full NTSB accident report for this event. PDF format, about 7K, added 01/25/16.

Crew of the United Convair 340 was Pilot William M. Wade, Co-Pilot Jerry J. Campbell, Stewardesses Carolyn Day and Irene Benz. Known passenger names are Al Baker, Joann Cox, Martin Matich and Evelyn Matich, Mr. & Mrs. Douglas McKay who were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. My thanks to Tiffany Howard for providing names, and for correcting my spelling errors. Names added 02/16/14, spelling updated 08/17/16.

Cause of both engines stopping (the engines didn't fail) was fuel starvation. Talking with a retired American Airlines pilot who knew United Captain Wade, he told me the crew encountered a fuel pump problem at Fresno. To overcome this the crew started the engine with the problem fuel pump using fuel cross feed from the working engine. Fuel cross feed allows an engine with a good fuel pump to send fuel to the opposite engine. Problem here, according to the American Airlines pilot, was the United crew failed to turn OFF the cross feed after the second engine stated. So both engines fed off the same fuel tank. With both engines feeding from one tank the engines quit about 35 miles north of their intended destinaion. Today that onion field no longer exists, houses now occupy the fields where onions once grew.

UPDATE - John Wade, son of United Captain William Wade, the pilot, provided corrections and additional information. My earlier versions incorrectly said Bakersfield was the origin of the flight, actually it was Fresno Air Terminal about 100 miles north of Bakersfield. Second, and very important, was at the time there was an error in the flight manual about crossfeed operation. "He was operating the x-feed system in line with how they were trained. Both training and maintenance erroneously thought that the Convair, like the DC-6, had a check valve that prevented transferring fuel from tank to tank. Even the flight manual at the time was wrong. Dad essentially got led into a trap." John Wade also believes the aircraft landed in a beet field, which may be correct, however I have left it onion field based on living there.

"Some more details on the landing, he was IFR, ATC initially misidentified him and he had the situational awareness not to panic and take the first heading they gave him. Good thing as he would have hit a mountain while still in the clouds. He popped out of the clouds in a valley, did a 180 to line up with the beet field and on short "final," had to fly under some power lines to make the partial flap, gear up landing. On a humorous note, after they deplaned an elderly woman asked Dad if this meant she would miss her connection in LAX!"

Bottom line is Captain Wade showed considerable airmanship in a fine off airport landing, especially so with only 2 minor injuries to passengers or crew. The passenger who asked if she would miss her connection at LAX gives a good indication that the passengers felt he did an excellent job. Local television interviewing other passengers give the same view from the passengers. Updated 01/08/12.

UPDATE - Jim Mosley, lived in the area and actually witnessed the forced landing. Mosley indicates there are some errors with my explanation. First the landing was made in a carrot field (Wemaster note - when I moved to the area a few years after the incident, both carrots and onions were major crops in the area), and second Mosley indicated the airplane didn't land under any electrical wires. Mosley's father was the manager of the Newhall ranch. He got a caterpillar and flatbed trailer and brought all the passengers to their home. United airlines bought us new carpet after that event, the mud was terrible. Mosley also witnessed the takeoff, which although a shorter runway than normal, did clear the power lines by a good margin. Updated 05/28/12.

I'm still looking for a photograph of the take off. Local schools let out to view the takeoff. All B&W, about 130K, 123K and 161K respectively, added 07/20/08, last updated 05/28/12.

United sold N73102 to Frontier Airlines in September 1966. Frontier converted the airplane to a model 580 (turbo prop engines) in December 1966. Frontier flew the airplane until February 1984 when it was sold to Aspen Airways. Today that airplane continues to fly by Honeywell Corporation and registered as N580AS. My thanks to Mark Black for providing the current status of this airplane. Status info Added 02/15/14.

UPDATE - Jason McMahon, a Convair pilot for Honeywell Flight Test provides additional information about this unique Convair. "The aircraft was acquired in about 1992 by Allied Signal (hence it's former registration, N580AS) and was based in South Florida. The aircraft has been used as a flying avionics testbed since that time, and one of its unique missions has been to develop, test and certify windshear warning systems (it has been flown into actual windshear conditions many times over the years as part of the flight test profiles). In 1998 the aircraft was relocated to Paine Field in Everett, WA where it continues to fly often to test Honeywell's latest avionics technologies and products; Allied Signal became Honeywell and the aircraft was re-registered as N580HW. Much of its test flying nowadays involves testing terrain awareness and warning systems (EGPWS), collision avoidance systems (TCAS), weather radar and windshear systems, navigation receivers, radar altimeters and a variety of other products." Current status info Added 05/26/14.

Convair B-58 Hustler

Convair B-58 Hustler, a beautiful inflight view of serial number 60-118. About 46K, added 11/2/98.

"General Dynamics" WB-57F (Modified Martin Canbera)

WB-57F 63-13502 Inflight - Beautiful view. Image set to 509x386 pixels for viewing on standard 640x480 resolution screens. Consolidated (General Dynamics) modified Martin RB-57D serial number 53-3970 to build this airplane. Although it started as a RB-57D, it is an almost entirely new airplane. About 58K. My thanks to Don Pyeatt and Prentiss Hutcheson for making this photo available. Added 09/14/97. Also available is another image of the same photograph, this is a WB-57F in High Resolution for more detail. About 504K, Added 5/29/05.

Convair 880

Inflight view of Convair Convair 880 of Japan Air Lines, registration JA8021, a model 22m-2, c/n 22-7-5-57, individual aircraft name Sakura. Convair manufactured 65 880 airliners. B&W, about 311K, added 11/22/16.

Ground view Convair Convair 880 of Delta Air Lines, registration N8812E, a model 22-2, c/n 22-00-51, Delta fleet number 912. Delta Air Lines operated 17 Convair 880 aircraft. B&W, about 337K, added 11/22/16.

Convair 990

Inflight view of Convair Convair 990 of American Airlines, registration N5606, a model 30-5, c/n 30-10-10. Later this American Airlines modified this airplane to a model 30A-5. Convair manufactured 65 990 airliners. B&W, about 201K, added 11/22/16.





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