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Old Aug 17, 2010, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default Convair CV-540

While in NZ our tour company used a chartered plane to move us around the country between the two Islands. I thought that some of the airplane buffs here might like to have a look at a working oldie but goodie.

This 1954 Convair CV-540 was one of a handful of planes converted from prop to turboprop by D. Napier & Sons in Britain with the companies 3060HP Eland EN.E1 Turboprops.

Our plane was configured to hold 40 passengers so it was quite comfortable for the 25 of us plus stewardess and tour guide. We were free to move about the plane and could go inside the cockpit and take photos out of the windshield and speak to the pilots.

The real nice feature of this service was that we never had to go through TSB inspections. Our tour bus drove up to the planes steps and we went from the bus directly up the stairs to the plane. A lot of time was saved and we were able to visit more places in a given day.


The pictures are not that good as I shot some through the bus window and the full shot of the plane was taken from a distance as I wanted a picture without people coming or going to it.











Lou
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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That's an old classic bird Lou! As one of the airplane buffs that you referred to, I am envious that you got to fly in one and also have access to the cockpit. Thanks for sharing this aspect of your travels!!

Jehan
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 12:47 PM   #3
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I guess I am showing my age-

But in the old days I piloted a Convair 540. It was a fun plane to fly. The plane became much better with the turbo-prop conversion. Thanks for the photos, Lou. That brought back memories.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 1:06 PM   #4
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very nice, love the vintage plane, she look to be in top sharp still.
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 1:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelpee View Post
That's an old classic bird Lou! As one of the airplane buffs that you referred to, I am envious that you got to fly in one and also have access to the cockpit. Thanks for sharing this aspect of your travels!!

Jehan
I think this was not my first time in the old twin engine Convair, but I spent a bit more time traveling in the DC-3 flying Boston to Burlington VT on the now defunct Eastern Airlines.

We flew into some airports in NZ where the pilots had to have special certificates to land. Mountain approaches and heavy crosswinds.

We did get bumped around a bit. There was one incident where we hit CAT and dropped like a rock. The seatbelt signs were not on but we were all buckled except for the stewardess who apparently felt something that made her instinctively drop into a seat. I have no idea how far we went down but we had just been served drinks and I would not want the job of having to clean the ceiling of the cabin. We were all covered with drinks. The old bird handled the incident well.

Lou
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 2:00 PM   #6
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Nice photos, Lou. Love planes, trains and ships.
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 2:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
I guess I am showing my age-

But in the old days I piloted a Convair 540. It was a fun plane to fly. The plane became much better with the turbo-prop conversion. Thanks for the photos, Lou. That brought back memories.

Sarah Joyce
Sarah, you made my day!!! I'm so happy that I posted these pictures and you were able to see the plane again. Having flown this plane I am sure that seeing the cockpit again had to bring a lot of wonderful memories flooding back for you.

Who did you fly for?

Lou
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 6:21 PM   #8
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Lou, sounds like you went to Milford Sound? Did they fly the Convair in to there?

Did you go to Chatham Island?

John

Last edited by John Hill; Aug 17, 2010 at 6:51 PM.
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 7:45 PM   #9
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John we went to Milford sound but flew in the 540 to Te Anau airport and went by motor coach into Fiordland NP and then onto the boat for a cruise on Milford Sound.

Coming back we had to race the clock as the Te Anau airport did not have runway lights and we had a narrow window to sunset after which we could not take off.

We did not go to Chatham Island.

Lou
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 7:49 PM   #10
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Eetu - Thanks for commenting and I'm glad you enjoyed the shots of the plane.

Lou
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