Convair 880 North East Airlines airplane model. In April 1956, the Convair division of General Dynamics announced the production of a medium-range jet transport. It was first called the Convair Skylark, and then the Golden Arrow. It was later changed to the Convair 600 in reference to its speed of 600 mph.
The speed of 600 mph is equal to 880 feet per second, which led to the final name of Convair 880. The aircraft cruised at around .87 Mach, much faster than today's airliners. Of course, the Concord is the fastest airliner ever built, but the 880 is the fastest built in the United States. It was originally powered by General Electric CJ-805-3 turbojet engines.
The Convair 880 model 22 first flew on January 27, 1959. The later model 22-m flew on October 3, 1960. It was powered by General Electric CJ-805-3B engines. It also had power-boosted rudder and four leading-edge slats. The first airline to fly the 880 was Delta Airlines in May of 1960.
The 880 has broken many speed records and still holds some today. Unfortunately, the 880 saw little sales success and only 65 were built. Some of the airlines that flew the 880 were: Alaska, Delta, Northeast, TWA, Japan, and Cathay Pacific. The last of the major airlines stopped flying the 880 in 1974.