Photo: Convair No. 2 still flying after 63 years

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Convair 580 no. 2, owned by Honeywell and used as a test aircraft, was spotted by Aviation Week at Memphis International Airport on Wednesday. This aircraft first flew in January 1952 as a Convair 340 and was delivered to United Air Lines the following September after being used by Convair for development work according to Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet database. Modified to a Convair 580 with turboprop engines in 1966, it is the oldest known Convair airliner still flying today.

Also parked nearby, and perhaps ironically, was Lufthansa Cityline CRJ700 D-ACPL getting ready to depart for Stuttgart, Ark. Delivered to Lufthansa Cityline in January 2003, this aircraft will be torn down by CAVU Aerospace in Stuttgart. Despite being 51 years younger than the Convair 580, its flying days are over as it is more valuable as a source of parts. At least six Lufthansa Cityline CRJ700s are known to have been retired in Arkansas -- four in Stuttgart and two in Blytheville. Lufthansa Cityline coincidentally flew its last CRJ700 revenue flight on this same day.

Photo credits: Brian Bostick

Many thanks to the wonderful people at Total Air Group in Memphis for their help with these photographs.

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