Tillamook Air Museum has acquired a new plane for their exhibit, part of a fuselage of a Convair 880. This larger than life project has taken weeks of planning and scheduling to transport the plane from California to Oregon. After multiple days on the road, the plane has finally arrived at its new home. Tillamook Air Museum will be the only place on the west coast that will have a Convair 880 on display.
This plane was built in 1960. It was considered one of the finest and most comfortable commercial aircraft.
According to the Tillamook Air Museum:
Built in San Diego in 1960, and delivered to Northeast Airlines, this particular Convair 880 (Serial #23) set two speed records during its lifetime, one in 1960 from San Diego, California to Boston, Massachusetts in 4 hours, 17 minutes, and another in 1962 from La Guardia Airport (New York City) to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1 hour, 43 minutes (a record that still stands to this day!) The aircraft was then sold to TWA (Trans-World Airlines) in August 1963 and flown until June of 1974 when the airplane was officially retired from service and moved to the Mojave, California airport in September 1980 where the aircraft was sold and then resold until Warner Brother’s pictures purchased the aircraft in 1990. Warner Brothers would go on to utilize the airplane in one of its films, “The Rookie,” starring Clint Eastwood & Charlie Sheen. In 1998, the aircraft was purchased by Doug Scroggins of Scroggins Aviation who saved the aircraft from almost certain demolition. Because of his love and passion for aviation, Doug Scroggins' goal was a full-scale restoration of the Convair 880. After many years working on the airplane, and because of the financial burden of such a restoration, Doug Scroggins was forced to dismantle the rear section of the aircraft, but actively worked to preserve a 43 foot section of the forward fuselage for use as a museum exhibit, so that the Convair 880 could still be seen and its wonderful history could be told!
Museum curator, Christian Gurling, this will be the first time in 38 years that the aircraft will be inside a hanger. It has spent the past 38 years outside in an "airplane grave yard" in the Mojave Desert. The air museum plans on making this plane a walk through exhibit, allowing visitors to get to experience the early years of the jet age.