By Davey Burgess
Some of the oldest planes in history are still flying today, with some of these pieces of history having just a few, or a single operator left. Some aircraft have also been preserved through the years. 3 of the oldest still flying are the Boeing 727, Convair 580, and Lockheed Super Constellation.
The Lockheed Super Constellation first flew in 1954. To this day, only 2 Super Constellations are surviving to this day, the Breitling of Switzerland Constellation, and the HARS of Australia Constellation. No more are in commercial service due to this 4 engine propliner’s old age, just Breitling and HARS. The most notable former operator that used the Connie was TWA, which stood for Trans World Airlines. Trans World Airlines went defunct in 2001 after American Airlines acquired it.
The successful Convair 240 family of 1947 lead to the first flight of the Convair 580 in 1960. Though a lot of Convair 580’s today are freighters, Air Chathams of New Zealand keeps 3 of them as airliners. It is a twin engine turboprop, unlike the other Convair 240 aircraft. The only civil operator is Air Chathams. Notable current freight operators are IFL Group of America, Kelowna Flightcraft of Canada, Nolinor Airlines of Canada, and a few other freighters.
The success of the Boeing 707 lead to the Boeing 727. First made in 1963, the Boeing 727 was the most successful of commercial airliners of it’s day. However, because it’s the loudest out of all aircraft, some have been equipped with hush kits. Hush Kits help make an aircraft’s engines not so loud. To this day, only 1 commercial operator operates it now, and that is Iran Aseman Airlines of Iran. And for other operators, only very few cargo airlines and private aircraft owners have it now. During the 727’s past life, many airlines used it, such as American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta and more.