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July 2024

9Q CWN CL44 SGA BSL 197402 10026 large

c/n MSN 2 9Q-CWN CL-44-6/CC-106 Yukon of Congolese SCA approaching Basel-Mulhouse airport in 1974. Zoggavia Collection

TF LLH CL44 LOFTLEIDIR 196807 10044 large

c/n MSN 9 TF-LLH Canadair CL-44D4-.1 of Loftleidir, one of the only four passenger CL-44s, during the push back at Copenhagen in 1968. Zoggavia Collection

One of the designs based on the Bristol Britannia - Canadair's CL-44

In 1952, the Royal Canadian Air Force sought a new logistics support aircraft to replace its aging DC-4M/C-54GM North Star fleet. Canadair used the Britannia's design, for which the manufacturer held the license, to develop the CL-44, officially entering service on 19 July 1960 as the CC-106 Yukon. Canadair built only 12 Yukons, mainly serving with the 437 Transport Squadron, with an additional two operated by the 412 Transport Squadron as VIP transport aircraft.

Although Canadair aimed to attract passenger airlines with the CL-44, there was little interest due to the preference for jet aircraft. However, cargo carriers found the CL-44 more profitable to operate due to its significantly lower fuel consumption compared to jet-powered aircraft.
Canadair equipped the CL-44 with a "swing tail" mechanism to appeal to cargo airlines for quicker loading and unloading. Despite efforts to attract cargo airlines, only three carriers ordered the CL-44: Seaboard World Airlines, Flying Tiger Line, and Slick Airways. Canadair built 39 CL-44s, 12 for military use and 23 for cargo operations. Loftleidir Icelandic later stretched the planes to accommodate 189 passengers, making the CL-44 the largest commercial aircraft flying over the Atlantic Ocean at the time. Unfortunately, the Canadair CL-44 was involved in 21 hull-loss incidents over its lifetime.

Zoggavia represents most of the CL-44s operated by first and second-tier airlines throughout its career.

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c/n MSN 393 Convair 440 OY-KPD of SAS after arrival from a Nordic schedule at Copenhagen airport in summer 1967. Zoggavia collection

SE BSX CV440 SAS CPH 1972 10323 1 large

In July 1972, c/n  MSN 396 SE-BSX Convair 440 of SAS was seen leaving the terminal position at Copenhagen Airport. Up until that year, the airport had two great terraces above the terminal fingers, which allowed for great opportunities to take pictures from almost all directions with the sun always behind you, making it perfect for spotters. Zoggavia Collection

The Scandinavian Convairs - SAS

Scandinavian Airlines System, SAS, purchased 20 Metropolitans to replace the DC-3 and Saab Scandia on short-haul flights because they lacked pressure cabins. SAS was one of the first customers of the CV-440 variant, initially using it for inter-Scandinavian and European flights before moving it to domestic services. Most of the aircraft were taken over by Linjeflyg towards the end of their service life. This model is the only SAS aircraft that has never been involved in an accident.

When I was in Copenhagen and Malmö, I got to see and take pictures of the last SAS Metros in action. I also managed to collect some vintage shots over time. They're all part of the Zoggavia Collection. Check them out and enjoy!

Sas Convair Metropolitan Fleet List

SAS' CV-440 Metropolitan fleet list 1956 - 1974


c/n MSN 27 G-AMON Vickers Viscount 701 of British European Airways is waiting for its passengers in Edinburgh in April 1956. Zoggavia Collection

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c/n MSN 204 N7448 Vickers Viscount 745D of Capital Airlines taxiing on a cold winter day at Chicago's Midway airport in 1956. Zoggavia Collection

The Vickers Viscount - Britain's most successful airliner

The first production, Vickers Viscount, took its maiden flight in August 1952. The type was put into service in April of the following year, replacing the Ambassadors and DC-3s with the UK’s second national carrier, British European Airways, which operated short-haul flights. Both passengers and operators preferred the Viscount thanks to its reductions in vibration, noise, and panoramic windows, the latter mainly due to its economic advantages. Vickers quickly offered stretched versions with increased capacity, further contributing to its popularity. Over 60 operators purchased the Viscount in 40 countries, and it successfully entered the US market with 147 sold to American carriers. In total, 445 Viscounts were built by Vickers, and the last was not retired from commercial service until 1996. Its immense success kept the Weybridge factory busy for years and solidified Vickers’ position as the largest aircraft manufacturer in the UK.

The Vickers Viscount had a profound impact on Capital Airlines. According to data from, this type of aircraft made up a significant portion of the carrier's fleet, with 81 out of 251 aircraft being Viscounts, accounting for almost a third of their fleet. The majority of these (76 aircraft) were Viscount 745Ds, with the remainder comprised of three Viscount 744s and two Viscount 812s.

Capital ordered other British-built aircraft, such as the De Havilland Comet 4 series (four Mk.4 and 10 Mk.4A aircraft) and the 5 Bristol 175 Britannia 305, but due to financial challenges, it never took delivery of them.

Capital merged into United on 1 June 1961.

Dedicated Website to the Vickers Viscount

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