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Eastern Airlines: 1954

Eastern Airlines: 1954

My mischievous, red-headed sister and I were sitting on the fence at the Greenville, South Carolina downtown airport in the summer of 1954. In the background is an Eastern Airlines flight preparing for departure. Ironically, the aircraft appears to be a Convair CV-240, the identical plane that would ultimately fly the band Lynard Skynard out of this same location for their final flight in 1977. They ran out of fuel and crashed into a Mississippi swamp.

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The aircraft is a Martin 404. The giveaway in even a blurry image of the tail is the dihedral in the horizontal stabilizers, and their fuselage attach point is just above the top of the window line. The Convair family (240, 340, 440) had straight stabs and attached at roughly the bottom of the window line. But the best sign of a 404 in this particular ramp shot is that the aircraft has a ventral stair.

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