This month in 1960, our second jet–the Convair 880–arrived. It set a transcontinental record on its February 10 delivery, flying San Diego to Miami in 3 hours, 31 minutes and 54 seconds. Average speed was almost 642 miles per hour. Sounds like a good reason to share one of my favorite graphics from the Delta Archives: a Convair 880 brochure open to show front and back covers.
You can see where someone wrote on the back cover in pen, listing the new, fast times between cities: Chicago-Houston, 2 hours, 3 minutes; New York-Houston, 2 hours, 59 minutes; Chicago-Memphis, 1 hour, 15 minutes; and Memphis-New Orleans 56 minutes.
We started the world’s first Convair 880 service on May 15, 1960, initially between Houston and New York.
By the way, did you know that one of Delta’s former Convair 880s was purchased by Elvis Presley as his private jet, named “Lisa Marie” after his daughter and is now on display at Graceland, Elvis’ home in Memphis, Tennessee?