HARS Convair 440 at Dubbo on its way to the Illawarra this afternoon
HARS Convair 440 at Dubbo on its way to the Illawarra’s Albion Park aerodrome this afternoon

UPDATED with Illawarra arrival video

The most glamorous way to fly around country airports post World War II was in a futuristic and pressurized Convair twin-prop airliner, one of which landed at Dubbo yesterday on its way to Albion Park and the HARS collection of restored historical airliners.

This video on YouTube by Super 100MHP shows the 40 seat airliner in Trans-Australia Airlines livery.

TAA was the first airline outside of the US to use the world’s first pressurized twin engined airliner when it put the Convair 240 into service in 1948, although the aircraft acquired by HARS is the 440 version.

The multiple versions of the airliner seen in service with TAA and Ansett, which marketed them at times as Metroliners, revolutionized flying to smaller cities and towns by being faster and considerably more comfortable than the then ubiquitous Douglas DC-3.

The DC-3 was a great way to travel, but it didn’t have much of an edge on lower priced steam engine drawn trains. The Convairs did tip the scales a bit in favour of flight over rail.

The HARS 440 is due at Albion Park aerodrome, just beyond Wollongong south of Sydney, around 1 pm, where it joins its collection of restored aircraft including a Super Constellation as well as the preserved first Qantas 747-400.

Update: Arrival video

It was a picture perfect afternoon when the HARS Convair 440 reach the end of its long delivery run from South Africa yesterday, as this YouTube shows. The major airliners it joins at the Historocial Aircraft Restoration Society’s base are the ‘Connie’, similar to those used by Q.A.N.T.A.S. before the Boeing 707s began Australia’s jet age, and the preserved first Qantas 747-400.

A still from the Super100MHP video of the Albion Park arrival
A still from Super100MHP video of the Albion Park arrival

There was a very good reason why the Convairs, a larger aircraft than today’s widely used SAAB turbo-props were so important in the 40s and 50s. Car ownership was much lower than today, and roads were never dual carriageway, and in many places unsealed. If you had to go to the big smoke, you caught a steam train (or the early diesels) or you flew.

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