Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Abandoned Roadside Airplane

"Surely, you can't be serious!"
"I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."

Ryan Texas Ranger and I were giving our friend Barth a tour of the city last night when we drove by an aircraft fuselage sticking up over the fence of a recycling plant. This could be used to make some pretty cool art. Wonder how much it costs or if the company who owns it would let me photograph it up close? If you have any idea what kind of plane this is, leave a comment or shoot me an email.

Edit: Posted this at 1 A.M. last night and by the time I woke up at 6:30, I already had two emails with some info on the plane. Thanks to Randy and Todd!
  • The plane model is a Convair 880 and formerly belonged to the airlines Swissair, Cathay Pacific and Jetaway.
  • The plane was scrapped and broken up at CVG in 1986.
  • What was seen here has apparently been sitting in this salvage yard for the past 6 or 7 years.
After doing some more digging, I found out some more interesting stuff:
  • The plane pictured below used to make regular flights between Cincinnati and San Diego.
  • It had been sitting abandoned at CVG since 1980 until it was scrapped.
  • From 1959-62, sixty five of these planes were produced. Low sales forced the shut down of their production.
  • The U.S. Navy operated one of these models which they used to refuel F-14 Tomcats.
  • The engines were civilian models of those found on the F-4 Phantom fighter jet.
  • TWA Flight 128, which crashed at CVG in 1967 killing 65 passengers and 5 crew members, was the same model aircraft.
  • Elvis Presley owned one of these jets and named it the "Lisa Marie," after his daughter. It's still on display today at Graceland.
  • Currently no Convair 880's are air worthy or still flying.
It's not every day you see an abandoned airplane on the side of the road sticking up into the sky like some long forgotten space capsule.



- The plane sitting at CVG in November, 1980. Note the touch up paint beneath the cockpit that can also be seen in the scrap yard photographs. Copyright Bob Garrard/

If you think this is cool, check out this story on Google Earth's satellite images of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where the US military sends their retired aircraft to rest in peace.


  1. It appears to be this aircraft exactly, a It appears to be this aircraft exactly, a Convair 880 of Jetaway Air Club, previously of Swissair and Cathay Pacific:

    Note the poorly-painted-over logo under the cockpit. That's your plane. It was broken up at CVG in 1986, so it's been moldering wherever you saw it for 25 years.

    More photos and information can be seen here:

  2. Thats a true story, it has been sitting at my fathers scrap yard for as long as I can remember! I love your site and it was funny to see this on there! KWeber

    1. Thanks for checking it out, glad you like the site! Any chance your father would let me inside the scrap yard to photograph it up close?

    2. I'd sure like to see if your father would give up some small part of it for our museum at Lunken Airport. If the yokes are still in it or some recognizable other part, it would still work for us. Reply via our web site if you can. Thanks. I was by there yesterday and noticed it's not pointed skyward anymore.

  3. Gordon,

    Yes, spoke with my father and he said that he would have no problem with you guys coming in and taking some pictures, (set up an appt.) here is my email,, send me a message and I will foward all of his infomation on to you.
    Kathy Weber

  4. As part of the managment team that established JETAWAY, Ohio's first private jet club, you may find this link of interest;

    Rod Williams

    1. This is fantastic! Loved reading through that. Would you be interested in letting me interview you for an upcoming update?

  5. The 880 is no longer pointing skyward. I'm going to attempt a visit Thursday for a possibl artifact to display in my museum at Lunken Airport.

    1. Would love to hear a followup on how your visit goes.

  6. Replies
    1. Unfortunately not as far as I've heard.