The world’s fastest subsonic airliner you’ve never heard of

At the request of American Airlines, a US manufacturer set out to create the world’s fastest non-supersonic airliner. As Key.Aero reveals, achieving that kind of speed was much harder than it seemed 

Flying in the late 1950s was defined by luxury and speed. So, in 1958, American Airlines contacted manufacturers to see if any would build them a faster jet, one that could cross the US from New York to Los Angeles around 45 minutes faster than other aircraft of the time. 

Convair 990
Originally an American Airlines example, EC-BTE (c/n 30-10-21) was acquired by Spantax in February 1970. Wikimedia Commons/Richard Vandervord

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