Photography Magazine

Convair 880- General Electric CJ805

By Htam


@ Memphis, TN

March 2020

On display at Elvis’ Graceland complex are two of five aircraft owned by the late performer.  The larger of the two is a former Delta Convair 880 named ‘Lisa Marie, purchased by Elvis in 1975 for $250,000.  The ‘Lisa Marie’ went on display here at Graceland in 1984.  First flown in 1959, the four-engined 880 was designed to compete with the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 by being smaller but faster.  With a max speed of 615 mph it was claimed to be the fastest jet transport in the world at the time.  It was powered by four General Electric CJ805 turbojets, a civilian version of the famous J79 which powered military fighter jets like the F-104 Starfighter and F-4 Phantom.  One can clearly see the lobed exhaust hush kit installed on this aircraft, reducing the noise of these early jet engines.  These devices are fitted to the rear of the engine and mixes the exhaust gases with the surrounding air. With a higher price tag and higher fuel consumption, the airliner was a commercial failure and the production line shut down after three years and 65 deliveries.  The designation 880 was a reference to the top speed of 600 mph or 880 ft/sec.  Fuji X-E2s w/18-135mm.

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