Central Airlines Convair 600  N74858                  (c/n   171)


                                          Central were the first airline to have their Convair 240s converted into Rolls Royca Dart powered
                                          Convair 600s.  In fact, the only other carrier to opt for the British powered conversion was Trans Texas. 
                                          Concurrent with the conversion came the smart new paint job in black and white, seen above in this
                                          brilliant shot by the indefatigable Bob Garrard at Meacham Field, Fort Worth, Texas in July of 1970.
                                          I have a black and white photograph of this machine supplied by Central, but in monochrome the livery
                                          looks even less spectacular than Trans Texas' Convair 600s did when they were first painted!   In the
                                          late 1950s and early 1960s the Local Service Airlines were constantly battling with the CAB to allow
                                          them to expand their route structures.  By the middle of the 1960s they had gained some leeway in this
                                          respect.   Now, however, the onus was with the lines to operate their hard won franchises in the face
                                          of fierce competition with the trunk carriers.  By the middle of the decade it was clear that many of them
                                          were not making it.  Central was one of the first to succumb.  A September 1966 application with the
                                          CAB to merge with Ozark Air Lines was rejected, but on 4 May 1967 it did agree to a merger with
                                          Frontier Airlines.   This was consummated on 1 October 1966, with Frontier coming out as the
                                          dominant airline.