Travel Air 6000
|Travel Air 6000|
|Travel Air A-6000-A preserved in flying condition carrying the logo of the 2003 National Air Tour|
|Role||Civil utility aircraft|
|Manufacturer||Travel Air, Curtiss-Wright|
|First flight||April 15, 1928|
|Number built||ca. 150|
The Travel Air 6000 (later known as the Curtiss-Wright 6B when Travel Air was purchased by Curtiss-Wright) was a six-seat utility aircraft manufactured in the United States in the late 1920s.
Design and development
It was developed as a luxury version of the Travel Air 5000 marketed principally as an executive aircraft, although its size proved popular with regional airlines, which purchased most of the roughly 150 machines built.
The 6000 was a high-wing braced monoplane with a fuselage constructed of steel tube and covered in fabric. In keeping with its intended luxury market, the fully enclosed cabin was insulated and soundproofed, and included wind-down windows. The basic model was priced at $12,000, but numerous options were offered that could nearly double that price; actor Wallace Beery's aircraft cost him $20,000 and was the most expensive Model 6000 built.
6000s were operated in 1928 by National Air Transport on their US mail and passenger routes from Chicago to New York, Chicago to Dallas and Chicago to Kansas City.
Frame number 6B-2012 was delivered to Harry Ogg of Newton, Iowa on August 20, 1929, who used it as a mobile office and technology demonstrator for his Automatic Washing Machine Company, which eventually morphed into Maytag Corporation. The aircraft was significant in that it included space for a secretary and stenography machine, as well as hook ups for up to 4 washing machines for demonstration purposes. The aircraft was nicknamed "Smiling Thru" and carried the registration of NC677K.
Two Travel Air 6000 were purchased by the Paraguayan government during the Chaco War (1932-1935) for the Transport Squadron of its Air Arm. These aircraft belonged to TAT with the registrations NC624K (c/n 6B-2011) and NC9815 (c/n 6B-1029); They received the military serials T-2 and T-5 (later re-serialled as T-9). The aircraft were intensively used during the conflict as air ambulances. They both survived the war and continued flying in the Air Arm. In 1945, they were transferred to the first Paraguayan Airline, Líneas Aéreas de Transporte Nacional (LATN) and received the civil registrations ZP-SEC and ZP-SED. They were withdrawn from use in 1947.
A Travel Air 6000 was a "star" in the Howard Hawks 1939 film Only Angels Have Wings which was a fictional depiction of the early mail service in South America whose early days mirrored the aircraft and issues of US civilian mail service.
A Travel Air 6000 also appeared in the 1959 movie, "Edge of Eternity". Registration N377M is still active and it is owned by a corporation in Wyoming.
A Travel Air 6000 (Curtis-Wright 6-B) appeared in and performed stunts in the 1939 Laurel & Hardy classic movie, The Flying Deuces.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (August 2012)|
In 2006, eight examples remained on the US civil register, with perhaps half of them actually flying. Three flying Travel Air 6000 planes are located in Montana cities of Hamilton, Missoula, and Kalispell.
- Model 6000 - six seat version, powered by a 220 hp (164 kW) Wright J-5 engine
- Model 6000A (or A-6000, or A-6000-A) - version powered by 450 hp (336 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine
- Model SA-6000A - floatplane version of the Model 6000A
- Model 6000B (or B-6000, later 6B) - version powered by 300 hp (224 kW)Wright J-6-9 radial engine.
- Model S-6000-B - floatplane version of the Model 6000B
- Model 6B - 1931 and up Curtiss Wright production. Four built in Wichita, Four Built in San Diego.
- Paraguayan Air Force
- Crew: One pilot
- Capacity: 5 passengers
- Length: 30 ft 10 in (9.40 m)
- Wingspan: 48 ft 7 in (14.81 m)
- Wing area: 282 ft2 (26.2 m2)
- Empty weight: 2,608 lb (1,183 kg)
- Gross weight: 4,230 lb (1,919 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Wright J-6-9, 300 hp (224 kW)
- Maximum speed: 130 mph (209 km/h)
- Range: 550 miles (885 km)
- Service ceiling: 16,000 ft (4,880 m)
- Rate of climb: 800 ft/min (4.1 m/s)
- Auliard, Gilles. "Time Machine." Air Classics, April 2006.
- Davies, R.E.G. Airlines of the United States since 1914. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998. ISBN 1-888962-08-9.
- Hagedorn, Dan and Antonio Luis Sapienza. Aircraft of the Chaco War, 1928-1935. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Co., 1996.
- Taylor, Michael J. H. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions, 1989.
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