Travel-Air 6000

Ownership History of NC 8112
Manufactured on March 18, 1929 and  Purchased new by Pittsburgh Airways (Founders:  James Condon, Ted Tandy) in Pittsburg PA which was a subsidiary to New York & Western Airlines.       Flew  passenger service between Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York.

April 2, 1932 On or about this date Atlantic Airways obtained this aircraft from Pittsburgh Airways.

May 18, 1932 Aircraft Sold to:   Harry L Magee / C Housenick

July 12, 1932 Aircraft sold to Bloomsburg Flying Club

April 18, 1934 Aircraft sold to Queen City Flying Service, Inc / Cincinnati OH

Oct 12, 1939 Aircraft sold to Johnson Flying Service / Missoula MT        This was actually the 1st aircraft to drop jumpers to fight fires, which birthed the “Smoke Jumper” industry.

May 11, 1965 Aircraft sold to Dolph Overton who was the brain child behind the Wings and Wheels Museum.  

December 6, 1981 Aircraft sold to Central Flying Service / Little Rock Arkansas.    The aircraft flew only one time while in Little Rock, and was stored in the back of a (thankfully dark)  hanger collecting dust for almost 27 years.

August 15, 2008 Aircraft sold to Pleasant Aviation / Historical Air Tours     / Mt. Pleasant Texas

Delta operated the TA 6000’s from June 1929 until October 1930, when we lost the Atlanta – Dallas route to American Airways.
Delta did not operate passenger service again until July 1934 when we were awarded the airmail contract from Charleston, SC to Dallas, TX.
In order to operate this service Delta purchased 6 used Stinson SM-6000 “T” Trimotor  aircraft from American Airways, these were replaced by a fleet of Stinson “A“ Trimotors.

Delta never operated any Ford Trimotors, nor did any of the other Delta family of airlines ( Chicago & Southern, Boston-Maine, Western, etc. ) with the exception of Northwest Airways.

A bit of Travel Air History:
In December of 1924, Walter Beech, Lloyd Stearman and Clyde Cessna formed a new aircraft manufacturing company in Wichita Kansas, Travel Air.     At the peak of production in 1929, Travel Air had 650 employees working two shifts per day.  Few records were kept but it has been estimated that Travel Air produced 1,696 aircraft of all types by the end of 1929.   The Great Depression caused sales to plummet, and the company was then absorbed by the Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical Corporation who was the primary engine supplier supplying the highly dependable engines powering the various Travel Air Models. 

These three individuals went on to form their own companies;  Cessna Aircraft, Beech Aircraft, and Stearman Aircraft who later sold to Boeing and produced thousands of military bi-plane trainers used in WWII, many of which are still flying today.  
The Travel Air 6000 was first developed in 1928  as a high wing monoplane outfitted with 7 seats, sound proofing, heated cabin, and roll down windows.     It was intended to be sold to the luxury market, but the reliability and the carrying capacity made it especially attractive to the air carriers.   There were approximately 150 of these 6000's produced.     Today there are 13 serial numbers remaining, of which 6 aircraft are in flyable condition, but only 4 have flown in the last few years.  

 

 


 


Scott Glover
Mid America Flight Museum

scott@midamericaflightmuseum.org