The Travel Air Manufacturing Company was an aircraft manufacturer established in Wichita, Kansas in the United States in January 1925 by Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech, and Lloyd Stearman.
The Travel Air 6000 was developed as a luxury version of the Travel Air 5000. It is 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. 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. The first flight was on April 15, 1928 and approximately 150 Model 6000s were built.
The first two Travel Airs to arrive in Alaska were ordered from the factory in 1926 by a new company flying out of Anchorage, Anchorage Air Transport, Incorporated. AAT No. 1 was a Model 7000, a large four passenger cabin biplane, and AAT No. 2 was a Model 4000, a three place open cockpit biplane. Both were powered by a Wright J-4 engine of 200 horsepower.
The Pilots were Russel Merrill and Ed Young, and the mechanic was Alonzo Cope. The planes were equipped with wheels, skis, and floats. The company pioneered a route system that extended out from Anchorage that included all parts of the Kenai Peninsula, down the Alaska Peninsula and north and west as far as Nome and Bethel.
This plane was manufactured in 1929, construction number 967. It has a Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine and cruised at 110 mph for about 550 miles with 6 passengers in some comfort. The AAM Travel Air came to Alaska in 1939 with "Mudhole" Smith's Cordova Air Service and later belonged to Peck and Rice Airways in Bethel. A number of pioneer aviators owned NC8159 including Albert Ball, Fred Goff and Al Jones. Restoration, including the original 1929 EDO floats, was done by a team of volunteer mechanics.
|Length:||30 ft 10 in||9.40 m|
|Wingspan:||48 ft 7 in||14.81 m|
|Wing area:||282 sq. ft||26.2 sq. m|
|Empty Weight:||2,608 lb||1,183 kg|
|Gross Weight:||4,230 lb||1,919 kg|
|Power plant||Wright J-6 9 cylinder radial, 300 hp||224 kW|
|Speed max||130 mph||209 km/h|
|Ceiling:||16,000 ft||4,880 m|
|Range:||550 miles||885 km|
|Rate of Climb||800 ft/min||4.1 m/s|
This model is finished in the livery of Noel Wien's Standard in which he made the first flight from Anchorage to Fairbanks.
The small theater seats up to approximately 25 people. There are six videos that can be shown and run from 25 to 50 minutes. If there are persons in your group who would like to view the videos they select, they certainly may do so rather than tour with your group at that time. The titles and running times are posted on the doors to the theater.