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.
|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|
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 They were withdrawn from use in 1947.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. Movie crash is a Hamilton Metal Plane
A Travel Air 6000 also appeared in the 1959 movie, "Edge of Eternity". Registration N377M is still active and it is owned and registered in Mount Pleasant, TX.
A Travel Air 6000 (Curtis-Wright 6-B) appeared in and performed stunts in the 1939 Laurel & Hardy classic movie, The Flying Deuces.
Data from Beech Aircraft and their Predecessors
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