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Sep 29, 2014, 08:48 AM
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The Build of a 1929 Travel Air 6000

The Travel Air 6000 was a six passenger early airline plane. Powered by a radial engine, it had good climbi rate but was relatively slow given the wing struts and fixed undercarriage with large wheels for grass strips.

Because of the limited passenger space and its slowness, it didn't stay in service very long, being replaced by Ford Tri Motors and in time the DC-3.

Surplus to the airlines, they found a niche serving mountain valleys because of the exceptionally good climb rate enabling them climb quickly out of a valley and over mountain ridges. Many were equipped with floats and serviced mountain lakes. They also represented the last of the wood spar era.

My interest in modeling a Travel Air 6000 began during an air show at a local small airfield. One had been restored and rides were available. I didn't ride in it that day, but its lines impressed me and the thought occurred that it would be a good RC build.

Six months later, it was there again, and this time the pilot offered a ride and I actually got some stick time. It was a hoot to fly a plane eighty years old and following the flight, the thought of building a model was given more serious thought.

There wasn't much available for plans. The plane had been build many years back when memories of it were yet alive, but nothing current with the latest plan found using an escapement radio. The plan was drawn in the early sixties.

The wingspan was 48" so I ordered the plan doubled to 96" for a 1:6 build. Not long after getting the plan, a visit to Big Mike's Hobby Shop in North Dallas revealed a large version of the model hanging in his store. The story I was told was that his dad had cut his teeth as an airline pilot in a Travel Air 6000 and he and son had built the model together. I don't recall the size, but it was large and likely larger than the eight foot span I envision.

After concluding to build it, wheels, wood, dummy engine, etc were collected over a period of months. Now retired a year and having shortened my short list of home projects and with nothing on the boards... I've started the build, but it may go slowly at times because I do some construction repair work to keep modeling funds flowing.

A build log can be found in the balsa builders forum.
Last edited by AA5BY; Oct 30, 2014 at 05:25 AM.
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Jan 25, 2015, 10:35 PM
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The build was completed and the plane has had its maiden an d is currently being flight trimmed.

The build log completion with finished pics and maiden video is at

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