Travel Air E 4000

Travel Air E-4000 open-cockpit biplane (NC622H) is among the last flying examples of the aircraft that launched American aviation and earned Wichita, Kansas, the title of “Air Capital of the World.”

The Travel Air Company was formed January 1925 in Wichita, Kansas by former employees of the Swallow Aircraft Manufacturing Company. Starting with a 900 square foot factory and six employees, the company grew by 1929 to 650 employees working two shifts in a state-of-the-art aircraft production facility. About 1,800 Travel Air aircraft were built in less than half a decade. Most were biplanes, using 16 basic designs. The company was unable to survive the Great Depression and was absorbed into the Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical Corporation. Travel Air officers included Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech, and Lloyd Stearman, who later formed their own well-known aircraft companies.

The Travel Air E-4000 model was designed to compete with inexpensive World War I surplus Standards and Curtiss “Jennies.” Its major feature was a forward cockpit wide enough to accommodate two passengers (at least by 1929 standards!). Its rugged landing gear used rubber “bungee” shock cords, allowing landings on unimproved fields.

Engine  Lycoming R680, 9 Cylinder radial engine with 220 hp
Maximum Speed 120 mph
Cruise Speed (sl.) 103 mph
Landing speed 48 mph
Normal cruising range 650 miles

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