Registration Number 2709
This aircraft is a Travel Air 4000, S/N 168. The Travel Air
Manufacturing Co., Wichita, KS, built it on February 15, 1927. It
was fitted with a Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine of 200 HP, S/N
7222. It weighed 2,413 pounds. It was sold on 2/26/1927 to
William A. Burke, Okmulgee, OK.
The airplane arrived from El Paso, TX and landed at the Davis-Monthan
Airfield on August 6, 1927 at 3:20 PM. The pilot was Mr. Burke.
He stayed overnight and departed westbound at 10:00 AM for
San Francisco. While he was on the ground, the airplane was inspected by the U.S. Border Patrol. Mr. Burke was killed on June 1, 1928 in a crash
of his Stearman in Spavinaw Lake, OK. Mrs. Nell P. Burke,
Denver, CO, then sold the Travel Air as part of Mr. Burke’s
It was purchased on June 14, 1928 by Robertson Aircraft Corp.
of Missouri. It was, “rebuilt, overhauled and re-covered
at the factory” and “remodeled to accommodate
mail only…with Whirlwind T-5 engine c/n 7751.”
It was soon involved in an accident in St. Louis, MO on September 15, 1928.
The pilot, Julius W. Johannpeter (transport license #2287),
5034 Thrush Ave., St. Louis, MO, was uninjured. The plane
suffered damage to the vertical stabilizer and the rudder
was smashed. One lower longeron was broken. The damage was
repaired at the Travel Air factory.
Subsequently, it was sold on January 13, 1930 to Peter Kelly, 1130
Fernhill, Detroit, MI with Wright J-5 engine c/n 9630 installed.
A month later, on February 18, 1930, the airplane was confiscated
by the sheriff at Zanesville, OH for transporting liquor (Prohibition
was still the law of the land). It was then sold on March 11, 1930
to Jesse Anderson, 566 Maple Ave., Newark, OH. The fuselage
and tail surfaces were re-covered at 103:15 hours total time
on April 22, 1932.
It was purchased on April 31, 1933 by Kelson K. Laurence, 495 Merrill
Ave., Columbus, OH. It suffered an accident on October 15, 1933,
and was immediately sold on October 15th to Joseph C. Mackey,
435 Berkeley Road, Columbus, OH, then on August 1, 1934 to the Mackey
Flying Service, Findlay Airport, Findlay, OH.
During the Travel Air's life with Mackey, the tail wheel
was replaced, two Wright engines (c/n B9037 and c/n 168) were
installed, and the airplane was “equipped for advertising
purposes with neon sign along entire span of both lower wings
and a neon whorl in front of engine. Also a siren.”
It had 598:10 hours total time on September 8, 1934. The neon was
removed on January 7, 1935 and Wright Whirlwind engine c/n B9037
On October 11, 1935 it was purchased by William Miller, Floyd Bennett
Field, Brooklyn, NY. Mr. Miller resold it on November 12, 1935 to
Mrs. Florence E. Newkirke, 574 St. Nicholas Ave., New York,
NY. Pilot Troy Webster Newkirke wrecked the airplane at Roosevelt
Field, Mineola, NY on August 12, 1936. There was damage to the wing
struts, wheel, top of rudder and vertical stabilizer, ribs
in the center section, and to the propeller and cowl. It was
repaired and a new right upper wing installed as of August 16, 1936.
It had 730:15 hours total time. It had flown about 66 hours
per year over the past two years.
It had another accident on November 18, 1936 (pilot not known) and
the airplane was sold “as is” the same day for
salvage parts only to F & G Engine Co., Hangar D., Roosevelt
Field, Mineola, NY. It was sold again on February 16, 1937 to Frank
Romano, Pioneer Aircraft Co., Teterboro Airport, Hasbrouck
Hgts., NJ. It was “intended to re-build”, but
no license application was received and its registration was
cancelled as of February 24, 1937.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 6/9/05 REVISED: 11/18/08