This airplane is a Travel Air 4000 powered by a Wright J-5 engine. There were 14 of the 4000 model built in 1927, and its type certificate number was issued in March 1928. The model was popular among sportsman pilots, because of its nimble handling and aerobatics capabilities. NC6477 was flown by Billly Parker for the Phillips Petroleum Company during 1928 (although he never flew it to Tucson). The image, below, shows the airplane in Phillips' livery.
NC6477 landed once at Tucson February 25, 1930 at 6:15 PM. It was flown by Pancho Barnes. She was carrying a single passenger, Marino Samaniegos, who was her mechanic and interpreter. Please follow the link to Barnes to learn about their itinerary in this airplane; it was pioneering for the time.
The image below, courtesy of friend of dmairfield.org Tim Kalina, comes from the October 1929 issue of the Air Travel magazine rotogravure section. Not only do we see a spectacularly clear image of NC6477 (bottom photo), but the background pattern of repeating biplanes is very creative and attractive.
Travel Air 4000 NC6477, ca. 1928
The top airplane in this image is NC9938, a Travel Air 6000-B, S/N 1085. It is not cited in the Register.
UPLOADED: 02/27/08 REVISED: