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This information comes from the listings of Non-Prefixed and Non-Suffixed aircraft reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.


Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.



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TRAVEL AIR 2000 NC6020

Registration Number NC6020

“On to Los Angeles”

This aircraft is a Travel Air 2000, S/N 543 (ATC #30), manufactured May 29, 1928 by Travel Air Manufacturing Co., Wichita, KS. It had a Curtiss 90 HP OX-5 engine, S/N 7018. It weighed 2,180 pounds. It was purchased for $3,082 on May, 1929 by H.C. Lippiatt of Hollywood, CA, a dealer in Travel Air planes for southern California.

We first see NC6020 at Tucson Monday, June 4, 1928, flown by Mr. Lippiatt. He was enroute to Los Angeles, CA from Wichita, undoubtedly ferrying the airplane from the factory. He sold the airplane to California Airways, Inc. of Los Angeles on June 8, 1928 for $3,410. He made $328 on the deal, which included his ferry time, fuel, overhead and paperwork: an acceptable profit margin, probably, for better than a week’s work in 1928.

We next see NC6020 at Tucson Sunday, September 9, 1928, flown by George W. Brill. Pilot Brill and the Travel Air were competitors in the 1928 National Air Races, “On to Los Angeles.” They took 23rd place, finishing the New York to Los Angeles route in 44:44:06. Below, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum Flickr Stream (SDAM), is a profile of NC6020. The writing on the cowl states that it is powered by a Tank V-8 engine. This could be one of the three different engines installed in the airplane as indicated below from the NASM record.

Travel Air 2000, NC6020, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)
Travel Air 2000, NC6020, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)

Five months later, the airplane suffered an accident at San Gabriel, CA (forced landing due to overheated engine; insufficient landing field). Pilot Robert S. LeRoy (transport license #1005) was uninjured. The airplane had damage to lower wings, landing gear and propeller.

The airplane then sold nine more times through 1933. It was re-engined three times, and minor repairs and re-covering were recorded three times. Finally, it had an accident at Norwalk, CA on February 24, 1935. News photo below is watermarked for eBay and brought to my attention by site visitor J.R. It shows the damage sustained in this final (fatal) accident (see below).

Travel Air NC6020, March 7, 1935, Norwalk, CA (Source: eBay)

Below, the caption on the back of the photograph. Pilot Robert E. Buxton was seriously injured and probably died, and passenger Peter Wibalda was killed in this low-altitude stall-spin accident. From the looks of things, there was no post-crash fire, suggesting fuel starvation. With the engine out, the pilot then failed to maintain best glide speed, stalled and crashed.

Travel Air NC6020, March 7, 1935, Norwalk, CA, Caption (Source: eBay)

According to the NASM record, the left upper wing (not visible in the photo above, but probably the least damaged portion of the wings) from NC6020 was installed on NC1592 (S/N 196), which also landed twice at Tucson. I have no information on NC1592. Can anyone HELP? Registration NC6020 was cancelled as of February 24, 1935.


UPLOADED: 07/09/05 REVISED: 09/11/11, 12/10/12, 12/07/14, 01/17/15

The Register
I'm looking for photographs of this airplane to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

---o0o--- Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of and the 10th year of effort on the project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


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