December 13, 2014

Travel Air 5000 Restored

When I stepped inside the Cowtown Aerocrafters hangar near Justin, Texas in September of 2013 I saw a unique round tail. A tube fuselage that had me wondering. My friends were grinning when they saw my puzzled look. Was it something Fokker made with that round tail? My face lit up when they said Travel Air! Cool... wait... what model of cabin Travel Air? 5000? OK... I had heard about a Travel Air 5000 being restored in Texas and come to find out, this was it!
Travel Air 5000 tail
Travel Air project late 2013

Travel Air cabin model

Amon Carter, famous Fort Worth, Texas businessman, had owned this Travel Air after it was retired from service with National Air Transport Flying Service. C3002 flew with NAT from 1927 until 1931. In the mid-1930s Carter parked the Travel Air on his ranch near Fort Worth. It was left outside until saved by pilot, Harry Hansen. Hansen spent many years working on the aircraft intending to return it to flyable condition. To push through to save the airframe from inactivity the project was moved to the Cowtown Aerocrafters hangar. The new mission was to restore it to static condition for display in a new Fort Worth museum.

Wright engine parts
Wright engine core and mount
Restored engine parts

NAT stamp on the restored prop
The large wings
May of 2014 progress

May 2014

In August 2014 the completed static restoration was rolled out for photos. It was moved at a later date to its new museum home in Fort Worth. It now hangs on display in the Morning Star private museum. (The only other surviving Travel Air 5000 "Woolaroc" is on display in Bartlesville, Oklahoma)
Static restoration complete for NAT serial number 17

NAT serial number 22

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