Aircraft By Type

Aircraft Make & Model:
Travel Air S-6000-B
4,230 lb.
500 miles
90 mph
6 (1 pilot, 5 passengers)
31 ft.
49 ft.
9 ft.
Wright J6 Whirlwind
HP or Thrust:
300 hp.
No. flown by DL:
Dallas, Texas–Atlanta, Georgia
Roomy cabin for its day, insulated walls, lavatory
Limited instruments
First Delivery:
First Scheduled Service:
June 17, 1929
Reason Aquired:
Delta, a crop-dusting company, wanted to expand into passenger operations.
Last Retirement:
10/29/1930 to Southern Air Fast Express (SAFEway)
Reason Disposed:
American Airlines predecessor company AVCO was awarded a southern transcontinental air mail contract by the U.S. Post Office. Part of this route was from Dallas to Atlanta, along Delta's only route. Two weeks later, Delta suspended airline operations until 1934, sold its Travel Airs and returned to crop dusting.

Narrative:  Travel Air S-6000-B 1929-1930

"Delta Air Service ships are the safe, swift Travel Air enclosed cabin planes, equipped with 300 horsepower Wright Whirlwind motors. They bring a new luxury and comfort to air travel, undreamed of even five years ago." Delta brochure "Fly for Business and Why"

Aircraft Features
Travel Air S-6000-B was a high wing, six place, single engine monoplane. Travel Air advertisements promoted the new plane as the "limousine of the air." Painted in sleek black and International Orange. The insulated, wood-paneled cabin featured woven wicker seats and hand holds rather than seat belts. Passengers could lower the roll-down windows for ventilation.  

Designed to carry four passengers and two pilots. Because Delta flew with one pilot, a fifth passenger could sit in the co-pilot seat.

Delta's General Manager C.E. Woolman described its Travel Air amenities, as "accommodations for five passengers and pilot, toilet facilities, and space for hand luggage. In cold weather the cabins are warm and comfortable and with the interesting feature of scenic observation of the surrounding country, afford the ideal means of modern travel."

Delta Service
Delta acquired two Travel Airs by purchase from Fox Flying Service and one directly from the manufacturer. Price when new: approximately $13,500. 

Registration numbers and manufacturer's serial numbers:

  • C8878 (MSN 988)
  • C9905 (MSN 1072)
  • C9930 (MSN 1081)

Delta also owned a Travel Air 2000 biplane (NC4316, MSN 369) from March 14, 1929 to Sept. 1, 1937, that was used for flying lessons, charters and company travel, and three Travel Air 4000 planes used for crop-dusting services.

C8878 Carries First Passengers
Delta Air Service, later Delta Air Lines, launched its first airline service 
on June 17, 1929, with the Travel Air registered as C8878. 

Radio Installed
In January 1930, The Monroe News-Star announced "Radio sets will be installed on Delta airplanes." A test flight on January 8, took off from Delta's headquarters at Selman Field in Monroe, Louisiana, and circled the city for about a half hour, receiving messages from the field and "from points as far distant as New York city."

More Information

  • Chief Pilot Pat Higgins with new Travel Air
  • travel_air_cabin
  • travel_air_s-6000-b_parked
  • Travel_Air_s-6000-b_drawing
  • dl_ac_travel_air_prop_rotating
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