Silvered Wings: Travel Air C-4000
Travel Air C-4000, NC389M
- Capacity: 3
- Length: 24 feet 6 inches
- Maximum speed: 124 mph
- Cruise speed: 105 mph
- Range: 630 miles
- Service ceiling: 13,000 feet
Model C-4000 was the compatible mating of the popular Travel Air biplane with the 170-hp Curtiss “Challenger” engine. The six-cylinder “Challenger” was a two-row staggered radial likened to a pair of three-cylinder engines put together to form a powerplant of exceptional reliability.
Developed in 1928 with the aid of Curtiss engineers, the C-4000 was a handsome airplane with performance to match. The first examples were produced with the old-style wings and “elephant ear” ailerons, later opting for rounded wingtips and eliminating the “balance horns.”
Civil Air Patrol flew threeTravel Air models during World War II: the 3000, 4000, and 12-Q. With its three-place open cockpit, CAP used NC389M as an independent courier.
Maj. Ron Finger is a freelance illustrator and member of the Minnesota Wing’s Crow Wing Composite Squadron. He is an Air Force Art Program artist, where a select pool of artists are assigned “art missions” to document specific U.S. Air Force operations.
Among his duties as Civil Air Patrol’s national artist, Finger researches and creates art that portrays our historical emergency service. A personal goal is to complete paintings documenting every aircraft type CAP has flown.
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