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Travel Air Mystery Ship

Travel Air Mystery Ship
 Click on the Travel Air Mystery Ship picture to hear its wav sound.


Specifications

        Primary Function:
        Crew:
        Engine:
        Power:
        Fuel Capacity:
        Weight Empty:
        Gross Weight:
        Length:
        Wingspan:
        Max. Speed:
        First Flight:
racer
one
Wright R975 radial
425 h.p.
47 gallons
1,475 lbs.
1,940 lbs.
20 ft. 2 in.
29 ft. 2 in.
235 mph
8/29/29






The Travel Air Mystery Ship is best known for handily winning the September 2, 1929 Cleveland Air Races. That is where it surprised the aviation world by besting the fastest fighter aircraft of the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. The race was open to all aircraft and was flown over a distance of 50 miles.

The aircraft got its name "Mystery Ship" from the media because few people viewed it before the race. It was the creation of the Travel Air Co of Wichita, Kansas. The Travel Air Mystery Ship was flown to Cleveland in secrecy and kept under cover in a hangar before the races.

The idea for the Travel Air Mystery Ship, officially the Model R, was conceived shortly after the 1928 air races which were dominated by military aircraft. Walter Beech, head of Travel Air, felt that his company could produce an aircraft to beat the military. The Mystery Ship was test flown just days before it was to be raced. Luckily the performance of the aircraft during the test flights exceeded all expectations.

The aircraft was a monoplane design, using the latest in streamlining technology. Various engine cowls were tried and a NACA design was found to create the least drag. The all wood wings and plywood over steel tube fuselage, while not unique, when combined with the overall design of the aircraft, proved a winning combination.

After its win in Cleveland, the Travel Air Mystery Ship went on to set a number of speed records. A total of six aircraft were constructed.



Travel Air Mystery Ship
Travel Air Mystery Ship

Pictured above and immediately below is the Travel Air Mystery Ship built by Paul Weigand from a kit by Fred Reese. It has a wingspan of 70" and a length of 49". Paul powers his rc airplane with an AXI 4130/16 motor turning a 16 x 10 prop. Although out of production for a while, you can sometimes find the kits on eBay.


Travel Air Mystery Ship
Travel Air Mystery Ship


Travel Air Mystery Ship
Travel Air Mystery Ship

The Travel Air Mystery Ship from Lenger Modellbau has a wingspan of 37" and a length of 25" and comes with a geared Speed 300 size motor. Ready to fly weight is around 20 oz.


Travel Air Mystery Ship

The Travel Air Mystery Ship scratch built by David Grief has a wingspan of 88" with a Hacker C-15 Acro motor powering it. All up weight is about 15 1/2 lbs.

Kit Cutters has plans, a full kit, and a short kit of the Travel Air Mystery Ship designed by Jack Swift.  It has a wingspan of 69".

The AMA Plans Service has Travel Air Mystery Ship plans in wingspans of 15", 22", 24", 26", 28" and 1/4 scale.

You can find plans of the Travel Air Mystery Ship from Cleveland Model & Supply. It comes in wingspans of 21", 28", 42", 56", and 84".

We have seen some posts to RCGroups about a "fun build" Travel Air Mystery Ship. It is from a 24" wingspan short kit by Ozark Model Aviation.

At Aviation History.com you can find three view drawings which may help to build a Travel Air Mystery Ship.

At RCUniverse icegs mentions the Travel Air Mystery Ship in a posting.

MormonMike at RCUniverse is looking for a Travel Air Mystery Ship as a kit.

MajorTomski suggested a source for Travel Air Mystery Ship plans at RCUniverse.

Ercoupe Ed of RCGroups is looking for a large Travel Air Mystery Ship.

Germanseppel of RCGroups is looking for a Travel Air Mystery Ship.

Baumer or RCGroups is looking for Travel Air Mystery Ship plans.

At RCGroups kepople is looking for a Travel Air Mystery Ship.

Paul Willenborg of RCGroups is looking for information from which he could build a Travel Air Mystery Ship.

Email us.