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Again … Jiggity Jig
Travel Air 5000 circa 1931
We have been talking about the Travel Air 5000 that belonged
to National Air Transport and Amon Carter, Sr. for over three years now. The background of the airplane invented,
designed, and built by Clyde Cessna, Lloyd Stearman and Walter Beech is
becoming better known as is the story of Amon Carter, Sr.’s role in the
development of aviation here in North Texas.
What isn’t well known, is how this iconic airplane left Fort Worth and
has now returned, and the people who have been involved in this journey.
of the Travel Air started in 2010 when one of our museum historians was working
on a story about Amon Carter and his relationship with the City of Dallas. While researching his story, Don Pyeatt came
across the story of National Air Transport, the Travel Air, and Amon Cater and
pictures of the airplane at Shady Oaks Farm.
On a whim, Don looked up the registration number of the airplane, C3002
and realized the airplane had a current registration with a person in Hamilton,
Texas. With a little more research, Don
located the owner of the airplane, Harry Hansen, and learned that Mr. Hansen
had been restoring it for nearly 50 years.
Travel Air 5000 1963 @ Shady Oak Farm
summer of 2010 Don arranged a visit, and Don, Bill Guy and myself flew to
Hamilton to meet Harry. This would turn
out to be only the first of many visits to Hamilton.
first visit we learned that Harry had acquired the airplane from the Carter
family in 1963, after observing it on flights in and out of Meacham
Airport. He moved the airplane to
Hamilton and began a long slow process of restoring the aircraft over the next
turned out, Harry and I are both retired Continental Airlines Captains. Over the next year or so, my wife and I would
stop in to visit Harry and his wife Jackie when we traveled back and forth to
Austin to visit our son. We would
always talk about the Travel Air and the interest many people had to return it
to Fort Worth. During that year Harry
decided to downsize his restoration efforts and told us what he thought the
airplane was worth.
Travel Air 5000 2010 @ Hamilton
Fort Worth at the museum, Bill Morris, Ben Guttery and Don Pyeatt began putting
together the saga of the Travel Air.
Meanwhile, we also started to formulate a campaign to acquire the 5000
and return it to Fort Worth. With the
help of some marketing people in California, we developed a brochure and began
telling the story of the Travel Air and Mr. Carter to anyone who would
listen. We also began a campaign to raise
funds to acquire the airplane.
members of Morning Star Partners approached us about the airplane and its
connection to Mr. Carter. They were
involved in the restoration of the former Star-Telegram building and
establishing a new museum there to pay tribute to Mr. Carter. MorningStar
eventually purchased the airplane from Captain Hansen, chose Cowtown
Aerocrafters for the restoration, and moved the airplane to Justin, Texas.
summer, the small group of dedicated and talented people of Cowtown
Aerocrafters has painstakingly restored the Travel Air to near airworthy
condition. Every step of the restoration
process was researched in minute detail and faithfully and skillfully accomplished. This was not just another project for them, it
was a once in a lifetime opportunity and they took it seriously, spending over
3,000 hours in the restoration process.
Travel Air 5000 @ Justin, August 2, 2014
restoration the aircraft was carefully delivered to its current location in the
former Star-Telegram building and returned to Fort Worth, successfully completing
a fifty year round trip journey, after leaving for Hamilton in 1963. There is at least a hundred hours of video
and hundreds of photos of the aircraft and the restoration process. There has even been some talk of a
documentary but for now, we want to just take this opportunity on Labor Day, to
thank the following people for bringing this treasure back home.
MorningStar Partners Group
Fort Worth Aviation Museum
Tarrant County Archives is Home to Many Aviation Treasures
The Tarrant County Archives, located at 100 E. Weatherford Street in downtown Fort Worth houses a growing collection of local area aviation items. Under the direction of Dr. Dawn Youngblood, the collection has just acquired many items acquired form the City of Fort worth form the former Fort Worth Air and Space Museum Foundation.
The current aviation display has a variety of unique items spanning over 100 year of local aviation history. For more details and to search on line, see their website at
Outer hall at Tarrant County Archives.
Some North Texas aviation items on display at the Tarrant County Archives.
Help us SAVE SAM'S F-4
On April 16th, 1966, then US Air Force Captain Sam Johnson and Weapons System Officer, First Lieutenant Larry Chesley, were flying in an F-4C Phantom II on a mission north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in North Vietnam. That mission turned out to be the last one for both men. They were shot down and became prisoners of war for seven years. After a distinguished career in the Air Force, Sam Johnson had a successful business carer followed by his election to the Texas Third District of the United States House of Representatives.
To Honor Congressman Johnson's service and sacrifices to our country, the Fort Worth Aviation Museum and others supporters have begun a campaign to rehabilitate our F-4C to the look of the aircraft the Congressman was shot down in. Please see below for details and help us SAVE SAM'S F-4. (Click image to download a copy of the brochure.)
Click here to visit the SAVESAMSF4.ORG
website or click the button below to donate now.
What You Can Do To Help
Help us with our SAVE-A-PLANES
You can buy one of our new shirts in our PX (gift shop) at VMAP PX or clicking on the gift shop link under ABOUT VMAP.
Or you can click on one of the links below to download a flyer or pledge form or click the PayPal DONATE button below and send a donation right away.
But please help us SAVE-A-PLANE.