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Travel Air R Mystery Ship / R-613 Mystery Ship

 

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Travel Air R NX614K
 
The 1929 Travel Air R Mystery Ship was designed by Walter Burnham and Herb Rawdon. The R became S through a newspaper's abbreviation of "Mystery Ship" to "Mystery S".
 
Five were built, of which 3 were racers; NR614K, NR482N, NR1313. One plane, N11717, with a 300hp Wright, was bought by the Italian government in 1931 "for study".

 

 Trav-Myst-01
 
The Mystery Ship held an official record at 236 mph. As Texaco 13 and piloted by Frank Hawks, NR1313 set transcontinental speed record 1929 and was at the time faster than any existant military plane, continued in 1930-32 to establish numerous new intercity speed records in the US and Europe.
 
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Travel Air R-613 NX613K
 
Mystery Ship NR482N, piloted by Jim Haizlip, reached second place in the 1930 Thompson races.
 
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Travel Air R Chevrolair NR613K
 
The 1929 R-613 Mystery Ship NX613K was fitted with a 250hp Chevrolair D-6 engine. As NR613K it raced in the 1929 Thompson Trophy piloted by Doug Davis.
 
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Travel Air R-613 NX613K
 
It was later refitted with a 330hp Wright R-975 for Florence "Pancho" Barnes. At the 1968 Tallmantz auction, word got around that 67-year-old Pancho was there, hoping to buy her plane to restore. When the auctioneer announced a low starting bid, Pancho waved her bid paddle. That was followed by silence. The auctioneer got the message, so he nodded and pointed at her, "Sold!" and the audience applauded.
 
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Mystery Ship sister

 

mysteryship


Frank Hawks flew to glory in 1930 in a Travel Air Mystery Ship.

 

Replica: Aero-Antiques Travel Air R

 

R
Engine: 400hp Wright supercharged Cyclone
Wingspan: 29'2"
Length: 20'2"
Useful load: 456 lb
Max speed: 235 mph
Cruise speed: 150 mph
Stall: 70 mph
Range: 525 mi
Seats: 1
 
R-613 Mystery Ship
Engine: 250hp Chevrolair D-6, later refitted with 330hp Wright R-975
Wingspan: 29'2"
Length: 21'0"

 

 

 


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