Travel Air History Quiz
1. What were the first aviation business jobs held by Lloyd Stearman and Walter Beech?
2. What unusual control modification did Clyde Cessna make to the Travel Air planes he flew?
3. What is the origin of the famous Travel Air blue color?
(see answers below)
Travel Air History Quiz Answers
1. Lloyd Stearman answered a newspaper ad in 1920 and was hired by Matty Laird to build wings and fuselages. Walter Beech was hired in 1921 by Jake Moellendick and worked cleaning cosmolene from crated engines, attending to customers flying into the airport, and as a part-time demonstration pilot. Stearman and Beech each quickly became company officers and later formed aircraft businesses under their own names.
2. Clyde Cessna taught himself to fly and had designed his own control system with rudder pedals connected such that pressing on the right pedal caused a left turn. He felt the arrangement was more natural since it resembled the operation of a sled and of bicycle handlebars. When Cessna flew a Travel Air, he had the rudder cables crossed so they operated as he preferred; the cables were restored when other pilots flew the same planes.
3. “Travel Air Blue” was used on many Travel Air fuselages. The famous color came about one Saturday when Walter Beech requested that a plane already painted with silver be finished with a specific blue color that Beech preferred. The plane had to be finished by Monday and there wasn’t enough of the blue paint Beech wanted (or any other shade of blue) on hand to complete the job in time. So the factory workers simply mixed together the various blue paints and completed the job. Beech loved the result, named it “Travel Air Blue,” and required that the same combination of paints be used on subsequent Travel Air planes.