VH-UGY   Travelair  2000                                          (c/n  287)


                                     The rare photo above is from the Alan Betteridge collection (via Kevin OReilly). It shows the
                                     Travelair at Essendon, circa 1928 bearing the name 'Blue Bird' on the fin.  It was owned by
                                     Airways of Australia Pty Ltd at that time.     The equally rare shot immediately below, from the
                                     CAHS archives shows the Travel Air over the aerodrome in the same livery, but re-registered
                                     VH-, probably circa 1930      This aircraft was one of the first US imports into Australia, being
                                     first registered on 20 March 1928 and originally classified as a Travel Air 2000 with a 90 hp
                                     Curtiss OX-5 engine . In February 1934 the airframe only was acquired by Mr. Patrick Moore-
                                     McMahon of Hurstville, NSW.    He installed a 220 hp Wright Whirlwind engine, effectively
                                     making it a Travelair 4000*.   The two further images below are from the John Hopton collection,
                                     and  illustrate the machine as such.  The upper shot is circa 1942 when  DCA ordered all civil
                                     aircraft to be painted in camouflage, and sporting  RAAF style fin flashes.  The lower photo was
                                     taken at Mascot after it had been named 'Wings of Song'.   In 2011 Mr. Michael Egan contacted
                                     me and indicated that, in the lower shot, the individual posing by the aircraft is, in fact, his grandfather,
                                     the above mentioned Mr. Moore-McMahon.  This gentleman retained the aircraft until 1942 when
                                     he sold it to J.H. Bowden of Kogarah, NSW. .  It was shortly afterward resold to T.A. Barrett of
                                     Orange, NSW and in April 1944 its CofA was allowed to lapse, never to be renewed.  Its wings
                                     were stored in the rafters of a shed in NSW up to the mid 1960s.

                                     *  When formed in 1925, Travel Air Inc. was spelled like that, as two words.    Later common
                                     connotations reduced it to Travelair.  The Model 2000 was introduced from 1926 to 1928 with
                                     the 90 hp Curtiss OX-5 engine   They were known colloquially in the US as 'old elephant ears',
                                     presumably because of the prominent rudder horn balance.