Travel Air D4D

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This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Boeing Aviation Hangar

From 1931 to 1953, Andy Stinis performed skywriting in this airplane for Pepsi-Cola. During those years, skywriting with smoke was a premier form of advertising, and Pepsi-Cola used it more than any other company. Pepsi-Cola acquired the airplane in 1973 and used it for air show and advertising duty until retiring it in 2000. Peggy Davies and Suzanne Oliver, the world's only active female skywriters since 1977, performed in it.

The Pepsi Skywriter is one of more than 1,200 Travel Air open-cockpit biplanes built between 1925 and 1930. Popular and rugged, Travel Airs earned their keep as utility workhorses and record breakers. The design was the first success for three giants of the general aviation industry, Lloyd Stearman, Walter Beech, and Clyde Cessna, who in 1925 established the Travel Air Manufacturing Company in Wichita, Kansas.