This distinctive and elegant biplane, with its retractable undercarriage
and back-staggered wings, first appeared in British military markings in
1941. The acquisition of 107 Staggerwings through the Lend-Lease arrangement
led to the adoption of the USAAF name, albeit anglicized with a double
L, to Traveller Mk I. The Traveller Mk I provided comfortable seating for
four passengers and the pilot, and was a welcome addition to both the RAF
and the FAA for communications duty.
Thirty of the Travellers Mk Is destined for the RAF were to be
shipped in batches from New York to Suez, Egypt between March and October
aboard the SS Tabian, Augumonte, and Philip Schugler. However,
12 of the aircraft were lost at sea when the Augumonte was torpedoed
by a U-boat
on 29 May 1943.
The Staggerwing recently donated to the Museum was built in 1944
and was sent to Britain under the Lend-Lease agreement to serve
with the Royal Navy as a Traveller Mk I, serial number FT478.
It was returned to
the US after the war and was sold into civilian use. After a
series of different owners, it was purchased in 1994 by Granger Haugh
Mr. Haugh donated the aircraft to the Museum in April, 2007.
Beech Aircraft Co.
Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-14B - 450 hp