Coming Attractions: Ford Tri-Motor Airplane
Yesterday, I noticed this vintage Tri-Motor Airplane flying low while on my return trip from presenting a family history talk in Wilmington. At the next crossroads, I turned in the direction the airplane was headed and discovered the New Garden Flying Field in Chester County. Rides on this 1929 Ford Tri-Motor Airplane were the featured attraction during an event at the airfield. If you are reading this on the Ydr.com site, click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post on the original YorkBlog site; since the ydr.com site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations.
Henry Ford was already a household name because of his low-cost, reliable automobiles, when he decided to get into the airplane business. When the first Ford Tri-Motor Airplane went into service in 1926, it was the largest civilian aircraft in the United States. This airplane ushered in the era of dedicated passenger service; because previously passengers only rode on airmail planes, if space was available.
Three motors was Henry Ford’s idea to convince the public that his airplanes were safe; by including redundant engines, if one should fail. Instead of the standard wood and fabric airplane construction techniques of the 1920s, Ford used corrugated aluminum construction; also aimed at projecting a robust design, to assure the public of the safety and practicality of air travel.
The Stout Metal Airplane Division of the Ford Motor Company produced 199 Ford Tri-Motor Airplanes until Henry Ford lost interest in producing airplanes in 1933. He reportedly never made any money in this venture, although the Ford Tri-Motors and the reputation of Henry Ford are credited with boosting public confidence in the infant air-travel industry.
With a ride on the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor, one is experiencing the beginnings of commercial air-travel. This photo shows the interior of the airplane, which holds up to 9 passengers. All seats are window seats. The flights cost $75 (walk-up) or $70 if purchased in advance on the web site of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA); which restored this airplane and gives rides to cover maintenance and operations costs.
This is a close-up photo of the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor Airplane while refueling between flights at New Garden Flying Field. The title of this post is Coming Attractions: Ford Tri-Motor Airplane, because this airplane is coming to York County later this week; from Thursday June 16 through Sunday June 19, 2016; giving rides at Capital City Airport in Northern York County. Here the link to the EAA web site if you wish to book a flight in advance.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts