Last weekend a couple of our members of the Hoosier Hills Model A Club went to Greenwood, IN municipal airport to see the restored 1926 Ford Tri Motor that was making a several day stop. I was one of those members. My son, who lives in Greenwood, joined me. They were offering rides, so we did it. Wow, what an experience. The takeoff was so quick and the ride very smooth. What an amazing plane!!! I don't really like flying, but this was different; it was really, truly flying. If anyone ever gets the chance, do it. This plane was made during the Model T days. I could fly on this forever.!!!
The Henry Ford Museum has a Tri Motor. Northwest Airlines started with Ford Tri Motors. These planes were used for a long time in Alaska and in South America. They could take off and land on a relatively short run way. I remember seeing several on display at the Old Wold Chamberlain Airport in Minneapolis, MN in about 1940.
I took a ride in a trimotor in 1990. I'm over due to do it again.
I rode in a Stenson(sp) with 3 motors. Didn't think it was ever going to get off the ground. That thing rattled and shook. Think I could have walked faster. Amazing that it could stay in the air. Loved every minute of the flight.
Richard, the Stinson is black with gold trim and only one of a very few left.
took my daughter on a 1930 Waco last weekend at the local airport. sight seeing ride. as soon as we reached 800 feet level, the pilot pulled a knob and his yolk flipped over in front of me. crossed his arms and said, you fly. I have never flown a plane in my life. 2 minutes and my first breath later he told me relax, let the plane fly it self. it looked, smelled, vibrated and moved like my 22. even watched a drip of oil hit the top of the windscreen coming off one of the valve covers. flew it out to the gulf, up the beach, back to the airport, he landed. 150.00 and the 25.00 buck tip was worth every penny. pilots are on a different plane for sure.
I've only flown twice in my lifetime. Both times in a Ford Tri Motor. I don't trust modern technology. I was surprised at how little room it took to take off and land.
Mike, my wife and I did the same thing about a year ago, its a one of a kind flight. Keep in mind that a Tri-Motor fly's about 90 flat out and probably leaves the ground somewhere in the 60 MPH range.
I've flown in a DC-3, DC-6 a Globemaster and a 'Connie'. Adding the Tri-Motor to the list, just about wraps up piston powered air liners.
You are correct, Dennis. They stall at ~64 mph, and cruise at 90. VNE is 150ish.
I remember taking a short flight in Ford Tri-motor during an air show in my hometown back in the middle 1960's. Rides were $5. The plane was not mint specimen, but it did fly. What I remember most was the vibration and noise from the motors. The seats were also incredibly hard and uncomfortable. That being said, it was a unique experience that I remember well nearly fifty years later...and makes me very appreciative to ride in first class now.
At an air show in Kansas City about so many years ago a pilot did a loop-de-loop in a Ford Tri Motor with 20 people on board.
Glover Ruckstell bought 3 Ford Tri-Motor aircrafts after selling his rights to the Ruckstell Axle and started flying people into the Grand Canyon for sight seeing tours. Ruckstell's pilots lecense was signed by Orville Wright. The complete story is in my book, Glover E. Ruckstell and The Ruckstell Axle.
I feel fortunate, having lived in an area of N.Central Ohio where a couple of Tri-Motors plied the skies daily from Port Clinton to South Bass Island and beyond. As an avid boater, it was always great to watch them fly overhead and listen to those engines. They were beautiful planes. Right now I believe there's a group building a replica Tri-Motor in an airplane hangar at the Ottawa County Airport. I think it'll be done in about 3 years. It'll be great to see it fly.
Here is a link to the 2013 Ford Tri-Motor flying schedule. If it is going to be near you it is possible to obtain a reservation and get a ride.
2013 Tri-Motor Flight Schedule
The schedule will be different next year so check again next spring.
I rode on this airplane twice, both "right seat" What an experience.
Quote: "I've flown in a DC-3, DC-6 a Globemaster and a 'Connie'. Adding the Tri-Motor to the list, just about wraps up piston powered air liners."
Them first 4 aircraft are all prop jobs, but the only one with a piston engine is the DC-3, the rest are all turboprops.
You may mean 'turbo charged' but ALL of them were powered by piston engines.
I flew on a C-130 in Viet Nam, that was a 'turbo prop'. In other words a gas turbine engine (jet) engine that operated a propeller through a shaft drive.
The (British) de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the first (pure) jet airliner. The first 'turbo prop' airliner was the The (British) Vickers Viscount. it first flew in 1948.
The Lockheed Constellation (the last piston powered airliner), was a propeller-driven airliner powered by four 18-cylinder radial Wright R-3350 (turbo charged, piston) engines, (essentially, the same 'piston' engines that powered the B-29). It first flew (commercially) in 1943.
My bad. I guess my memory ain't what it used to was.
here is my tri motor.
The props are missing. When new, the props turned when the toy was pulled along he floor.
Some more Tri Motor odds and ends.
Deck of cards
Not Tri Motor but neat glider
"My bad. I guess my memory ain't what it used to was."
No problem Ken. My dad was Navy Air (PBY) in WW2. My mom and my dad were Officers in the Civil Air Patrol after WW2. My dad was a Crop Duster (until he clipped a high voltage power line one day, crashed and burned to death back in 1952). I cut my teeth in a 'Link Trainer' when I was 7 years old, so please excuse me if I tend to get real 'anal' when it comes to aircraft.
Last weekend after the Speedster Reunion I drove up to Yankton SD to have my Ride. I'd post a couple pictures but an error on my sd card is for now keeping me from the pictures. I do hover have to videos I've up loaded. The first one is a little over 3 minutes, and is of the Tri-Motor landing from it's first flight. The second is my flight from starting of the engines and taking off to landing. It's 19 minutes.
Jerome, At the Speedster event you told me you were going for a ride on that plane the next week end and thank you for taking such nice pictures with sound for all of is to enjoy. In 1983 I worked on an experimental tri motor for Hawk aviation and made the flight manual, parts book and maintenance manual while on a sabbatical from the College where I was the Dean of Instruction and Curriculum. They made one version with a Pratt and Whitney PT6 turbo prop spinning a five bladed paddle and were going to make a tri-motor with three radial diesels to power it.
The picture below was taken in the rain at Yucca Valley Airport near Palm Springs California in 1984 during a load test. We put a Datsun pickup truck loaded with bricks inside of it and took off in 1600 feet.
Note that there were no ailerons and that the flaps went from the wing root to the tips. Turn and bank was accomplished by spoilers on the top of the wings. The wing airfoil was much like a glider with under-camber and was fully cuffed. All links were mechanical rods and bell cranks with no hydraulics except for the brakes. We had to make a stronger wing strut for the diesel model. I will try to find pictures. but that was 30 years ago.
Thanks Frank, it was a blast to meet and talk with you. I have some more questions about super charging for you at a later time. Still have some video of the runs the cars did on Friday to up load. Smaller but more of them. Takes a wile for this newbie.
On the Thursday of the Speedster Reunion we took the day off to drive to Yankton to see and ride the Tri-Motor. This is something that my mate and I have wanted to do for a long time. That is something else we can tick off our " bucket list ".
In the first video, there's an 'Ag-Cat' Crop Duster (spray rig). The lead character 'Dusty Crophopper' in the soon to be released, Disney movie 'Planes'.
I'm sure my grandson will enjoy this almost as much as I will.
Several years ago, the Tri Motor was on a stop in Kentucky. I drove the 27 roadster over on the Saturday they were giving rides. The Boy Scouts were serving as security at the municipal airport and when I arrived at the gate was directed to the park next to the tri motor. A photographer came over, took a bunch of photos with the plane and my car. Evidently, they thought I was part of the show.
We moved the car to the hanger, I paid to ride on the plane and once done with the ride,I stuck around for another half hour.
I went to the folks who were selling the tickets, thanked them for everything and proceeded to leave. When they saw me start the car, the wanted to know where I was going. I told them I had grass to mow and what a great time I had.
What a great morning and experience. Just another situation we have been involved with where a Model T got us into places we never would have been able to do without the T.
Please take advantage of opportunities like this. It sure is great fun.