Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ford's Tin Goose

What's made of corrugated aluminum, has three engines and flies?

It's a Ford Trimotor, formally designated the Ford 5-AT-B.

NC9645, owned by Liberty Aviation Museum out of Port Clinton, Ohio, made quite an appearance at the Oakland County International Open House and Air Show. Built in 1929, she's still flying today.

This aircraft carries the name City of Port Clinton:

This is fitting as there used to be airline service using Ford Trimotor aircraft operating out of Port Clinton's airport, and this one now operates from there today.

If you go to Camp Perry and eat at the Tin Goose bar in Port Clinton during the Nationals, the Ford Trimotor is where that bar got its name.

On Sunday many attendees of the Open House paid to take a ride in a Ford:

Checkout those engine nacelles:

She's a Ford product all right:

The Ford Trimotor was Ford's first successful foray into aircraft production (the other notable success was building Consolidated B-24 Bombers under license at Willow Run airport in Ypsilanti Michigan).

If you think there's a resemblance of the Ford Trimotor to the JU-52, well there is. Ford was successfully sued by Junkers for copying the design and infringing on the patents of the JU52's predecessor aircarft, notably the Fokker F.VII, Junkers G25 and K16.

A very reliable aircraft, 199 Ford Trimotors were produced and served airlines around the world, with a few still flying today.

NC9645, long may she fly like this:



Old 1811 said...

In 1968 a Ford Trimotor (possibly the one in the story) from Port Clinton came to an airshow in my home town and I got to ride in it. It was quite a thrill.
The airline (I think it was called Island Airways) flew from Port Clinton to an island in Lake Erie whose name now escapes me. (Damn CRS!) The airline also flew DC-3s on the same route; the hop was so short that the DC-3s didn't pull their wheels up.

Old NFO said...

Beautiful old bird! :-) Literally a barn door wing too! :-)

Keads said...

Good to see her in the air!