The Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) Chapter #421, based here at Grimes Field in Urbana will be hosting the EAA Ford Tri-Motor Aircraft on Tuesday, September 14 through Sunday, September 19. The Ford Tri-Motor was known as the first luxury airliner. It redefined world travel and marked the beginning of commercial flight. Henry Ford mobilized millions of Americans and created a new market with his Model T “Tin Lizzie” automobile from 1909 to 1926. Then, after World War I he quickly recognized the potential for mass air transportation.
Ford’s Tri-Motor aircraft, nicknamed the “Tin Goose,” was designed to build another new market: Airline Travel. To overcome concerns of engine reliability, Ford specified three engines and added features for passenger comfort, such as an enclosed cabin. The first three Tri-Motors built seated the pilot in an open cockpit, as many pilots doubted a plane could be flown without the direct “feel of the wind.” From 1926 through 1933, Ford Motor Company built 199 Tri-Motors. EAA’s model 4-AT-E was the 146th off Ford’s innovative assembly line, the 76th model 4-AT-E, and first flew on August 21, 1929.
You can experience the energy, passion and excitement of the Roaring ’20s by flying aboard the Ford Tri-Motor. All ticket proceeds support the Experimental Aircraft Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing The Spirit of Aviation with everyone. A portion of the proceeds benefits Chapter #421. Tour stops are hosted by EAA Chapters and volunteers who are passionate about sharing the Ford Tri-Motor’s stories.
The Ford Tri-Motor is scheduled to arrive on Monday September 13 and will be on display at the Champaign Aviation Museum on Tuesday, September 14 and Wednesday September 15. Beginning Thursday, September 16 people can buy a ride on the Tri-Motor. Presales are available at www.eaa.org under the events tab or can be purchased on-site in Urbana. Flights run continuously throughout the day (Thursday 2-5 p.m., Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. -5 p.m.) Please check-in with the crew at Grimes as early as possible on the day you wish to fly.
Contact a Membership Services Representative at 1-800-359-6217 with any questions. Rides cost: $72 Adult (advance online), $77 Adult (walk-up day of), $52 Children 17 & Under. The Aircraft will depart Grimes on Monday, September 20.
We invite families to visit and learn all about aircraft and the EAA organization. Viewing the aircraft is free, so be sure to bring your camera along. The EAA Aviation Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization (39-1033301). Donations to the EAA Aviation Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.