It’s my last day of work at the airport, so I thought it might be fun to do a little post about aviation. This is when the Ford Tri-Motor came to the airport. It was only a few weeks ago, but it was really neat. And since I’m leaving the aviation industry, it’s a good time to highlight some of the fun parts of it.
This aircraft was built by Ford in 1929. It was one of the first trials in commercial air transportation. People had flown in smaller bi-wing aircraft, but not in mass air transportation. Henry Ford knew that a lot of people would be hesitant to get in something that didn’t feel very stable, so instead of the popular stretch canvas fabric, he used corrogated metal to side the aircraft. That way people could touch it and feel that it was ‘solid’ and dependable, even thought the fabric is a very effective, lightweight material for aircraft. They affectionately called this “The Tin Goose”. This certain Tri-Motor is housed at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at the Pioneer Airport, home of many historical aircraft. They have a ‘living history’ recreation of how airports used to be. Oshkosh’s annual air show is the best in the country.
Ford also knew that people were unfamiliar with air travel, so he made the inside look as much like a boxcar as possible. Boxcar’s on trains being a familiar mode of travel for people of that time.
The belly is squarish and the seats are even reminiscent of a boxcar.
But there you have it, a piece of American history.
For more info about this, visit The Air Venture Museum.