The board approved the visit from the refurbished 1929 Ford Tri-Motor Airplane on Friday, June 13 at the Putnam County Airport. The public is invited to fly that day.
The plane is part of a tour presented by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh Wis. And is touring the country during June.
The Ford Motor Company built 199 Tri-Motors from 1926 through 1933. The first plane flew on August 21, 1929. It was sold to Pitcairn Aviation's passenger division, Eastern Air Transport that later became Eastern Airlines.
In 1930, this plane was leased to Cubana Airlines, where it inaugurated air service between Havana and Santiago de Cuba.
The Trimotor returned to the U.S. in 1949 for barnstorming use. In 1950 it was moved. to Phoenix, Ariz. and was refitted with more powerful engines for use as a crop duster. Then in 1958, smoke jumpers in fire fighting further modified it for use.
After working for a variety of crop spraying businesses, the plan was moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1964, where its new owner flew barnstorming tours. During this time the plane served as the primary setting for the Jerry Lewis comedy, "The Family Jewels."
In 1973, the aircraft was still being used for air show rides, including a Fly In at Burlington, Wisconsin. While at the 1973 air show, a severe thunderstorm ripped the plane from its tie-downs, lifted it 50 feet into the air and smashed it to the ground on its back. EAA subsequently purchased the wreckage for its Aviation Foundation.
After a long twelve-year restoration process by EAA staff, volunteers and with assistance from Ford Tri-Motor operators nationwide, the old Tri-Motor once again took to the air.
The Tri-Motor carries up to nine passengers at a time, and every seat on the aircraft has a window.
During the tour there are a very limited number of opportunities to fly in the Ford Tri-Motor's co-pilot seat, priced at $100. Again, these opportunities are very limited, call 800/843-3612 for availability.
Cost to ride the plane is $45 for EAA members and $50 for non-members. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. If you have questions or wish to make reservations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org