Historic Ford Tri Motor Giving Rides in Marion County this Weekend

Jasper, TN (WDEF): Here’s another way to see fall foliage around the Tennessee Valley.

A historic Ford Tri – Motor aircraft will be available for rides all this weekend at the Marion County Airport.

Nearly a century after its first flight in 1928, the aircraft is still flying today showcasing history across the country.

The Ford Tri – Motor was the first commercial airliner and aided in the development of TWA’s route system.

“This was the first commercial airliner. Henry Ford had a hand in building it,” says Edward Kornfield, Ford Tri Motor Pilot.

According to the Experimental Aircraft Association, the aircraft rotated owners helping a variety of projects throughout the years including aiding in the development of TWA’s route system.

“It went through the Grand Canyon for tours, for quite a few years. It went to Honduras for a while and Mexico, and wound up in a couple of museums,” continues Kornfield.

Eventually after sitting unused for years, the aircraft went under an an extensive seven year renovation, giving it a second chance to fly.

Seating 12, The 1928 Ford Tri – Motor has a cruise speed of 122 mph with a wingspan over 77 feet.

Kornfield says, “You can see that is has corrugated skin. So, a lot of that is structural, and the spar that holds the…gives the wing structure is actually built like a bridge trust which is a little bit unique in those days. It was a little more common then, it’s unique now.”

“The airplane was meant to make flying more comfortable to the public, so it has three engines. That was the design that Henry Ford wanted. And, the interior looks like a Pullman railroad car which people were comfortable riding in trains those days.”

Kornfield says the plane is in excellent shape despite its age with constant maintenance.

From now into Sunday, the aircraft will be giving rides at the Marion County Airport.

For information on how to book a flight, call (920) 379 – 8339 or visit HERE.

Categories: Featured, Local News, Marion County