Costly renovation of iconic ‘Tin Goose’ needs support

Nov 24, 2020 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

The wing of the 1929 Tin Goose is coming together during a renovation by the Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation this fall at Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton.

As renovation work continues through fall and winter at Liberty Aviation Museum, an iconic 1929 Ford Tri-Motor comes closer to soaring the blue skies between Port Clinton and the Lake Erie Islands, the regular route of the magnificent aircraft 75 years ago.

To help make that happen, the Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation is asking for support in reaching its $20,000 goal for the renovation. The aim of the campaign is to help fund the complete restoration of Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT-40, also known as the “Tin Goose,” which flew between Port Clinton and the Lake Erie Islands from 1946 to 1952, carrying 12 passengers.

The Foundation’s goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of 2020. The ambitious restoration project began in 2004 with a dedicated group of volunteers, and funded solely through private donations.

“Although steady progress is being made, the restoration effort is a costly endeavor,” said Lisa Benjamin, Vice President of the Foundation. “Funding is needed as each part must be meticulously restored or custom made in order to be used in the certified flying aircraft.”

Restoration volunteers are seeking monetary donations through aircraft part sponsorships. Interested parties may also consider purchasing a memorial brick as a part of the “Buy-a-Brick” program. All support is appreciated and goes directly to rebuilding the Ford Tri-Motor.

The fuselage of the 1929 Tin Goose is being renovated by the Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation at Port Clinton’s Liberty Aviation Museum.

For those who may want to contribute to the project at a higher level, the unique opportunity to sponsor a seat in the passenger compartment of the aircraft is available. A brass placard will be permanently attached to the sponsored seat to commemorate the gift for all future passengers to acknowledge.

A sponsorship at this level will receive 10 tickets each year for rides in the completed aircraft, and includes a key to the aircraft main cabin for personal tours during museum hours. For more information, contact Foundation President Jody Brausch at 216-288-8522 or email

Visitors can see the renovation project at the Liberty Aviation Museum, 3515 E. State Rd., Port Clinton.

To learn more about the restoration, or to help support the foundation’s efforts, visit their newly redesigned website at The Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization founded in 2004 with the goal of raising enough capital to restore, fly, and maintain a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor, as well as publicly showcase the aircraft.

Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation is also collecting items of historical significance to educate the public on the important role the aircraft played in the lives of island residents and visitors, as well as in the development of commercial passenger aviation.

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