The Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation and the EAA Chapter 1247 “Tin Goose” located at the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton will be offering the last opportunity this year to take a ride on the museum’s historic 1928 Ford Tri-Motor “City of Port Clinton.”
This type of aircraft was America’s first all metal “Transport Aircraft.” Only 199 were built. Just as Henry Ford had put “America on Wheels,” he saw the future and possibilities of air travel.
Henry Ford formed the “Transcontinental Air Transport Company” in 1926. TAT advertised passenger travel from New York City to Los Angeles in less than 48 hours. This amazing feat was accomplished with a series of daylight flights and refueling stops with train travel at night. Henry Ford made huge contributions to aviation during the Golden Age of Flight in the 1920s.
Come out to the Erie-Ottawa Airport and take an epic flight on the City of Port Clinton 1928 Ford Tri-Motor “Tin Goose” on Sept. 6-8 and experience the thrill of floating upward at 55 miles per hour. The flight affords passengers a unique view of Catawba Island marinas and the many marshes and wetlands in the area. While cruising at 1,200 feet and 85 m.p.h., passengers will experience what was the pinnacle of air travel just 90 years ago.
The Liberty Aviation Museum will be hosting its annual Pancake Breakfast on Sept. 8 from 8 a.m. until noon. Proceeds will support the rebuilding of the museum’s Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT-40 through our Restore the Ford campaign. This particular airplane served Island Airlines from 1946-1952.
Seventeen years ago, a dedicated group of local aviation “dreamers” committed themselves to recovering, rebuilding and re-certifying for flight this Tri-Motor workhorse that served the islands so faithfully for so many years. One of the volunteers, Jack Devore, along with his siblings rode the Tri-Motor to school every day from North Bass Island to Put-in-Bay.
When completed, the Liberty Aviation Museum’s Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT-40 will be painted in the Island Airlines livery paint scheme and be based here in Port Clinton. This airplane will belong to everyone who supports the Liberty Aviation Museum’s project. It will be campaigned to air shows to give rides and exhibited as a bit of living history. Proper care and maintenance will insure that this plane will be flying 90 to 100 years from now.
There has never been a reported structural failure on a Ford Tri-Motor. The new 5-AT40 rebuild project may be visited in Hanger 2 at the Liberty Aviation Museum. This hanger also is home to the museum’s B-25 Georgies Gal and Charlie Cartledge’s Lake Erie Warbirds 1943 TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber (rides available).
Hanger 2 also has a large selection of WWII Jeeps, artillery and military equipment. In the adjoining Boat House, visitors can see its Patrol Torpedo Boat PT-768 “Thomcat” as it undergoes a complete restoration.
Visitors to the exciting and living museum will have an opportunity to talk with museum guides and have their questions answered. Bring friends and family to learn about this history, and cap the visit with a delicious meal at the Tin Goose Diner. This authentic 1950’s stainless steel diner is also a throwback to yesteryear.