The public is invited to take part in a display of aviation history today through Sunday when the famous Ford Tri-Motor aircraft will be on display and offering rides at the North Vernon Municipal Airport.
A part of the Golden Age of Air Travel, the 1928 Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT-B-8 was one of 199 tri-motor aircraft built by Henry Ford between 1926 and 1933. The largest passenger plane made in that era, the tri-motor aircraft marked the beginning of worldwide passenger air travel.
Then referred to as the Tin Goose, Ford Tri-Motors were piloted by famous aviators Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. Franklin Roosevelt used a Ford Tri-Motor in his 1932 presidential campaign.
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Much later, future astronaut Neil Armstrong took his first airplane ride in a Tin Goose on July 20, 1966 when he was 5, which was 33 years before he stepped onto the moon.
After serving in passenger service, the planes were used for air shows, crop dusting, firefighting and in the movie business.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in flight to experience the adventure of the early days of flight,” said Bryan Swank, president of North Vernon Chapter 328 of the Experimental Aviation Association.
“This Tri-Motor is an important part of the Oshkosh Air Show, which is arguably the greatest and largest air show in the world,” Swank said.
The national office of the EAA was instrumental in bringing in the Ford Liberty to North Vernon as a part of the Oskosh National Tour.
The public will be allowed to view the famous Tri-Motor aircraft for free from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Sunday at the airport, 645 E. County Road 450N, North Vernon.
North Vernon EAA Chapter 328 volunteers will be available to provide information and answer questions.
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Rides on the 12-seat Ford Tri-Motor aircraft will be available at the North Vernon Municipal Airport for people who purchase tickets.
The cost is $70 for adults if scheduled ahead of time and $50 for ages 17 and younger. Tickets purchased at the show, running today through Sunday, will be an additional $5.
For information or to purchase a ticket for a ride on the Ford Liberty aircraft, go to flytheford.org or call 877-952-5395.