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1929 Ford Tri-Motor airplane flies again

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:48 PM

SANDUSKY - The "Tin Goose" flies again.

A 1929 Ford Tri-Motor airplane will be at the Griffing-Sandusky Airport through Wednesday and is available for rides.

Thanks to Henry Ford, the Tri-Motor helped bring airliners to the marketplace.

"This airplane is what it took to jump-start an industry," said Cody Welch, a pilot of the Tri-Motor with Experimental Airline Association (EAA). It was the first commercial airliner to carry passengers. It started Eastern Airlines and Cubana Airlines.

The EAA Chapter 50 is on an eight-city tour and decided to make Sandusky its seventh stop due to the planes' historic significance to the Lake Erie area. Starting in the 1930s, Ford Tri-Motors were used as a passenger, cargo and mail service around the islands. Frequently called "Tin Goose," the planes were flown out of Port Clinton and Sandusky.

There are only five actively flying Ford Tri-Motors left in the world. The plane brought by the EAA has a few updates such as brakes for safety reasons, but is otherwise the same as the Tri-Motors used locally from 1931 to the mid-1980s.

A ride on the Tri-Motor is much different from a modern airliner today. It has a little more space between seats but only carries about 10 to 14 passengers. There are large picture windows by every seat so "you can actually see where you're at," Welch said. "A 757 is a really wonderful airplane, but it's no Tri-Motor."

Visitwww.flytheford.org or the Griffing-Sandusky Airport for rides. They are $40 per person for EAA members and $50 per person for non-EAA members. The airport is located at 3115 Cleveland Road in Sandusky.

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