Early days of flight come to Bloomington with 1929 Ford Tri-Motor
offers rides aboard commercial air travel pioneer
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[September 22, 2012]
BLOOMINGTON -- This
weekend a classic aircraft from the early days of commercial air
travel is re-creating those days. The Experimental Aircraft
Association has brought a restored 1929 Ford Tri-Motor airliner to
Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, concluding a
summer tour. The tour stop began Thursday and continues through
The tour provides opportunities for aviation
enthusiasts to see and ride in the world's first mass-produced
airliner. Visitors have the opportunity to take 15-minute flights
aboard the unique aircraft.
Some of the airports on the tour
likely first saw a Ford Tri-Motor on their grounds 83 years ago.
"This airplane allows people to experience true living history of
aviation, as well as learn more about EAA and our mission to help
people fully participate in the world of flight," said Rod
Hightower, EAA president. "As we bring the airplane to this region
of the country, thousands of people will get a rare glimpse of a
unique flying machine that changed the way people travel in
The Ford Tri-Motor, nicknamed the "Tin Goose," was built by the
Ford Motor Co. in the late 1920s. Nearly 200 were built during that
time, but today only about 12 Tri-Motors remain and even fewer are
in flying condition. The Tri-Motor featured in Bloomington is owned
by the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Mich.
The tour began in Kalamazoo in August and has stopped in Lansing,
Ill.; Oshkosh and Superior, Wis.; Mankato, Minn.; and Sioux City,
Flights are available at $80 for adults, $40 for children ages
6-17 and free for children under 6 when accompanied by a paying
guardian. A secure flight-reservation system and complete
information are available through EAA's Tri-Motor tour website at
www.flytheford.org, or call
1-877-952-5395 to pre-book a flight.
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Bringing the Ford Tri-Motor to Bloomington was made possible by
the generous donations of these sponsors: 1st Farm Credit Services,
Advocate BroMenn, Country Financial, Curless Flying Service,
Eastland Suites Hotel & Conference Center, Growmark, Horizon Hobby,
Illinois Farm Bureau, Image Air, Jim Xamis Ford, Syngenta, William
Masters and World Fuel Services.
EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world's most
engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA's 170,000 members and
1,000 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their
passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft.
For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA
(800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org.
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