Saturday, September 22, 2012
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Early days of flight come to Bloomington with 1929 Ford Tri-Motor

EAA tour 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 Sunday.

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 America."

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, Iowa.

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, 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 For continual news updates, connect with

[Text from news release received from EAA]

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