Valle, AZ -- Final preparations are underway to make the three-day flight in a Ford Tri-Motor from Grand Canyon Valle Airport to EAA's AirVenture 2005. While at Oshkosh, the Grand Canyon Airlines Ford is expected to be joined by four other Fords, the world’s only flying Bushmaster, a JU-52 Junkers and high and low wing examples of Stinson Tri-Motors. It will be the largest gathering of Tri-Motors in decades. People attending AirVenture should have an opportunity to see daily flights with most of the famous Tri-Motors participating. EAA, which owns their own Ford, offers rides during the Fly-In.
In the 1920s and 30s, the Tri-Motor was one of the most common form of airliner, but it was eventually replaced by the DC-3 and 4, along with more advanced, streamlined designs like the Lockheed Constellation, which was on the drawing boards in 1934. By the time Ford shut down the production line, 199 Tri-Motors had been built.
The Ford Tri-Motor (5-AT-74, N414H), owned and operated by Grand Canyon Airlines, was purchased new for $55,000 in 1929. The Ford Tri-Motors were used in the early years just after Grand Canyon Airlines (initially known as Scenic Airways) was organized in 1927, when they began tourist flights over the world-famous Canyon. Though no longer permitted to fly this airplane over the canyon, the Tri-Motor is still made available for special events, providing people with an opportunity to sample the kind of flight that was available to travelers in the Roaring Twenties.
Grand Canyon Airlines is considering the possibility of once again offering type ratings in their famous antique. For further information on the GCA Tri-Motor and its participation at AirVenture, visit www.grandcanyonairlines.com.