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HISTORIC AIRPLANES: Ford Tri-Motor

Nicknamed the "tin goose," the Ford trimotor was cheered by airmail and passenger carriers alike. Automobile manufacturer Henry Ford had obtained an early airmail contract. In 1925 he won the contract to carry mail from Chicago to Detroit and Cleveland aboard airplanes his company already was using to transport spare parts for his automobile assembly plants.

Did you know?Ford produced the trimotor aircraft in 1927. One of the early all-metal airplanes, the Ford trimotor was much more successful as a mail carrier than the metal Juners-Larsen JL-6 aircraft had been in 1920. The trimotor was made of a new material, duralumin, which was almost as light as aluminum but twice as strong.

Ford's trimotor was the first airplane designed primarily to carry passengers rather than mail. The aircraft had 12 passenger seats and the cabin was heigh enough for individuals to walk down without stooping. There was even room for a "stewardess," or flight attendant, the first of whom were nurses, hired by United Airlines in 1930 to serve meals and assist airsick passengers.

Click here to read the short summary of the Ford Tri-Motor.

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Trimotor on tarmac Trimotor - closing mail cargo hold
  Trimotor - mail being loaded
Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) Trimotor on tarmac

(top right) Trimotor - closing mail cargo hold

(bottom right) Trimotor - mail being loaded
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