Aviation history is literally flying into Doña Ana County when a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor Airliner will land at the International Jetport in Santa Teresa, New Mexico on February 5, 2015. The plane’s visit to Southern New Mexico is part of a nationwide tour and the public can fly in the aircraft during its visit, February 5-8, 2015.
Known as America’s first mass produced airliner, this vintage plane dates back to the early 1920’s and was designed and built by the automobile icon Henry Ford. Ford saw the potential of commercial air travel and targeted this new market with the Tri-Motor aircraft 4-AT-E which was nicknamed “The Tin Goose.” The plane flew its inaugural flight on August 21, 1929.
Designers of the aircraft incorporated several features that were unique to that era and other features that seem unusual by today’s standards. The aircraft was the first of its kind to feature a state-of-the-art enclosed 10 person passenger cabin, which was considered a luxury for that era. Each guest had a window seat, giving them a “birds’ eye view” of the scenery. Another innovative feature was the aircraft’s three radial engines. Aircraft of that era were powered with one engine fastened to the nose of the plane. This vintage airliner was powered by three motors, hence giving the plane its name, the Tri-Motor. This was done to quell doubt about engine reliability. However, the craft does feature an open cockpit because aviators of that era believed planes couldn’t be flown correctly without feeling the wind during the flight.
Flights will be available to the public Thursday thru Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (except Thursday morning 9 a.m. - noon). Online advance tickets are $70 for adults and $50 for children 17 and under. Individuals can book their flight time and purchase tickets at flytheford.org until February 4. Tickets will also be sold at the Santa Teresa International Jetport at the regular admission price of $75 for adults and $50 for children 17 and under. Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult and a liability waiver is required and must be sign by parents for each minor.
The nationwide tour event is sponsored by the Las Cruces Chapter of Experimental Aircraft Association (Chapter-555) and the War Eagles Air Museum. Besides access to the plane, pilot and flight, the event will also have vintage cars and aviation memorabilia, as well as other classic items at the airport.
For more information contact Brett Hahn, Tri-Motor Marketing & Media Chairman at (575) 640-0312 or 1-877-956-5395.
Additional information is available at https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/flight-experiences/fly-the-ford-eaa-ford-tri-motor-airplane-tour