Riding in a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor Airplane

Today was an incredible day! Not only did I find out I’ll be hired by a great company (too remain nameless for those who don’t know me) but I began the day with a morning flight in a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor airplane! Check out the pictures below, its a real beauty; a flying piece of history!

Check out this 85 year old plane!

Check out this 85 year old plane!

As a mechanical engineer I found it quite interesting that the wing and tail aileron cables, controlled by foot pedals in the cabin, were exposed, running from the nose to the wing, and from the wing to the tail! Check out the below picture. A pilot of the era had to watch our for flying birds/geese with malicious intent who happened to carry knives! Otherwise the plane could go down in flames!!! Luckily on this morning’s flight malicious fowl weren’t in the area!

Orthogonal view of this plane! Check out the cabling from the nose, through the wing, all the way to the tail!

Orthogonal view of this plane! Check out the cabling from the nose, through the wing, all the way to the tail!

Close-up of the aileron cabling.

Close-up of the aileron cabling.

Once the plane was moved out of the hangar and onto the tarmac, me and other paying participants bordered the plane! I took a seat directly behind the pilot, right next to the left engine. I wish I’d brought earplugs as the engine was incredibly loud! The pilot fired up all three engines and we sat for a couple of minutes on the tarmac to let the engines warm up before he taxied the plane down the approach runway. Once we made the turn onto the north-south runway, he gave it full throttle, inducing quite a vibration into the cabin as the engines accelerated to full speed, and we took off!

Pre-takeoff photo

Pre-takeoff photo

In the air over Lebanon, TN!

In the air over Lebanon, TN, Interstate 40 below.

Flying over Lebanon, TN, US 231 below.

Flying over Lebanon, TN, US 231 below.

It was incredible to experience flight as it had been during the Golden Age! I met several wonderful people that helped make this event possible and also a gentleman gave me his card in case I ever wanted to go flying again. After jumping out a plane 3 weeks prior and now this, the flying bug has definitely bitten me! I’m going to take him up on his offer soon. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get a pilots license!

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