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Flying the Oldest Airliner: 1929 Ford 4-AT-E Trimotor

 
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747-237
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:41 am    Post subject: Flying the Oldest Airliner: 1929 Ford 4-AT-E Trimotor Reply with quote

The girlfriend and I were fortunate enough to have the oportunity to fly aboard the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)'s 1929 Ford 4-AT-E Trimotor NC8407.

The Ford Trimotor is arguably the world's first true mass produced passenger airliner, & NC8407 is one of only three in existence that are flyable. NC8407 was number 146 off Fordís assembly line (out of 199) and first flew on August 21, 1929. She was sold to Pitcairn Aviationís passenger division, Eastern Air Transport, which later became Eastern Airlines (she was was the company's first airplane). Later she was also operated by Cubana, and the government of the Dominican Republic.


Will add pics as often as possible. Enjoy ....


March 25, 2012
Plant City, FL
PCM - PCM


EAA's flyer of the event.



EAA's brochure about the Trimotor.



Our tickets


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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has to be one of the most unique trip reports on AI.net, ever.
747-237: please add pictures, as you did for the air base event, and descriptions, too! It would be invaluable to get a first hand account of what `flying through glue' is like, and how the plane sounded, handled, what did it feel like, and much more. I am not sure I will be lone in looking forward to this thread every morning, for additions. You can also put everything in together, so that we can read, and re-read all this, for a long time to come.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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747-237
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ Thanks, Sumantra .... will do my best not to disappoint !

I am glad to have finally outdone my father- by flying (onboard) an airplane older than he did in his years with the IAF & AI.
And as I outdid him, his pilot's wings were with me Wink



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...brilliant, as starters, increases our desire to see more of it!
In the second image, are you also trying to explain Fleming's Left hand rule to someone?
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pre-flight ...... in the hangar at PCM.









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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tin on the "Tin Goose" ... much like a corugated sheet of metal.








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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Must've been an awesome experience!!

What altitude where you flying at? Any videos?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justbala wrote:
Must've been an awesome experience!!

What altitude where you flying at? Any videos?


Yes it sure was ! Altitude was 1000 feet. Sorry, no videos, just a whole lot of pics.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi 747-237,
Thanks for posting such an unique TR! Awesome pictures have in fact compensated the shortage of narration (though we would have loved more of it)!

It's such an one-of-a-kind experience!
BTW, I am meeting the "Spruce Goose" at Evergreen Museum in June. I am guessing "Spruce Goose" will be the elder brother of "Tin Goose" Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A plaque on the door gives a little history about this particular Tri-Motor.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time to step into the 1920s aboard the Tin Goose ......





The seat light & the on-off switch.


1920s Overhead storage compartment.


The insides of the rear fuselage .... there is a door to this area.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And finally, the flight deck.












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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The old bird is moved out of her hangar and swung around at PCM.















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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We met this gentleman who was thrilled to be there, as he was born in the same year as the TriMotor - 1929.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a unique trip report, never knew that Ford was in the aviation business. Thanks for posting.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The flight crew do their pre-flight check




The "air vent" - essentially a little slit in the fuselage


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what an experience !!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, all.

Sorry about the delay in uploading more pics - I still have to upload the ones of the actual flight. Will do so as soon as time permits.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report and fantastic pictures. Thanks for sharing.
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747-237
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally in our seats, and engines are fired up.






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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - this is really the edge-of-the-seat material. It is almost like being with you on the trip! Very nice collection of photographs, and presented brilliantly, step-by-step.
Thanks, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sumantra - I know I've taken a long time to post the pics. As you can see I have to go through two sets of pictures, from 2 cameras (you can tell the difference by the fact that one set has the timestamp, & the other does not). Since it's a 1-1 configuration, and every seat has a window, each of us were clicking away pics from the port & starboard side. Now I have to make sense of them & present them in a chronological fashion.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taxi & TakeOff from Plant City - view from the Port side.












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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taxi & TakeOff from Plant City - view from the Starboard side.













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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being given the finger by the flight crew !


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inflight, over the Tampa Bay area.













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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An aerial view of downtown Tampa in the distance.



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great view from the flight deck while in flight.



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wings over Plant City.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Final approach to PCM


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing Experience. Thanks for the pics.
Really awesome to see how crude and rustic the construction of the airplane is. I love that air vent. Just a hole in the fuselage Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
Amazing Experience. Thanks for the pics.
Really awesome to see how crude and rustic the construction of the airplane is. I love that air vent. Just a hole in the fuselage Very Happy


Glad you enjoyed them. I'll post a few more a.s.a.p.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Approach, Touchdown & Taxi












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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back on Terra Firma !







And we say goodbye to the old Tin Goose .....


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has to be one of the most wonderful trip reports ever posted. Such a wide array of very impressive pictures, capturing almost every aspect of the trip. Thanks once again, for sharing these lovely memories with us!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to (finally) wrap this one up .....

Here is what the EAA sent me earlier this year for having done this.


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