History Flying into Quincy
Thu, 13 Jun 2013 23:50:11 GMT —
The 1929 Ford Tri-Motor was the first of its kind and only 199 were built. Two-450 horsepower motors and one-550 horsepower motor power this passenger airliner. It features an enclosed cabin which was rare for the time period.
"Airline travel experience in 1929 was a noisier affair than it is today. The seats in this airplane are actually very comfortable and there is a lot more leg room compared to say a commuter air liner," EAA Volunteer Pilot Ashley Messenger said.
Ford motor company eventually bought the plans to the plane. The designer and inventor of which is from right here in Quincy.
"Quincy is actually the birthplace of the designer, William Bushnell Stout, was born here," Messenger said.
The aircraft has been around for 84 years. It started as a passenger airliner, was used as a crop duster and then it eventually became an Aerial Fire Fighter in the late 50s. The Tri-Motor has also been the star of several movies such as Jerry Lewis' "The Family Jewels" in the 70s and most recently with Johnny Depp in "Public Enemies".
"The airplane is an incredibly reliable airplane. Oil changes and the cleaning and changing of the spark plugs is about all the maintenance that it requires. General lubrication by keeping the tires inflated and the airplane goes everyday," Messenger said.
"It is a wonderful ride. You can hear the lumber of the engines. You can hear the sound and you're moving very slow. It is great to just kind of be floating along and looking down," Carl Tortorige, a member of the EAA Chapter in Quincy said.
From the sleek design to the passengers comfort, it is a breakthrough for its time. Something Messenger says leaves it in a special place in his heart.
"I love flying this airplane. It's a plane that you fall in love with. It has a charm all its own. My wife calls it my 84-year-old mistress," he said.
The ten thousand pound aircraft will be at Quincy Regional Airport for flights all Father's Day weekend from 9-5 p.m. The cost for a trip up in the plane for a tour around Quincy's air space is $75 and $50 for those under 17.