Historic Ford Tri-Motor Flights, Hosted by EAA Chapter 1240, at Sebring’s Expo

Adults and children will be able to recall the energy, passion, and excitement of the roaring ’20s by flying aboard the Ford Tri-Motor this January 24-27 at the Sebring Regional Airport as a part of the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. Known as the first luxury airliner, the Ford Tri-Motor redefined world travel and marked the beginning of commercial flight.

EAA Heartland Chapter 1240 has been chosen to host one of the stops on this year’s EAA Ford Tri-Motor tour. Sebring Expo attendees may purchase rides on the aircraft in advance or on site at the event and really imagine what it was like to fly on the premier airliner of the 1920s and 1930s. Funds received from ticket sales will be used to keep the Tri-Motor tour alive and help local EAA Chapter 1240 continue to provide additional youth aviation activities.

Viewing this historic aircraft is free and all are encouraged to take photos.

Reserving a seat aboard the aircraft for a flight
Advance online pricing:

Adult: $70
Children (17 & under): $50

If you want to reserve a seat at the event the price is $75
Rides are taking place Wednesday to Saturday, 9AM – 5PM

Reserve your ride.

Deals for YAZ participants
Youth participating in one of the school sponsored field trips to Sebring’s Expo should show their wristband to the gate on Saturday to gain free access and a half price Expo ticket for their accompanying parent.

EAA Heartland Chapter 1240
EAA Heartland Chapter 1240 is a non-profit 501 C (3) corporation dedicated to support youth aviation education. Their Aviation Development Center is located at the Sebring Regional Airport, 197 Challenger Dr., Sebring, FL Gate 24. For more information about this EAA Chapter call John Rousch at 863-273-0522. 

About the Ford Tri-Motor
Henry Ford mobilized millions of Americans and created a new market with his Model T “Tin Lizzie” automobile from 1909 to 1926. After World War I, he recognized the potential for mass air transportation.

Ford’s Tri-Motor aircraft was designed to build another new market: airline travel. To overcome concerns of engine reliability, Ford specified three engines and added features for passenger comfort, such as an enclosed cabin. The first three Tri-Motors built seated the pilot in an open cockpit, as many pilots doubted a plane could be flown without the direct “feel of the wind.”

From 1926 through 1933, Ford Motor Company built 199 Tri-Motors. EAA’s model 5-AT B, flew its first flight on December 1, 1928. It was sold to Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT, the logo that graces the aircraft’s fuselage today) in January 1929 where it became NC9645 and was named City of Wichita. It inaugurated westbound transcontinental commercial air service on July 7, 1929; with sister ship City of Columbus.

In April 1931, ownership of the aircraft was transferred to Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA). Here the aircraft helped in the development of TWA’s route system.

In July 1935, NC9645 was sold to G. Ruckstill and entered the fleet at Grand Canyon Airlines. From there the Tin Goose was sold to Boulder Dam Tours in February 1937, where it entered sightseeing air tour service.

Eventually the Tin Goose landed at Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio. After further maintenance to ensure the aircraft was tour-ready, Liberty entered into a lease agreement with EAA, working together to showcase the historic aircraft around the country.