Weekend Drive: Ford Tri-Motor at Greeneville Airport


A flying piece of history is in our region this weekend and you can go on a flight! The Ford Tri-Motor makes a stop at the Greeneville airport over the weekend to showcase aviation of the past.

The Ford Trimotor - built in the late 1920s is a 3 motor passenger plane - the first all metal airliner in the US.

This Tri-Motor wad part was part of the transcontinental air route which would take you from New York to LA in 48 hours - a sprint in those days..

Ed Rusch- Pilot of the Tri-Motor tells me that "In this airplanes day it was a new type of construction and new inside so it's the 787 of the Dreamliner of its day. Sure it vibrated and shook a bit and it goes 85 mph vs 500 mph but for its day it's very advanced. It's reliability factor was way beyond anything being used as an airliner in those days "

The Ford Trimotor was able to take about 10 people and 3 crew members on its flights.

" If the ducks lined up and the stars were aligned you could make it from coast to coast in 48 hours which was half of the time strictly on a plane. "

The first night you would spend on a sleeper train you'd board the train in NY. Ride a sleeper car to Columbus OH and walk across 5th Ave to the Newport Columbus airport and board a Ford Trimotor , ride all day and that night you'd stop and ride on a train all night. And then the next motor you'd get back on a Ford Trimotor and ride all the way to LA."

The Experimental Aircraft Association, or EAA takes this plane on tour -across the US.

"We bring it to the people rather than have the people have to go to Washington DC to see the one hanging in the Smithsonian or go to the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn Michigan to see one we bring it to the people. Not only do we do that we give it an opportunity to ride in it and experience what the airliner experience was in 1928."

Rides are offered Saturday and Sunday, May 5th and 6th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $70 in advance or $75 walk-up for adults and $50 for children 17 and under. For more information, see or call 1-877-952-5395.

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