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In 1925, Henry Ford, bought the Stout metal Airplane company. William Bushnell Stout had designed several all metal airplanes. Ford adapted them to accept three radial engines. After a series of prototypes, the design went into production with three Wright J-4 engines of 200 horsepower. Many variations were made with engines of 220 hp, 300 hp, 420 hp, 450 hp, and even one with three 1000 hp engines. Eventually, 199 planes were built, in more than 30 variations.
At a time when most airplanes still were made of wood and fabric, and had two wings, the Ford Tri-Motor was a real game changer. One of its most distinctive characteristics was the use of corrugated aluminum for almost all of the outer skin. This material had the advantage of stiffness, light weight, and corrosion resistance. It had the disadvantage of adding a lot of drag due to air friction. This corrugated metal was the source of its nickname, the "Tin Goose". Typical cruising speed was only about 90 mph. With 3 engines, and a wing almost 78 ft long, it did have the ability to fly at a maximum weight of almost 14,000 lbs.
This airplane was truly the forerunner of modern transport planes flying today. It changed air travel from a risky adventure, to a reliable mode of transportation. There are still 18 of these planes in existence, 6 of them still flyable. One of them is based at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It tours air shows all over the US, and you still have the opportunity to fly in a historical airplane for about the price of dinner for two at a moderate restaurant.
The model that we offer is also a gamechanger when it comes to historically accurate models. It is a large model, with a wingspan of about 40 inches. The attention to detail is remarkable, so much so that you might wonder if some of the pictures of the model are actually of the real plane. The most significant detail is that the skin of the model is made of corrugated aluminum, just like the real plane. This takes the model up to a whole new level of authenticity.
When you receive your model, you will find that the wings are removed for shipping purposes, and you secure them with two screws on each side. Then remove the prop spinner nuts and install the propellers. There is a substantial display stand included, which is shipped in a separate carton. The total time from opening the cartons until your plane is assembled will be less than 30 minutes.
Give your plane a place of honor and make a pact with yourself to secure a seat in one of the still flying Tri-Motors as soon as you can. There are very few opportunities to experience aviation history that can compare.