1929 Ford Tri-Motor tin goose visits Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fly the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor tin goose

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Air Zoo's 1929 5AT Tri-Motor aircraft Air Zoo's 1929 5AT Tri-Motor aircraft
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

It was 1929 - the year the stock market crash plummeted the world economy into recession and the year Savannah's first radio station WTOC went on the air.

But it was also the year one of the first passenger planes took flight - the Ford Tri-Motor. Only 199 were built - 18 remain - and one is in Savannah - ready to take you up. WTOC checked this plane with the colorful nickname.  

"It's called the tin goose and it truly is an artifact, a piece of history, as virtually every airline that's in existence now was birthed using ford tri-motors," said Bill Thacker, an Experimental Aircraft Association Ford Tri-Motor pilot.

Thacker has flown all kinds of planes, but he volunteers to fly this one - with the EAA. 

He runs a brief pre-flight check and then they're ready to go.  The first tin goose had a single engine - as designed by William Stout. 

"Henry Ford saw this and says: 'I got a better idea,'" Thacker said. "He said, 'Let's build it bigger; let's put more engines on it; let's make it an environment that they're comfortable with; make it look like a train. You know, put big square windows in it - a lot of wood appointed on the inside."

Thacker describes the tin goose as an absolute dream to fly.   

"I absolutely love flying this airplane.  It has a personality. You know, but it's a lovely personality. It's just a lovely airplane," he said. "You take people up and we truly take them back to 1929 – and the sounds; the smell; the feel; the rumble - is exactly what they would have felt in 1929."

Here are details on how to ride in the vintage Ford Motor Co. airplane:

Take a ride in the Air Zoo's 1929 5AT Tri-Motor aircraft. It will be in at the Savannah International Airport at 34 Hangar Road off of Dean Forest Road until Nov. 10. Prices: $75 walk up; $70 pre-book; $50 (17 and under). It's sponsored by the Savannah EAA Chapter.

For more information or to book your flight, go to http://www.FlytheFord.org or call 877.952.5396.

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