Living history: Tin Goose

A pair of 1920s Ford Tri-Motors toured the US last year. Frank B Mormillo profiles the eldest of these, the Liberty Aviation Museum’s Model 5-AT-B

The aircraft positioned at John Wayne Airport, California, in February 2019.

First flown on June 11, 1926, the all-metal Ford Tri-Motor represented a giant leap forward for commercial aviation. It provided the first truly reliable and comfortable coast-to-coast passenger service in the US – Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) was subsequently established purely for that purpose, taking advantage of the new machine’s ground-breaking capabilities.

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