A different kind of Ford

Ford Airport Day to feature 1929 Ford Tri-Motor aircraft

AMONG THE HIGHLIGHTS of the 15th annual Ford Airport Day, set for Saturday, is the Experimental Aircraft Association’s 1929 Ford Tri-Motor airliner, one of the first commercial aircraft. The Ford Tri-Motor is set to arrive at the Kingsford air field Thursday and will provide rides for a fee.

KINGSFORD — Fun is ready to take flight with the 15th annual Ford Airport Day, set for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the airfield in Kingsford.

Highlighting this year’s event is the Experimental Aircraft Association’s 1929 Ford Tri-Motor. The EAA said of the “Tin Goose,” first produced by Ford in 1925, “the first luxury airliner, the Ford Tri-Motor redefined world travel and marked the beginning of commercial flight.”

“This was one of the first all-metal airliners to be developed,” said Will Kroger, Chapter spokesperson. “There was only about 200 of those aircrafts produced.”

The Iron Mountain Chapter will be offering a one-of-a-kind flight experience in that Tri-Motor plane from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“Climb aboard one of the first mass-produced metal airliners and step back in time to aviation’s golden age,” Kroger said.

Cost is $75 at the door or $70 by going online at http://flytheford.org to sign up for a flight.

In addition to the Tri-Motor, the event will feature many other family activities Saturday.

The Young Eagles again will provide free flights for ages 8 to 17 from 9 a.m. to noon.

“This always draws a large crowd,” he said.

Organizers hope to have a number of unique and rare aircraft flying in for the event as well.

Guy Forstrom will present a special display of Ford memorabilia, along with several artifacts from the Menominee Range Historical Foundation.

“He will be available to answer questions, as he is very knowledgeable on local history,” Kroger said.

Members of the Civil Air Patrol will provide information to those interested in getting involved in the CAP.

Other displays during the day include the Dickinson County Pilots Association, and model airplane club.

Local car clubs will attend as well with their classic vehicles on display.

Children of all ages can enjoy the kids’ pedal airplane corral and the Snoopy flight simulator.

A pancake breakfast is planned from 8 to 10 a.m. and lunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the event.

Admission is $5, with ages 12 and younger admitted free. The maximum family fee is $15, organizers added.

Ford Airport Day is presented by Ford Airport, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 439, Kubick Aviation and U.P. Truck Center.

Event sponsors include M.J. Electric, Tri-City Cinemas 8, Pro Tech Lube Center, and Schneider Iron and Metal. The day also is dedicated to the late Jim Riverside, a local aviation enthusiast.

“Come out and support the local EAA Chapter,” Kroger said.