The Experimental Aircraft Association‘s Ford Tri-motor spent a weekend in September visiting the DeKalb Taylor Airport (KDKB) in Illinois, “offering rides and walk-throughs for seekers of this grand old transport,” says Albert Dyer who sent us photos of his flight in the Tri-motor.
“The experience left me feeling like this: When those three big engines came alive and settled into a rhythmic rumble, my excitement only grew as the taxi brought the flight closer to the departure end of the runway. What was the takeoff like? IT WAS GREAT!!!”
“The tail was up quickly and seconds later we were climbing, leaving the airport environment. Airborne, it was easy to imagine what passengers of the late-1920s might have experienced as you looked down on all the farmland surrounding DeKalb as the big Tri-motor flew lazily overhead.
“Since we didn’t fly very high you saw a lot of heads looking up with waving arms. The entire flight was an E-ticket ride.”
“Should the EAA’s Ford Tri-motor stop on tour near you, I would suggest that you Google the history of the Tri-motor before you take the flight. Knowing the history only adds to the overall experience. It won’t disappoint.”
He continued: “The EAA Tri-motor is such a goodwill ambassador for aviation. Many young families came out to see the Ford and it sure sparked a light. I’m not sure if it was because of the Ford’s overall size or because everyone was allowed to walk through it, including even sitting in the front office if you wished. It was totally accessible to everyone.
“A lot of elderly folks also came out. You knew their smiles held a story that I would have loved to have heard. I overheard someone say that during the days the Ford was at DeKalb it made more than 25 flights. For an airplane that is almost 90 years old, that’s a lot of interest from a small farming community.”