The second of three Ford Trimotor posts for this month
Today's small, innocuous snapshot is really the capture of a remarkable moment in Ford Trimotor history. Taken at Ford Airport in Dearborn, Michigan (now the site of Ford's Dearborn Development Center; for a look at how it appears today, check out this link), the photo was taken at or near the beginning of the 1927 Ford National Reliability Air Tour, which got underway on June 27, 1927 (there is another similar photo of the event, here on San Diego Air & Space Museum's Flikr site, which also appears in a book on the tour).
Lined up from left to right are:
By 1935, it was being flown by Whitepass Airways from Skagway, Alaska, and in 1936 it was in B.C. Canada with the British Yukon Navigation Company (CF-AZB). It was damaged during a towing accident and after a failed rebuild attempt, it was "bulldozed into the ground as part of the construction of longer runways at Whitehorse" in 1942.
A detailed history of this aircraft, including the newspaper item quoted above, can be found at the Davis-Monthan Register site. Photos of its time at Whitepass can be seen here.
Denver Public Library's Western History website.
At some point, the plane was sold to D. A. Seitz and operated privately. It was destroyed in a crash on February 8, 1930 in San Marcos, Texas, reportedly when the landing gear failed. There were seven on board, and it appears that there were no injuries, although the plane was written off. There is some rumors, though, that the airframe, or parts of it, were recovered and is now undergoing restoration (would love to hear comments from anyone with information!).
By April 30, 1930, it had been stricken from the Navy's books, and presumably was scrapped.The Navy and Marines would go on to buy eight more Trimotors from Ford.
can be seen here). The cargo flight was the inaugural run of the Dearborn-Buffalo NY route, and the accident was the first fatal Trimotor crash. According to the contemporary news account, Munn, a former test pilot, lifted off with too little airspeed and the plane stalled.
Finally, I offer the snapshot below...a small little photo showing three Trimotors in formation flight...I have no idea if this was taken during the 1927 Air Tour, or at some other event, but this seems as good a post as any to include it.
There is a new Trimotor history website that I'm excited to see come our way...check it out and contribute if you can!
Photos of a remarkable Trimotor restoration can be seen here