Today is Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fly with history this weekend

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This 1929 Ford Tri-Motor landed at Lebanon Municipal Airport on Thursday. DALLUS WHITFIELD / The Wilson Post

Adventurous souls had the opportunity on Thursday to go for a flight in a 1929 Tri-Motor airplane nicknamed “The Tin Goose” during a stop by the Ford Tri-Motor Tour at Lebanon Municipal Airport.

Ilse Harmacinski of the Ford Tri-Motor Tour said that funds raised through the rides benefit the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles program, which helps children interested in futures in aviation. Other funds go to the upkeep of the aircraft.

Harmacinski said that although Henry Ford is mainly known for creating automobiles, such as the Model T manufactured from 1909 to 1926, he also made an impact in the world of aviation with the Ford Tri-Motor.

From 1926 to 1933, the Ford Motor Company built 199 Tri-Motors. Hatmacinski said the planes were used for air travel by wealthy individuals.

"In 1929, it took four to six weeks to drive from the East Coast to the West Coast," she said. "This aircraft allowed the wealthy to travel that distance in three days. They would have a stopping point along the way and sleep on a sleeper train one or two nights, then resume their journey because you could not fly at night in 1929."

She also shared that Ford was afraid of flying. He only took two known plane rides in his lifetime with his friend, Charles Lindbergh. One of those rides was in a Tri-Motor aircraft.

"Another little known fact about the Tri-Motor was that astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, took his first plane ride in one when he was 6 years old," she added.

The 1929 Ford Tri-Motor will be at the Lebanon Municipal Airport through Sunday, June 8. Rides will be offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The price is $75 for adults and $50 for ages 17 and under.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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