2017-02-16 / Top News

Look! Up in the air! It’s a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s 1929 Ford Tri-Motor comes in for a landing at Naples Municipal Airport Feb. 23-26, giving local aviation aficionados the opportunity to experience flight aboard the world’s first mass-produced airliner. Passengers can book short flights and travel back to the early days of what was considered luxurious commercial air travel.

Tours will be offered from 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Feb. 24-26.

The Ford Tri-Motor, also called the “Tin Goose,” was first built by the Ford Motor Company in the late 1920s. EAA’s Ford Tri-Motor was constructed in 1929 and has an intriguing history, with roles ranging from service as Cuban airliner to transporting smoke jumpers to fight forest fires.

After a thunderstorm wreaked havoc on the airplane in 1973, EAA founder Paul Poberezny purchased the aircraft, which then underwent a 12-year restoration. Since then it has been hangared at the EAA Museum’s historic Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh, Wis., and only departs to make public appearances and for its touring.

EAA’s Ford Tri-Motor has also made a celebrity appearance in two major movies: 1960’s “Family Jewels” starring Jerry Lewis and 2009’s “Public Enemies” starring Johnny Depp.

The plane can carry up to nine passengers at a time, and every seat has a window. Photo opportunities are guaranteed as the plane flies over Golden Gate and then turns west and passes over Pelican Bay before following the coastline south to the Naples Pier and then heading back to the airport (route can change if wind conditions dictate). Each flight takes about 30 minutes from takeoff to return to the tarmac.

Tickets to go up in the Tri-Motor are $70 for adults, $50 for ages 17 and younger if purchased in advance and $75 on site. For tickets or more information, call (877) 952-5395. ¦

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