‘Tin Goose’ to take to the skies
<p class="p1">Aviation enthusiasts will be able to step back in time this week as a Ford Tri-motor aircraft makes a stop Thursday at the Beauregard Parish Airport located at 1220 1st Avenue in DeRidder.
<p class="p3">The aircraft will be available for viewing and rides in DeRidder from Thursday through Sunday from 2 – 5 p.m. each day. Tickets will be available for purchase at the airport for $75 per adult and $50 for each child who wishes to ride what is considered the nation’s very first luxury airliner.
<p class="p3">The aircraft is made available to the public by the Experimental Aircraft Association, and tour manager Olivia Rasmus said that each tour its hosted by EAA volunteers who are passionate about sharing the Tri-Motor’s place in history books.
<p class="p3">The DeRidder event, she said, will be hosted by EAA’s Chapter 1356 volunteers.
<p class="p3">Rasmus said that the majority of the proceeds from ticket sales will be used to keep the Tri-Motor operational, while also continuing the non-profit organization’s mission to promote aviation interests.
<p class="p3">“We are all very exciting to have the opportunity to share this piece of history with DeRidder and other communities, and we hope to be able to share our love of aviation with others through this unique experience,” Rasmus stated.
<p class="p3">Henry Ford built 199 Tri-Motors — nicknamed the “Tin Goose” — between 1926 and 1933 at the cusp of airline travel. Ford specified three engines to the aircraft in an effort to overcome engine reliability concerns and then added an enclosed cabin for passenger comfort.
<p class="p3">Rasmus said that the EAA’s model that will be at the Beauregard Parish airport, model 4-AT-E, was number 146 off of Ford’s assembly line and first flew on August 21, 1929.
<p class="p3">It still replicates the paint scheme of Eastern Air Transport, who owned the aircraft before becoming Eastern Airlines.
<p class="p3">She said that the EAA acquired the aircraft in 1973, and that staff members and volunteers spent an “arduous” twelve years to restore it. It officially debuted in 1985 at the EAA airshow convention in Oshkosh, Wis., and then remained in the EAA Aviation Museum until 1991.
<p class="p3">It now joins one other Tri-Motor owned by the EAA as it performs nationwide tours each year.
<p class="p3">More information on the Tri-Motor and its DeRidder stop can be found at <strong>www.flytheford.com</strong>.