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Ford Tri-motor (NC8407) at Fishers, Indiana

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Uploaded on Jun 27, 2009

A Ford Tri-motor taxies in to the Indianapolis Metro Airpark in Fishers, Indiana. It is at this airport for the weekend of June 27-28, 2009 for the public to view and ride.

This Ford Tri-motor (NC8407) is now owned and operated by EAA. It was manufactured on August 21, 1929 and purchased by Pitcairn Airways (later Eastern Air Transport: Eastern Airlines). It was sold and moved to Cuba on October 1, 1930, but in August 1946 it became "Air Force One" for the Dominican Republic.

From 1949 to until 1950 is was used as a crop duster here in the US, then as a smoke jumber and borate bomber in the US Forest Service from 1950 to 1963.

In 1964 it was leased to Tallmantz Aviation for a role in the feature comedy "The Family Jewels" starring Jerry Lewis and Sebastian Cabot. From 1965 to 1973, Dale Glenn frew it around the country offering rides to the public.

In 1973, it was struck and totaled by a severe storm while on the ground in Wisconsin in 1973, but restored by 1985.

In 2003-2004, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in Appleton, WI, did a complete make over in 2003/2004 for its 75th anniversary.

Of the 199 Ford Tri-motors built between 1925 and 1933, 18 still exist, of which 6 are still flyable as of 2008

Ford Tri-motors were a major leap forward in commercial aviation, and made aviation headlines many times.

Between November 27 and 28, 1929, Admiral Richard E. Byrd and his crew made the first flight over the South Pole in a Ford Tri-motor called "Floyd Bennett."

Franklin Roosevelt flew aboard a Ford Tri-motor in 1932 during his presidential campaign in one of the first uses of an aircraft in an election, replacing the traditional "whistle stop" train trips.

Ford Tri-motors continued in limited service with small, regional air carriers. One of the most famous was the Scenic Airways Ford Tri-motor N414H which was used for 65 years as a sightseeing aircraft flying over the Grand Canyon.

Today, it is still a lovely sight. It's distinctive silouette and sound are immediately recognized by aviation enthusiasts, and it is a special priviledge to witness this living legend of aviation history.

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