ANDERSON – The Experimental Aircraft Association and Anderson Municipal Airport have teamed up and are offering an opportunity to take a ride in the historic 1929 Ford Tri-Motor “Tin Goose” airplane.
The iconic airplane is at the Anderson Municipal Airport through Wednesday, and is offering rides to the public for a small fee.
The Tin Goose has a storied history.
“The Tin Goose was the world’s first mass-produced airliner,” said Sam Umentum 22, a marketing and public relations intern at Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wis.
Some of the duties the Tin Goose carried out during its earlier days, such as in 1930, include providing air service for Cubana Airlines between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.
“The plane was also used for fighting forest fires and carrying smoke jumpers,” said Umentum.
In the 1940s, the airplane was flown over the western United States, carrying smoke jumpers who fought forest fires. At that time, the large 450 hp engines were installed, officials said.
The Tin Goose was considered a luxurious commercial way to travel in the early days, according to officials.
The plane can carry up to 10 passengers, and each passenger has a window seat.
According to officials, the plane measures 50 feet in length, stands almost 12 feet tall, and has a wing span of 74 feet. The plane weighs just over two tons, and cruises the air at 107 mph. With a fuel capacity of 231 gallons, the plane can fly 570 miles before needing refueled. Patrolling the air at over 16,000 feet, this plane accommodated virtually everything.
However, the plane was nearly destroyed in a thunderstorm in 1973. The plane was in Burlington, Wis., at an EAA fly-in, when the tie-downs broke and the plane was lifted over 50 feet in the air, only to return to the ground upside down, where it broke into three pieces.