Ford 5-AT Tri-Motor

13 seats 0 105 mph

Engines

Pratt & Whitney

Wasp (450 hp) x 3

MGTOW

13,500 lb.

Range

500 miles

Length

50 feet

Span

78 feet

Height

12 feet

An All-Metal Airplane

The aircraft that was to become almost standard equipment, until the advent of the Boeing 247 in 1933 and the DC-2 in 1934, derived its design from a smaller aircraft built in 1923. William B. Stout had apparently watched the success of the German Junkers all-metal air­craft built in 1919 immediately after the end of the Great War; and had perhaps noticed the consistency of success of the Fokker thick-wing aerofoil. Stout’s 1-AS Air Sedan combined elements of both and first flew on 17 February 1923. Although under-powered with a 90-hp OX-5 engine, it was developed into the Stout 2-AT Air Pullman, with a 400-hp Liberty engine.

Ford Takes an Interest

The great Ford Motor Company—Edsel Ford himself—took an interest in Stout’s work. On 15 October 1924, Ford opened an airport and a manufacturing plant at Dearborn, near Detroit. The airfield would soon be equipped with two paved runways, 3,400 ft and 3,700 ft, possibly the first of their kind in the world. Ford established its own private airline, to connect its plants at Chicago and Detroit, and opened service on 13 April 1925, with the Stout 2-AT Maiden Dearborn. On 31 July of that year, Ford purchased the Stout Metal Air­plane Company.

The Ford Tri-Hsfor

When the Wright Whirlwind radial engine became available in 1925, the Stout 2-AT was modified to a tri-motor design, the 3-AT. It was not an attractive airplane, made a few test flights, and was destroyed at Dearborn on 17 January 1926. Flowever, the idea of three engines stuck, and the outcome was the famous Ford Tri-Motor. It was built under the direc­tion of William B. Mayo, Ford’s Chief Engineer, and made its first flight on 11 June 1926. The design team was led by Thomas Towle, and included John Lee, Otto Koppen, and H. A.Hicks. The test pilot, Major Shroeder, insisted on an open cockpit, but this was soon abandoned. A total of 199 Tri-Motors, in a variety of versions, was built, and because of the sturdy all-metal construction, they lasted a long time, with one or two still in flying condition even today.

Artwork size does not allow accurate scale representation of the Tri-Motor’s corrugated aluminum skin.

T. W.A.

T. A.T.

No.

No.

Regn.

MSN

Delivery Date

Name

Disposal and Remarks

614

A-9

NC9606

5-AT-4

24 Nov 28

City of Columbus later City of New York

Used by Charles Lindbergh as a flying office when surveying T. A.T.’s transcontinental route. T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Sold 14 Feb 35, subsequently several owners, incTACA Niceragua. Crashed on takeoff at Choteau, Montana, 6 May 53

607

A-2

NC9607

5-AT-5

22 Nov 28

The Kansas City

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Crashed, Quay, New Mexico, 29 Aug 33

612

A-6

NC9643

5-AT-6

28 Nov 28

City of Albuquerque

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. SACO, Colombia. 5 Apr 35. Destroyed in collision with another Ford at Medallin, 24 Jun 35.

603

A-7

NC9644

5-AT-7

18 Jan 29

City of Washington

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Grand Canyon Airlines 27 Mar 36. TACA11 Dec 37

608

A-3

NC9645

5-AT-8

18 Jan 29

City of Wichita

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Grand Canyon Airlines, 16 Jul 35. to TACA Honduras 11 Dec 37. To Mexico, Jan 46. Repaired in 1951 as the "smooth-skin Ford." To U. S.A. 1955, eventu-

ally to Evergreen Aviation, Oregon in 1990.

604

A-8

NC9646

5-AT-9

18 Jan 29

City of Los Angeles

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Guld Oil Corp. 22 Sep 37, then to Venezuela

615

A-10

NC9638

5-AT-16

16 Jan 29 (Maddux)

T. W.A. 21 Apr 31. SACO, Colombia, 5 Apr 35. TACA Honduras, Mar 39.

611

A-6

NC9639

5-AT-17

9 Feb 29 (Maddux)

City of Waynoka

T. W.A. 21 Apr. 31. PANAGRA, 5 Jul 34. Remodelled for heavy cargo work, with large hatch in top fuselage, for special haulage to mines in Peru and Bolivia.

613

A-8

NC9640

5-AT-18

26 Feb 29 (Maddux)

T. W.A. 21 Apr 31. Grand Canyon Airlines, 27 Mar 26. TACA Honduras, 11 Dec 37. To Mexico, 6 Jun 46.

602

NC9641

5-AT-19

3 Mar 29 (Maddux)

T. W.A. 21 Apr 31. Leslie G. Mulzer, Columbus, Ohio, 17 Feb 36. Aerovias Nacionales, Costa Rica, Mar 39

A-9

NC9649

5-AT-20

14 Jun 29

City of San Francisco

Crashed on Mt. Taylor, near Albuquerque, 3 Sep 29

609

A-4

NC9647

5-AT-21

26 Apr 29

City of Indianapolis

Used by U. S. Army for endurance tests. Accident on 22 Dec 29. T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Crashed Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 27 Jan 31

605

A-10

NC9651

5-AT-34

16 May 29

City of Philadelphia

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. R. C.A., Camden, NJ, 19 Mar 36, for extensive tests with secret radio and television projects. Star Air Lines, Anchorage, 10 Apr 41. After accident, Aug 43, stored until 18 Apr 52, sold to Clyde Sampson, California. Various owners.

610

A-5

NC9650

5-AT-37

22 May 29

City of St. Louis

Crashed 14 Dec 32

600

NC9686

5-AT-41

20 Apr 29 (Maddux)

T. W.A. 21 Apr 31. Sold to Fred Kane 3 Feb 36, Charles H. Babb, 8 Nov 38, Guinea Air-

616

NC8411

5-AT-49

18 Apr 30

ways, 28 Nov 38. Originally purchased by Scenic Airways, Phoenix, 18 Jun 29, then to United Aviation Corp. Chicago Mar 30. T. W.A. 30 Jan 31. Sold to St. Louis Flying Service, St. Louis, 27 Sep 37. Crashed in Colombia, 15 Apr 39

601

A-ll

NC8413

5-AT-51

24 Jun 29 (Maddux)

City of Columbus

T. W.A. 24 Apr 31. Sold 2 Sep 37. Destroyed by fire, Mankato, Minnesota, 11 Aug 38

606

A-l

NC9648

5-AT-57

3 Jul 29

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Republic Oil, Pittsburgh, 19 Jul 37. Modified to hold 1,800 gallons of

gasoline, 450 gallons of oil, to refuel Jimmy Mattern’s Lockheed 12-А The Texan. In search for Russian polar flyers in 1937, written off at Anchorage, 21 Aug 37

620

NC410H

5-AT-69

26 Apr 33

Originally delivered to New England and Western Air Transportation Company, 7 May 30; then to Eastern Air Transport, Brooklyn, 16 Oct 30; then to T. W.A. This was used briefly at New York’s Downtown Skyport on the East River of Lower Manhattan, from 29 Aug 35. Sold to SCADTA, Colombia, 11 Feb 36.

618

NC9665

5-AT-24

2 Mar 31

Ex-SAFE (del. 1 Nov 29). Crashed, Pittsburgh, 19 Aug 31.

617

NC9666

5-AT-25

2 Mar 31

Ex-SAFE (del. 5 Mar 29). Destroyed, Bakersfield, 10 Feb 33.

619

NC430H

5-AT-90

6 Mar 31

Delivered to Continental Co., 21 Jun 30. Sold to C. N.A., Guatamala, 29 Jul 35.

Note: 4 Model 4-ATs were also transferred to T. AT. when it bought Maddux on 16 Nov 29, but title transfer wos For its 20th Anniversary celebration in July 1949, T. W.A. leased a 4-AT-5S, NC9612, City ottos Angeles.

officially recorded as 21 Apr 31. (See page 20)

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