This Port Clinton, OH Ford Tri-Motor Project Will Bring Aviation History To Life

Dec 7, 2021

Did you know Ford made aircraft? See one of the historic Ford Tri-Motors being brought back to life in Port Clinton, Ohio, and support the team at the Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation (419-635-6383).

If you love seeing aircraft restorations, this is a project like no other. The team has been building a full, flying example for over 10 years, and they’re making good progress. However, they still need your help to get this lady back in the skies.

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When completed, the Ford Tri-Motor will be one of two flyable models based at Port Clinton, where Island Airlines operated the aircraft from the 1940s to the 1980s. Along with this latest announcement, the Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation wishes to thank you, the supporters, for all of the amazing contributions.

From 1946, Ford Tri-Motors played an important role in servicing the isolated populations on the Lake Erie islands. The aircraft provided reliable, all-weather transportation for many years, and performed as an ambulance, school bus, mail plane, hearse, and many other air-cargo roles.

Local private pilot Ken Benjamin formed a group dedicated to returning an example to the Port Clinton area in 2004. The team of volunteers, assisted by a full-time airframe mechanic, now works on the project in a hangar of the Liberty Aviation Museum, where you can view the most recent progress.

While elements of the fuselage and wings are now well advanced, some significant acquisitions are still needed in order to achieve their goal. Items you can help with include engines, seats, landing gear strut assemblies and oil coolers.

About the Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation

A non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation aims to perpetuate a part of America’s aviation heritage by building and maintaining a flightworthy 1929 Ford Tri-Motor. In addition to the current restoration work, the foundation hopes to acquire more items of historical significance to help show you the vital roles that these aircraft played.

A foundation representative stated: “The importance of this all-metal aircraft to the Lake Erie islands region, as well as the development of safe and dependable commercial air transportation, cannot be overstated. Whether you attend an event, buy a souvenir, or volunteer your time, there are many opportunities to help contribute to our success.”

See this slice of aviation history for yourself. Click on so you can learn more.

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