SPRINGFIELD, ILL (WCIA) — If you’re an aviation buff or just want to see Springfield from an entirely new vantage point, you have a great opportunity to do just that this weekend (May 21st and 22nd) aboard the stunningly original and beautiful 1928 Ford Tri-Motor Airplane. Our own Jack Gerfen got to not only go up to the skies, he also took control of the ‘Tin Goose’ himself and has the story.

I got to sit in the Ford Tri-Motor, and I even got to fly it too.

Meteorologist Jack Gerfen

There is no experience quite like feeling 1,200 horsepower through the steering wheel of a Ford Model A a few thousand feet in the air.  Back in 1928 though, there was no experience quite like the first luxury airliner either.

The airplane is an antique in every sense of the word in the way it’s systems are and the way it handles and feels, it’s capabilities.

Ashley Messenger, Ford Tri-Motor Pilot

Henry Ford not only democratized the automobile, he did it to aviation too with the Ford Tri-Motor.  Most planes at the time still relied heavily on wood, but new metal technology meant Ford’s planes used wood on only the interior trim.  It had 3 engines in case one failed, each putting out over 400 supercharged horsepower.

This particular plane was sold initially to Transcontinental Air Transport at the end of 1928 and would later help to develop TWA’s route system that we still use today.

I think the best part is flying this airplane is the absolute kick people get getting on and off it and flying it… And everyone just comes off with this wide grin.

Ashley Messenger, Ford Tri-Motor Pilot

The most remarkable thing about the Tri-Motor is how solid and smooth it feels for something over 90 years old.

I think it looks neat for the year and everything, it’s a neat airplane, I’d go again!  It looks like an older plane, but it sure was a nice ride.  The ride is good and smooth.

Passengers Raymond and Nancy Rosenbeck

The crew keeps everything in tip top shape, but it mainly comes down to design.  Everything was over engineered with safety in mind. 

She’s a loud plane since it isn’t pressurized, but the sound is comforting as you float the turbulence of a hot afternoon.  There isn’t air conditioning, but with an experience like this, you don’t even notice.

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) runs and operates the plane. Ticket prices are $55 for a child and $80 for an adult with the money mainly going towards maintenance. To purchase tickets or inquire about more information, please click HERE

The weekend hours run from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM this Saturday and Sunday, May 21st and 22nd.