A flying piece of Michigan history is visiting Marquette County.
The Ford Tri–Motor was the world’s first mass–produced airliner. It was built from 1926 to 1933. There are now only 15 of them remaining in the United States.
A group called the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) owns two of them in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It’s flown one of them to Sawyer International Airport.
EAA Lake Superior Chapter president Ted Kirkpatrick says it’s a great honor to have a living piece of history visiting so that it can be shared with the public.
In the late 1920s, many airlines flew Ford Tri–Motors. The one visiting Sawyer belonged to what later became Eastern Air Lines, and it’s even flown to Marquette County before.
EAA volunteer pilot Cody Welch says the last time the plane visited Marquette County’s airport, it flew to the old airport in Negaunee Township.
The Ford Tri–Motor is taking passengers on brief flights from Sawyer International Airport through Wednesday. Flight times are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Flight rates (pre-booking available at www.flytheford.org or call 877-952-5395):
· $80 for adults
· $40 for children (age 6-17)
· Free for children 5 and under when accompanied by a paying guardian
We’ll take you in the air on one of those flights tomorrow night on ABC 10 News Now.