RESTORATION PROJECT

Our Ford Tri-Motor restoration project came about in a unique and completely unexpected way:

 

Ken Benjamin, a local private pilot and, at the time, President of the Erie-Ottawa Regional

Airport Authority, expressed an intense interest in preserving the rich history of Island Airlines

and the important role its Ford Tri-Motors played in our local region.

 

To that end, he contacted the country's leading Ford Tri-Motor authority, Maurice Hovious, and

invited him to Port Clinton to give a presentation on his current project...the restoration of an

Island Airlines tri-motor which had been severely damaged in Hurricane Andrew.

 

Maurice accepted the invitation and his presentation was well attended. Afterwards, Ken

inquired what it would take to build a full size Ford tri-motor static display to be exhibited

outside the airport. Although Ken would have loved to have a fully restored tri-motor flying

in Port Clinton again we all thought it was financially out of reach.

 

Not long after his presentation, Maurice invited Ken and the rest of our group to visit his shop in Michigan. It was during this trip that Maurice made an incredible offer...if our local group could find the space and commit to actually building a tri-motor he would give us the tools, technical training and materials needed to get started.

 

Needless to say, we accepted his offer and, in 2004, our group of dedicated volunteers traveled to Maurice's shop for training and came home with the first pieces of our Ford Tri-Motor!

 

Although the majority of our restoration has been done by volunteers, a full time airframe mechanic was added to the team to help oversee the volunteers and work on the more technical aspects of the restoration.

 

In 2012, we accepted another generous offer from Ed Patrick to move our project across the field to his new facility, Liberty Aviation Museum, where he gave us hangar & museum space to showcase our project and displays. Visitors to the museum can now enjoy an "up close" look at our restoration project, keep tabs on our progress and enjoy numerous Ford Tri-Motor & aviation displays inside the museum gallery.

Work on the project continues...

Thank you!

A very special thank you to Maurice & Judy Hovious for giving us this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and also to Ken Benjamin for being the visionary and catalyst for this ambitious project.

 

Year............................................... 1929

Model............................................ 5-AT-B

Serial #.......................................... 40

Registration.................................. NC9684

Gross Weight................................ 13,500 lbs.

Empty Weight............................... 7,500 lbs.

Useful Load.................................. 6,000 lbs.

Wing Span..................................... 77' 10"

Length (overall)............................. 49' 10"

Height............................................ 13' 8"

Passenger Seats........................... 13-15

Top Speed..................................... 135 mph

Cruise Speed................................ 115 mph

Stall Speed.................................... 64 mph

Service Ceiling.............................. 17,000 ft.

Absolute Ceiling........................... 18,500 ft.

Rate of Climb................................ 950 fpm

Glide Ratio.................................... 8.7 to 1

Fuel (standard tanks).................... 277 gallons

Fuel (long range tanks)................. 355 gallons

Oil.................................................. 34 gallons

Powerplant................................... Pratt & Whitney

                                                         Wasp  (430 hp each)

PROJECT SPECS
SEE WHAT WE'RE WORKING ON NOW!

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