For the first time ever, EAA's 1929 Ford Tri-Motor will be visiting Wings Over Alpena!
The Tri-Motor will arrive in Alpena Thursday, August 16 and depart Monday, August 20. Rides will be available to the public Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening. Three different ride packages are available:
"City Tour" Ride: Depart Alpena County Regional and spend 10-15 minutes touring the city of Alpena from the air. Seats for the City Tour are $80 each and will depart at various times Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening.
Bring the whole family! Kids 17 & under are only $40 for the "City Tour" - kids 5 & under are free with paid adult!
UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY: Like to fly in the co-pilots seat? Reserve it on your flight for only $125!
"Sunrise on the Bay": Nostalgia awaits you on this Friday and Sunday morning flight which depart at 7:45 AM (tentative). This 45 minute flight will take you south of Alpena and around the bay, eventually circling to the north & returning to the airport. Seats on the Sunrise flight are $175 each. Have a group that would like to go? Book all 10 seats on the Trimotor for $1500, a savings of $250. See children's pricing below.
"Evening Cruise": Similar to the "Sunrise" flight above, Evening flights will depart Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings at approximately 6:00 PM. Once again the Trimotor will tour Thunder Bay from the air...keep an eye out for lighthouses! Seats on this 45 minute flight are $175 each and group bookings for all 10 seats are $1500.
Introduce a youngster to the magic of flight - children 17 & under are only $90 for the "Sunrise" and "Evening" flights!
UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY: Fly in the co-pilots seat on the Thunder Bay Tours for only $225!
Advance reservations will allow us to confirm a time for you however walk up flights are also welcomed. Flights will depart with seven passengers minimum. To reserve a seat, contact Don Grabiel (EAA 1021 President) at 989-464-5348/
or Phil Agius at 989-916-9282/
The Trimotor is brought to you by EAA Chapter #1021, the Alpena Boosters Club, and Dean Arbour Ford.
Like some history on this part of aviation history? Read on for some history from EAA's website on the Tri-Motor:
"Henry Ford mobilized millions of Americans and created a new market with his Model T “Tin Lizzie” automobile from 1909 to 1926. After World War I he recognized the potential for mass air transportation. Ford’s Tri-Motor aircraft, nicknamed “The Tin Goose,” was designed to build another new market, airline travel. To overcome concerns of engine reliability, Ford specified three engines and added features for passenger comfort, such as an enclosed cabin. The first three Tri-Motors built seated the pilot in an open cockpit, as many pilots doubted a plane could be flown without direct “feel of the wind”.
Ford Motor Company built 199 Tri-Motors from 1926 through 1933. EAA’s model 4-AT-E was number 146 off Ford’s innovative assembly line and first flew on August 21, 1929. It was sold to Pitcairn Aviation’s passenger division, Eastern Air Transport, whose paint scheme is replicated on EAA’s Tri-Motor. This is why our Ford resides in the Pitcairn hangar at Pioneer Airport. Eastern Air Transport later became Eastern Airlines.
In 1930, NC8407 was leased to Cubana Airlines, where it inaugurated air service between Havana and Santiago de Cuba. The airplane was later flown by the government of the Dominican Republic.
EAA’s Ford Trimotor returned to the U.S. in 1949 for barnstorming use. In 1950 it was moved from Miami, Florida to Phoenix, Arizona and was refitted with more powerful engines for use as a crop duster. With two 450 HP engines and one 550 HP engine, it became the most powerful Model 4-AT ever flown. In 1955 it was moved to Idaho and fitted with two 275 gallon tanks and bomb doors for use as a borate bomber in aerial fire fighting. Then in 1958, it was further modified for use by smoke jumpers.
After working for a variety of crop spraying businesses, our Tri-Motor moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1964, where its new owner flew barnstorming tours. During this period it had a variety of roles, including serving as the primary setting for the Jerry Lewis comedy, “The Family Jewels.” In 1973, the aircraft was still being used for air show rides, including the EAA’s Fly-In at Burlington, Wisconsin. While at the 1973 EAA Fly-In, a severe thunderstorm ripped the plane from its tie-downs, lifted it 50 feet into the air and smashed it to the ground on its back. EAA subsequently purchased the wreckage for its Aviation Foundation.
After an arduous, twelve-year restoration process by EAA staff, volunteers and with assistance from Ford Tri-Motor operators nationwide, the old Tri-Motor once again took to the air. Its official debut was at the 1985 EAA convention in Oshkosh. It was displayed in the AirVenture Museum until 1991 when it returned to its former role of delighting passengers. Ford Tri-Motor NC8407 is the flagship of EAA’s Pioneer Airport, a part of the AirVenture Museum experience."
For booking information, please contact Phil Agius at 989-916-9282 or e-mail