Historic plane stopping by Grimes Field in Urbana for rides

Ernie Holbrook looks over the 1928 Ford Tri-Motor airplane Thursday in the museum hanger at Grimes Field in Urbana. The historic airplane, the first airliner to be mass produced, will be based at Grimes Field this weekend and taking people for rides between 9am and 5pm through Sunday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Caption
Ernie Holbrook looks over the 1928 Ford Tri-Motor airplane Thursday in the museum hanger at Grimes Field in Urbana. The historic airplane, the first airliner to be mass produced, will be based at Grimes Field this weekend and taking people for rides between 9am and 5pm through Sunday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Aviation enthusiasts excited; Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT first flew in 1928.

This weekend, the Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT historic plane makes a tour stop at the Grimes Field Municipal Airport.

Rides will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 1636 N. Main St. in Urbana.

The Experimental Aircraft Association, based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, worked with the Liberty Aviation Museum of Port Clinton, Ohio, to bring the plane to people across the country. The EAA is a community of aviation enthusiasts, with 210,000 members and 900 local chapters across the world.

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“The Ford Tri-Motor is one of the oldest aircraft that we have through EAA, and it’s a touring aircraft so we’ll tour across the eastern half of the United States, and give people an opportunity to take a ride in it. It’s a unique aircraft, being that old and still being able to fly. It’s a unique opportunity for people who have an interest in it,” said Drew Stephani, the marketing coordinator at EAA.

The Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT first flew Dec. 1, 1928. After years of ownership transfers, in 2014, the aircraft was acquired by Ed Patrick and the Liberty Aviation Museum. After restoration and repairs, the museum and the EAA created an agreement to work to take aircraft across the country on tours.

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For more information about the history of the Ford Tri-Motor and our tour, visit http://flytheford.org.