Thursday, March 10, 2016

Henry Ford only took 3 plane rides in his whole life, but he made enormous contributions to plane safety

The Ford Tri-motor was designed to carry up to 14 passengers  and became an important part of early aviation. With its sound reputation for reliability, safety and a higher performance than its counterparts in the skies it became a mainstay for early airlines such as Continental and TWA. Ford declared it “The safest airliner around”.

Unfortunately Ford did not stay in the aviation industry for very long. Despite the success of the aircraft the business was not profitable and they ended it in 1932 during The Great Depression when they needed to focus on core business to survive.

Despite the demise of the Ford aviation business, for those few years they introduced a number of aviation innovations including radio beacons at airports to aid navigation.

This specific tri-motor was the first ever aircraft to fly over the South Pole as part of an expedition led by famous explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd

I'd be remiss not to mention the B-24 bombers built at the Ford plants during WW2, about 8700 of them, and about 4200 Waco Gliders

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