• Freeware Focus: Ford Tri-Motor Project

    Tri-Motor History

    It started with Mr. William B. Stout, genius, inventor, promoter, and the guiding influence behind the development of the Ford Tri-Motor and Stout Air Lines. The actual start point would be the 2-AT single engine all-metal transport but the 2-AT itself began with the earlier Stout 1-AS (Air Sedan) flown for the first time on 17 Feb 1923. Mr. Ford put forward an idea to Mr. Stout of starting an experimental air freight line between Dearborn, MI and Chicago, IL. Ford Air Freight became operational on 13 April 1925 using 2-AT aircraft. All metal construction coupled with the cantilever wing were a winning design. In July 1925, Ford Motor Company purchased Stout Metal Plane Company and all its designs and inventory. Mr. Harold Hicks replaced Bill Stout as chief engineer. A fire destroyed the 3-AT and the factory on 17 Jan 1926.

    A new larger building was built and work proceeded on the 4-AT. The 4-AT was test flown on 11 June 1926. Note: the 4-AT was designed and built in a very short time, about four months! Production of the 4-AT was a total of seventy eight (78) aircraft. The total production of the 5-AT models was one hundred and sixteen (116) for a grand total of 194 4-AT/5-AT aircraft.

    Why so many from so few aircraft produced?

    Well, the Fords had a second life in the cargo field way beyond the intended life span of the aircraft. TACA specifically in Central America had great success with Fords as cargo carriers! They were flying in Mexico into the early 1950s and 1960s.

    Some aircraft were crashed more than once and rebuilt at the Ford factory and started over as almost NEW aircraft! Many of the aircraft had ten, twelve or even fifteen different owners/operators.

    Ford Tri-Motor Project
    (See this forum thread)

    We tend to ignore the default aircraft in FS2004. New life has been breathed into them.

    Apart from 420+ liveries for the default Ford Tri-Motor aircraft, ranging from Alaska to Yukon liveries, there are 13 different tail textures for the Ford Tri-Motor as well.

    Ford Tri-Motor Project     Ford Tri-Motor Project     Ford Tri-Motor Project

    You will also find other aircraft with unique liveries. Have a look at the 34 liveries for the default Piper J-3 Cub...

    Ford Tri-Motor Project

    There's also a great collection for the Golden Age Simulations Pitcairn...

    Ford Tri-Motor Project

    Mike Stone's Boeing Clipper 314 with extra liveries is also catered for, as is Tim Conrad's Boeing 221A...

    Ford Tri-Motor Project     Ford Tri-Motor Project


    3 Comments
    1. flightman's Avatar
      flightman -
      Interesting article. Far too many simmers are obsessed with things like wingflex, autoland, tweaking config files, etc. Freeing yourself from this and simply flying can improve immersion whatever sim you use. However I think that FS9 does represent a sweet spot in the development of the MSFS series so it’s a good sim to settle on if you don’t need the latest and greatest addons. And of course there is some excellent and well developed freeware to use with it.
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Great article Robin!

      Really enjoyed reading through this one. What a wealth of enjoyment there is to be had :-)

      Many thanks.

      Dom
    1. 31448's Avatar
      31448 -
      I have almost all of Garry's scenery installed and love them. As a super fan to the Ford Garry really put the FUN back into simming for me.
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