If you'd like to help build our Tri-Motor or just want to stop by to see the project, here's your chance!
Regular Tri-Motor Work Sessions
Monday & Thursday 7:00 - 11:00 PM
( Everyone is welcome! )
Tri-Motor Project History
In an effort to preserve the rich heritage and local history of the Ford Tri-Motor aircraft, "Tin Goose" Chapter 1247 has teamed up with Maurice Hovious to build a flying Ford Tri-Motor from the ground up!
Maurice has had a special fondness for Tri-Motors for over 30 years and is a recognized expert in the reconstruction of Ford Tri-Motor aircraft. His company, Hov-Aire, based in Vicksburg, MI, is known worldwide for Tri-Motor airframe/aircraft restorations.
This unique opportunity came about after Chapter member Ken Benjamin met with Maurice back in January 2003 at his shop in Vicksburg, Michigan. At that meeting, Maurice made an incredible offer...
If our Chapter would agree to provide the volunteer labor and arrange for a suitable workplace, he would provide the necessary materials, fixtures, tooling, technical help and training to build a flying 5-AT Ford Tri-Motor!
Needless to say, our Chapter accepted his generous offer and has been working on the project ever since.
Our goal is to establish a Ford Tri-Motor museum at the Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport in Port Clinton. The museum would exhibit the Tri-Motor building project as well as historic memorabilia, but would ultimately have the completed Tri-Motor available for public demonstrations and rides.
September 2003 Maurice delivers the fuselage of our "new" Tri-Motor.
2004 Our project begins with a 3 day "training workshop" at Hov-Aire under the supervision of Plant Mgr. Mike Westveer. Volunteers learned first hand how to use tools for bending, cutting, drilling and riveting aluminum. At the end of this session, we came home with the first completed pieces of our plane!
Instead of rebuilding the original fuselage, we started building our plane from scratch and used the fuselage as a template to reverse engineer our parts.
May 2007 Project volunteers said "goodbye" to the original fuselage. (Work had progressed to the point it was no longer needed.) In its place, Hov-Aire employees delivered the fixture and parts required to begin building wing spars.
2010 Volunteers continue working on wing spars and practicing their crimping technique for the corrugated aluminum "skin".
A full time mechanic was hired this Spring to help expedite the project and work with volunteers. Assembly of main wing spars is 90% complete. Work is now focused on the assembly of secondary wing spars and skinning the fuselage.
Photos will be updated throughout the building process.