Ford Tri-Motor Aircraft Giving Tours in Midland-Odessa

Ford Tri-Motor Aircraft Giving Tours in Midland-Odessa

Zora Asberry
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A late 1920's airplane is giving tours over Midland-Odessa over the next few days. The Ford Tri-Motor aircraft has done everything from aerial firefighting to being in movies.

The aircraft was built in 1926 and made its first flight in 1929.

The Pilot of the aircraft, John Maxfield, said, "It's actually the first airplane that Eastern Air Transport owned that later became Eastern Airlines,"

The plane was also used in a few island countries for transportation in the Caribbean.

"When Eastern Air Transport was finished with the plane, it went to Cuba and flew with Cuban Airlines, it was their first airplane. From there it went to Haiti where it was the chief executive plane for their president, their Air Force One," Maxfield said.

After the plane's island adventures, it made its way back to the United States and was used for working purposes.

"When it returned to the United States, it flew cargo, crop dusted and did fire bombing, smoke jumpers and things like that. Then the airplane was destroyed in a wind storm in Wisconsin and that's when the EAA got it and restored it to the condition you see today," Maxfield said.

The aircraft has even made its debut in a two very popular motion pictures dating from the 1960's to the 2000's.

"The airplane is a movie star, back in the sixties this airplane starred with Jerry Lewis in the "Family Jewels" and then more recently Johnny Depp used this airplane in part of the filming of "Public Enemies," Maxfield said.

The plane has since been restored and inspected and is now used for recreational purposes.

"We tour the country bringing early aviation to the local area. Rides are $75 per person and we operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We'll be here in Midland-Odessa through Sunday," Maxfield said.

The Ford Tri-Motor aircraft is now used for tours all over the United States. For more information on how how to book a flight on the "Tin Goose," visit