Get a seat on a historic aircraft in Ada - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Get a seat on a historic aircraft in Ada

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One of the only remaining Ford Trimotor aircraft still airworthy will offered rides to passengers in Ada. (KTEN) One of the only remaining Ford Trimotor aircraft still airworthy will offered rides to passengers in Ada. (KTEN)
The maker of the Model T was also responsible for one of the first successful passenger aircraft. (KTEN) The maker of the Model T was also responsible for one of the first successful passenger aircraft. (KTEN)
Everybody has a window seat in the Ford Trimotor. (KTEN) Everybody has a window seat in the Ford Trimotor. (KTEN)
The Trimotor's three engines provided redundancy in an era when most aircraft had a single engine. (KTEN) The Trimotor's three engines provided redundancy in an era when most aircraft had a single engine. (KTEN)
The Trimotor will welcome passengers in Grayson County next weekend. (KTEN) The Trimotor will welcome passengers in Grayson County next weekend. (KTEN)

ADA, Okla. -- Just 23 years after the Wright Brothers took flight for the first time, Henry Ford (yes, the automotive pioneer) introduced the Ford Trimotor aircraft, which could carry about a dozen passengers and cargo.

John Hartke will be piloting one of the last surviving airworthy Trimotors this weekend at Ada Regional Airport, and you can go for a ride.

"The unique things about this airplane is that it was reliable," he said, noting that the aircraft has redundant engines and was all metal, at a time when other planes had wings covered with fabric.

"This aircraft is really cool," Hartke said. "It makes stops all across the country, goes to lots of different airports, is an outreach for children and youth and communities to experience this cool part of aviation history."

For the price of a ticket -- $70 for adults and $50 for kids -- passengers will fly low and slow aboard the "Tin Goose" that first took to the skies on August 21, 1929. The flights over Ada continue through Sunday.

"I feel very fortunate to fly it, but it is an opportunity that we hope to keep doing," Hartke said.  "It's not an opportunity that you can have just any day."

Members of the Experimental Aircraft Association volunteer to fly people on the Ford Trimotor every weekend. Hartke said the smiles on their faces are all worth it.

"One of the gentlemen who came in this morning said, 'I got my first ride on one of these when I was four-and-a-half years old in 1942,'" Hartke recalled. "He just wanted to go on it again, because he knew he did it... he just didn't remember it."

This Trimotor flies at an average speed of 107 miles per hour, and has a range of 570 miles.

And if you miss it your chance to hop aboard this weekend, the plane will make its next stop at the Grayson County Airport next weekend.

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