Tag Archives: ford

A Different Trimotor

EAA undertake nationwide tours where they take a Ford Trimotor to local airfields and give people the chance to experience a ride in a plane from another era.  One of their regular stops is San Carlos CA.  When I saw them operating there on a previous occasion (and posted about it here), they brought an airframe that I had seen a number of times before at Oshkosh and around Illinois.  This time they brought a different airframe which is slightly larger and accommodates one extra passenger.

It would have been rude not to pop along at least once to see it in action.  It did appear to be slightly larger to my eye but that was not a scientific assessment.  The different paint finish was the real giveaway that they had brought something different.  The conditions were nice to get some shots.  I was planning on catching it again when it came to another local field but the weather ended up being pretty awful so this was my only encounter.


AU0E8245.jpgOriginal Ford GT40s are not something that you see parked on every street corner. Cars and Coffee is not a typical street corner though. Find at GT40 is not, therefore, such a huge surprise. This one showed up at my last visit. It garnered a fair bit of attention and discussion as to whether it was a legitimate example or not. It appears to have been from the time although it may not have been an original racer. I am not an expert on such matters so anyone who knows enough to correct any mis-statements here, please feel free to comment below.

AU0E8273.jpgWhatever the heritage, it is a fine looking vehicle. It has old style British license plates which really took me back to childhood. There have been several styles of license plate in my lifetime but the majority of plates have been black digits on a white background for the front and a yellow background for the rear. The old white digits on a black background were still quite common when I was very young but now are a distant memory. Seeing it on this GT40 certainly took me back (although my childhood was not filled with GT40s!).

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EAA Trimotor at San Carlos

C59F1790-Edit.jpgEAA take their Ford Trimotor on tour around the country giving pleasure flights to people at many stops en route. I have seen the plane quite a few times including at Oshkosh and Clow. When Hayman told me it was stopping at San Carlos, it seemed like a good idea to take a trip along to see. It was operating from the ramp at the Hiller Aviation Museum so that is where I started out. Actually, breakfast at the great airport café is where we started!

C59F2240.jpgThe early weather was a bit overcast. Gray skies and flat light are not ideal for a metal finish aircraft but we could still enjoy the flying and the start up and shut down as they turned the plane around. It gets off the ground with a very short roll so, given the length of the field and the runway in use, it was well up by the time it came past us. We did experiment shooting down the runway head on. This coincided with the sun coming out so the heat haze suddenly became an issue. Win some, lose some!

AU0E3290.jpgAfter a while, Hayman and I decided we were done for a while. He had other things to do and I wanted to try a couple of other things. However, it did decide to come back later on to get some shots from a different location as the plane was landing which also had the nicest light of the day. Good job to EAA for a great program that was very popular. They had a lot of customers, all of whom seemed to have had a good time.