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1929 Ford 4AT Tri-Motor NC9612 sn/55

The story of the Ford Tri-Motor airplanes began with William Stout, an aeronautical engineer who had previously designed several aircraft. Stout had designed a new plane using a new corrosion resistant aluminum skin. In the early 1920s Henry Ford, along with 19 other investors including his son, Edsel, invested in the Stout Metal Airplane Company. Henry Ford built a paved runway and a new manufacturing building and leased them to Stout. In 1925 Ford purchased the company from Stout and renamed it the Ford Airplane Company. The Company developed a three engine, all metal passenger aircraft that could also be used to haul cargo since the seats could easily be removed. The plane was similar in design to the Fokker Tri-motor, and some say that Ford's engineers surreptitiously measured the Fokker plane and then copied it. However, this plane was the first all metal airplane and it was the first to be produced using Ford’s mass production methods.  Between 1926 and 1933 there were 199 Tri-Motors built. In 1933 the Ford Airplane Division shut down because of poor sales during the great depression.


The prototype for the revised airliner, designed Model 18 by Lockheed, was converted from the fourth Model 14, one of a batch which had been returned to the manufacturer byNorthwest Airlines after a series of crashes. The modified aircraft first flew in this form on September 21, 1939, with another two prototypes being converted from Model 14s, and the first Model 18 built from new flying on February 2, 1940.

A total of 625 Lodestars of all variants were built.

1929 Curtiss Robbin

The Curtiss Robin, introduced in 1928, was a high-wing monoplane with a 90 hp (67 kW) V8 OX-5 8-cylinder engine built by the Curtiss-Robertson Airplane Manufacturing Company. It was later fitted with the more powerful Challenger engine, which developed between 170 and 185 hp (127 and 138 kW). NOTE: Model B (90 hp/67 kW Curtiss OX-5 engine), Model C-1 (185 hp/138 kW Curtiss Challenger engine), and Model J-1 (165 hp/123 kW Wright J-6 Whirlwind 5 engine)



Lloyd Stearman established the Stearman Aircraft Corporation in 1927. Initially, the company was founded as Stearman Aircraft Corporation in October 1926 at Venice, California, where four C1 and C2 biplanes were built before production halted for financial reasons. On 27 September 1927 a new Stearman Aircraft Corporation was founded.[1] The factory was then established in Wichita, Kansas with financing of Walter Innes where the new model Stearman C3 and Stearman 4 Speedmail were constructed.[2] Two years later, he sold it to theUnited Aircraft and Transport Corporation.

In September 1934, United was forced to separate its airline and aircraft manufacturing operations. At this time, Boeing became a separate business once again, and Stearman was made a subsidiary of it. Stearman officially ceased to operate as a brand at this point, but it was at this same time that the Stearman plant created its most successful and enduring product, the Model 75 "Kaydet". The Kaydet would become the primary trainer aircraft for the US military during


Travel Air 6000

The Travel Air 6000 (later known as the Curtiss-Wright 6B when Travel Air was purchased by Curtiss-Wright) was a six-seat utility aircraft manufactured in the United States in the late 1920s.

Design and development

It was developed as a luxury version of the Travel Air 5000 marketed principally as an executive aircraft, although its size proved popular with regional airlines, which purchased most of the roughly 150 machines built.

Cessna 305
The U.S. Army was searching for an aircraft that could adjust artillery fire, as well as perform liaison duties, and preferably be constructed of all metal, as the fabric-covered liaison aircraft used during World War II (primarily Stinson and Piper products) had short service lives. The U.S. Army issued the specification for a two-seat liaison and observation monoplane, and the Cessna Aircraft Company submitted the Cessna Model 305A, a development of the Cessna 170. The Cessna 305A was a single-engined, lightweight, strut-braced, high-wing monoplane with a tailwheel landing gear. The greatest difference from the Cessna 170 was that the 305A had only two seats, in tandem configuration (the largest tandem-seat aircraft Cessna ever produced), with angled side windows to improve ground observation. .....

The Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing is an American biplane with an atypical negative stagger (the lower wing is further forward than the upper wing), that first flew in 1932.

At the height of the Great Depression, aircraft executive Walter H. Beech and airplane designer T. A. "Ted" Wells joined forces to collaborate on a project to produce a large, powerful, and fast cabin biplane built specifically for the business executive. The Beechcraft Model 17, popularly known as the "Staggerwing" was first flown on November 4, 1932. During its heyday it was used as an executive aircraft, much as the private jet is now, and its primary competition were the Waco Custom Cabin and Waco Standard Cabin series of biplanes.

The Stinson Aircraft Company was founded in Dayton, Ohio, in 1920 by aviator Edward “Eddie” Stinson, brother to Katherine Stinson. After five years of business ventures, Stinson madeDetroit, Michigan the focus for his future flying endeavors. Stinson found Detroit's business community receptive to his plans. A group of local businessmen — the Detroit Board of Commerce's Aviation Committee — supported Stinson's plans to establish the Stinson Aircraft Syndicate in 1925 at a site southwest of Detroit, where today's Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is located, and provided $25,000 to develop a new monoplane; the SM-1 Detroiter made its first flight on January 25, 1926, and became an overnight success that enabled Stinson to quickly assemble $150,000 in public capital to incorporate the Stinson Aircraft Corporation on May 4, 1926. Always an aviator at heart, Eddie Stinson was still flying as a stunt pilot, earning $100,000 a year for his efforts — a huge sum in those days. Stinson Aircraft Corporation sold 10 SM-1 Detroiters in 1926. Business was steadily increasing, and Stinson delivered 121 aircraft in1....
Howard DGA-15

The Howard Aircraft Corporation DGA-15 was a single-engine civil aircraft produced in the USA from 1939 to 1944.

he Howard Aircraft Company (later Howard Aircraft Corporation) was formed in 1936 to build commercial derivatives of the Howard DGA-6 (named Mister Mulligan),[1][2] a successful four seat racing aircraft which had won both the Bendix and the Thompson Trophies in 1935, the only aircraft ever to win both races.[3] These successes did indeed bring the DGA series much attention, and Howard produced a series of closely related differing mainly in the engine type, consisting of the DGA-7, 8, 9, 11 and 12. Offering high performance and comprehensively equipped, despite a high purchase price.....

Fairchild 22

The Fairchild 22 Model C7

The aircraft was designed by Kreider-Reisner during negotiations by Sherman Fairchild to take a major share in the company. Marketed as the Fairchild 22 Model C7 the aircraft was certified in March 1931. The Fairchild 22 was a mixed-construction braced parasol-wing monoplane with a fixed tailwheel landing gear and a braced tail unit. It had two tandem open cockpits and was initially powered by a 80hp (60kW) Armstrong Siddeley Genet radial engine. After test flying the prototype the first production aircraft were re-engined with a 75hp (56kW) Michigan Rover inverted inline engine. The aircraft was fitted with both inline and radial piston engines.

Waco Nine

1925 Waco Nine NC1536 serial number 9
The Waco Nine is a tube and fabric constructed  three-seat open cockpit bi-plane built by the Advanced Aircraft Company.   The Waco Nine was the First mass-produced model with about 270 aircraft produced between 1925 and 1926.  The Waco Nine holds the Type Certificate number ATC11,  and is licensed as a Standard Category aircraft.    All the Waco Nine models were powered by the water cooled, Curtiss OX-5  90 HP engine  turning 1,400 RPM.      
Recently purchased NC1536 was built in 1925 and is serial number 9 off the line of about 270 built.     In 2000, Frank Pavliga started what turned out to be a 14 year restoration of this magnificent piece of American History.   Forrest Barber made the first flight on  Friday,  April 13, 2012.  Here is a video that captures the emotions of Frank on that first flight…..



The Reliant was used by the U.S. Army in World War II as a utility aircraft, designated UC-81, and as trainer designated AT-19. They were also used by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force for light transport and communication duties. After the war they were sold on the civilian market as the Vultee V-77.

The V-77 was a spartan version of the SR-10 with the 300 hp Lycoming R680-E3B, a single door on the left side and the traditional "Bump" cowl was replaced with a simpler smooth cowl. Internal structure was beefed up significantly over the commercial models and a distinctive triangle shaped counterbalance was added to the rudder.


The Bell 47

The Bell 47 is a two bladed single engine helicopter designed by Arthur M. Young.     The Bell 47 was the very first helicopter to receive a type certificate for civilian use which was obtained on March 8, 1946.     There were many variants of the Bell 47, and in total,  more than 5,600 47 models were built including those built under license.          As of 2015 there are still 1,209  Bell 47’s on the US registry, and maybe ½ of those are flyable helicopters.  

On July 12, 1957 Dwight D Eisenhower became the first US president to ride in a Helicopter.    The helicopter chosen was a Bell 47 J variant classified as a UH-13-J.    

The Bell 47 G Model operated by Mid America Flight museum was built in 1963  (N6356X) and is powered by a normally aspirated Franklin 210 HP engine spinning two Wooden rotor blades.


Cessna O-2
The O-2 Skymaster is a military version of the Cessna 337 Super Skymaster utilized as an observation and forward air control aircraft. The United States Air Force commissioned Cessna to build a military variant to replace the O-1 Bird Dog in 1966.
Project Planes

The Grumman TBF Avenger (designated TBM for aircraft manufactured by General Motors) was a torpedo bomber developed initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and eventually used by several air or naval arms around the world.

The Avenger entered U.S. service in 1942, and first saw action during the Battle of Midway. Despite the loss of five of the six Avengers on its combat debut, it survived in service to become one of the outstanding torpedo bombers of World War II. Greatly modified after the war, it remained in use until the 1960s.[1]


Cessna O-2
The O-2 Skymaster is a military version of the Cessna 337 Super Skymaster utilized as an observation and forward air control aircraft. The United States Air Force commissioned Cessna to build a military variant to replace the O-1 Bird Dog in 1966.

Scott Glover

Mid America Flight Museum