Ford 4ATE Tri-Motor

Flight Notes - how to fly the Ford Tri-Motor

Visionary Henry Ford, saw the potential for commercial aviation early in the industry's development. The Ford Motor Company acquired the Stout Metal Plane Company in 1925 in order to gain rights to the Tri-Motor design, and eventually 198 of the aircraft were built. Although the airlines replaced the Ford with new designs in a relatively short number of years, the Tri-Motor was an important factor in popularizing commercial flight and promoting the safety of air travel to average travelers.

The Tri-Motor's quirks are very manageable. It's a fairly docile airplane to fly, but keeping it in trim is something you have to attend to frequently over a long flight.


U.S. Metric
Maximum Speed 130 mph 113 knots 209 km per hour
Cruise Speed 110 mph 96 kts 177 km per hour
Engine Three Wright Whirlwind J-6, 300 horsepower each
Propeller Two-bladed, metal
Maximum Range 670 miles 1,078 km
Service Ceiling 14,500 feet 4,420 meters
Fuel Capacity 231 gallons 874 liters
Empty Weight 6,600 pounds 2,994 kilograms
Maximum Gross Weight 10,130 pounds 4,595 kilograms
Length 49 feet, 10 inches 15 meters
Wingspan 74 feet 22.55 meters
Height 12 feet, 8 inches 3.89 meters
Seating Up to 12
Useful Load 3,530 pounds 1,601 kilograms