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Thread: Ford Trimotor Looped, Rolled, Spinned, Wheelied, and Stalled - Vintage Footage on FB

  1. #1
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    Ford Trimotor Looped, Rolled, Spinned, Wheelied, and Stalled - Vintage Footage on FB

    If you've ever wondered what an aerobatic heavy display would look like...

    https://www.facebook.com/aeropublici...9305971082857/

    Now where's footage of AH stall turning a Spitfire?

  2. #2
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    Harold Johnson was THE man in the 30s.
    I believe he took my father up for his first flight while barnstorming a Ford.

    A little known part of American aviation history.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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    That's amazing, thanks for posting. The stall after the loop is stomach churning.

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    … with the romantic overtones of some olden times …

    Eastern Air Transport´s 4-AT-E Tri-Motor, SN 4-AT-69, reg. NC8407, was powered by three J-6 Whirlwind 9 (J-6-9 / R-975) engines (eng. architecture: 9-cylinder single-row radial; eng. displacement: 972,0 in3 / 15.927 cm3 * bore: 5 in / 127,00 mm, stroke: 51/2 in / 139,7 mm), CR: 5,1:1, rated at 300 hp (304 PS) / 223 kW at 2.000 rpm. The engines´ max. diameter was 45 in / 1.143,0 mm, length 417/16 in / 1.052,5 mm and dry weight 520 lb / 236 kg. The fuel system comprised single-barrel Stromberg carburetors and each cylinder had 2 spark plugs.


    Curtis-Wright J-6 Whirlwind 9 (J-6-9 / R-975) engine next to Curtiss-Wright Travel Air B-14-B Speedwing aircraft, reg. NC12332

    Like the Wright J-5 and the J-6 Whirlwind engine, introduced in 1928 as the next step up from the the Wright J-5 (R-790) family of the naturally aspirated engines (eng. architecture: 9-cylinder single-row radial; eng. displacement: 787,3 in3 / 12.901 cm3 * bore: 41/2 in / 114,3 mm, stroke: 51/2 in / 139,7 mm), CR: 5,1:1 was based on the Wright J-4 engine from 1924, with the same 51/2 in / 139,7 mm stroke, but this time with the cylinders of increased bore from 41/2 in / 114,3 mm to 5 in / 127,0 mm. The Wright J-6 family of the engines also had gear-driven superchargers, stepped up 7,8:1 from the engine´s maximum 2.000 rpm, to maintain sea-level intake air pressure at altitude, and were designed in five J-6-5 / R-540 (540,0 in3 / 8.849 cm3, seven J-6-7 / R-760 (756,0 in3 / 12.389 cm3 and nine cylinder J-6-9 / R-975 (972,0 in3 / 15.927 cm3) versions. It is interesting to mention that the ´Spirit of St. Louis´ was powered by the 787,3 in3 / 12.901 cm3 Wright J-5C Whirlwind engine that was developing 223 hp (226 PS) / 166 kW at 1.800 rpm.


    Charles Lindbergh checking the Wright J-5C Whirlwind engine of his ´Spirit of St. Louis´ aircraft before his transatlantic flight in May 1927

    The first J-6 Whirlwind 7 (R-760) flew in 1925. In 1929 the J-6 Whirlwind 9 (R-975) was introduced and in 1930 the J-6 Whirlwind 5 (R-540). All three shared the same cylinder geometry (bore: 5 in / 127,0 mm, stroke: 51/2 in / 139,7 mm). The R-975´s cylinders were made of a steel barrel over which an aluminium alloy head was screwed and shrunk. Intake ports were at the rear with the exhaust ports on the forward side of cylinder.

    The 9-cylinder version, R-975, initially produced 300 hp (304 PS) / 223 kW using 73 octane gasoline and a 5,1:1 compression ratio. Improved cylinder heads enbled the power of 330 hp (335 PS) / 246 kW, 10% more than before. Another 10% of power, respectively 365 hp (370 PS) / 272 kW, was achieved with the R-975E engine, with the compression ratio increased to 6,1:1 and maximum rpm up to 2.100. The R-975E-3 engine had 6,3:1 compression, a 10,15:1 supercharger gear ratio and 2.200 rpm maximum (2.250 rpm for takeoff), required 80 octane gasoline, and produced 420 hp (426 PS) / 313 kW.
    After the war, Continental Motors, Inc. introduced its own version of the R-975 engine aimed for the aircraft, the R9-A. Though it was basically similar to the other R-975 engines, and its compression ratio and supercharger gear ratio were unchanged from the R-975E-3 engine, other improvements in the R9-A allowed it to achieve 500 hp (507 PS) / 391 kW at 2.300rpm, respectively 525 hp (532 PS) / 391 kW at 2.350 on takeoff, using 91 octane fuel and thus surpassing any Wright´s version of the engine. A military version, the R-975-46, could reach 550 hp (558 PS) / 410 kW, and was used in Piasecki H-25 Army Mule/HUP Retriever. The R-975 was built by Continental Motors, Inc. under the license into the 1950s.

    The was using the Continental R9-A engine in their D18C twin engined transporter, but Continental´s biggest market, dwarfing all airplane uses, was in armored vehicles; M2 medium tank (R-975E-C2), M3 Grant/Lee medium tank (R-975E-C2), M4/M4A1 Sherman medium tank (R975-C1/C4), M7 Priest 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (R975-C1), M12 Gun Motor Carriage (R975-C1), M18 Hellcat 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage (R975-C1/C4), M40 155 mm Gun Motor Carriage (R-975E-C2), the Canadian Ram cruiser tank and Sexton gun carriage were among the applications.

    However, the R-975 faced heavy competition from R-985 Wasp Junior supercharged engine (eng. architecture: 9-cylinder single-row radial; eng. displacement: 986,7 in3 / 16.170 cm3 * bore: 53/16 in / 131,8 mm, stroke: 53/16 in / 131,8 mm), CR: 6,0:1 and from their larger R-1340 Wasp (eng. architecture: 9-cylinder single-row radial; eng. displacement: 1.343,8 in3 / 22.021 cm3 * bore: 53/4 in / 146,05 mm, stroke: 53/4 in / 146,05 mm), CR: 6,0:1, at the most rated at 600 hp (608 PS) / 447 kW at 2.250 rpm on 6.200 ft / 1.890 m. Otherwise, Pratt & Whitney sold many more Wasp Juniors for aircraft use than Wright their R-975s.

    The engine was also built in Spain as theHispano-Suiza 9Q or Hispano-Wright 9Q, without modification apart from the use of Hispano's patented nitriding finishing process and, on one version only, the 9Qdr, an epicyclic output speed reducer. The R-975 engine was also produced under licence by Fábrica Nacional de Motores in Brazil…



    From 1926 through 1933, Ford Motor Company built 199 Tri-Motors aircrafts. Experimental Aircraft Association´s model 4-AT-E was the 146th off Ford´s innovative assembly line and first flew on 21. Aug 1929. It was sold to Pitcairn Aviation´s passenger division, Eastern Air Transport, whose paint scheme is replicated on EAA´s Tri-Motor.

    In 1930, the Tri-Motor, reg. NC8407, was leased to Cubana Airlines, where it inaugurated air service between Havana and Santiago de Cuba. The airplane was later flown by the government of the Dominican Republic.

    An interesting historical footnote about NC8407 is that this is the aircraft that Neil Armstrong flew in with his father on 20. Jul 1936, on his first flight at five years of age. It was exactly 33 years later that he took his historic walk on the Moon.

    EAA´s Ford Tri-Motor returned to the U.S. in 1949 for barnstorming use. In 1950, it was moved from Miami to Phoenix and was refitted with more powerful Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engines (eng. displacement: 986,7 in3 / 16.170 cm3) for use as a crop duster. With the two 450 hp (456 PS) / 336 kW Wasp Junior SB engines and one 550 hp (558 PS) / 410 kW Wasp Junior SC engine, it became the most powerful Model 4-AT ever flown. In 1955, it was moved to Idaho and fitted with two 275 US gal / 1.041 l tanks and bomb doors for use as a borate bomber in aerial firefighting. Then in 1958, it was further modified for use by smoke jumpers.

    After working for a variety of crop spraying businesses, EAA´s Tri-Motor moved to Lawrence, KA, in 1964, where its new owner flew barnstorming tours. During this period it had a variety of roles, including serving as the primary setting for the Jerry Lewis comedy ´The Family Jewels´.

    In 1973, the aircraft was still being used for air show rides, including an EAA chapter´s fly-in at Burlington, WI. While at the 1973 fly-in, a severe thunderstorm ripped the plane from its tie-downs, lifted it 50 feet into the air and smashed it to the ground on its back. EAA subsequently purchased the wreckage.

    After an arduous, 12-year restoration process by EAA staff, volunteers and Ford Tri-Motor operators nationwide, the old Tri-Motor took to the air once again, where it had its official re-debut at the 1985 EAA Fly-In Convention in Oshkosh.

    It was displayed in the EAA AirVenture Museum, located in Oshkosh, WI, until 1991 when it returned to its former role of delighting passengers. Ford Tri-motor, reg. NC8407, is the flagship of the EAA´s Pioneer Airport, a part of the AirVenture Museum experience...

    ... and who knows how many more wondrous stories this aircraft could tell us? The myriad? No. More than that ...

    Mario
    Last edited by mfranjic; 16th May 2017 at 05:42.
    'Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile' - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
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    As noted, this one spent time in Idaho. Ford's played a big role in opening the Idaho Back Country (the remote area in the center of the state, largely accessible only by horse, raft or air). Along with hauling passengers and freight (they were the largest aircraft to use most of the strips....only the largest ones could accommodate C-47s post-war) they wore used to drop the "smoke jumpers" firefighting crews. A recent book, Bound for the Backcountry, a history of aviation in that area, has a chapter of the several Ford's that operated in the area and has a lot of information on this aircraft.

    Interesting history of this specific airframe, noting that it did barnstorm in the Midwest in the 30s, I do wonder if it's the one my father flew in.

    In addition to owning this one, the EAA leases another Ford for ride tours. Last year one came here and I had the privilege of riding in the right seat for a flight.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 9th April 2017 at 13:15.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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    Never heard of him-but he sure as hell knew what he was doing!

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    I read the brochure from cover to cover but for some strange reason they do not say it could do that
    Name:  4AT.jpg
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    'Stout metal airplane company'
    I can't see that working today. I read it as 'We make overweight aircraft"

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    Quote Originally Posted by aeronut 2008 View Post
    'Stout metal airplane company'
    I can't see that working today. I read it as 'We make overweight aircraft"
    Just to clarify for the less informed...Stout was the name of the designer, as well as a verb to describe the aircraft's construction.
    It wasn't overweight, and had a good payload as well as short field capabilities.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 10th April 2017 at 14:04.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  10. #10
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    This DC4 display is in the same vein, but a bit more contemporary ( date, not aeroplane ! )

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrziTee4b2c

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    I am shure, they didn´t do it very often.

  12. #12
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    While I can't tell you how often he did it, but apparently it was a regular air show routine, rather like Bob Hoover with the Aero Commander in the 60s-80s. Not just a "one off".
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  13. #13
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    A friend, no longer with us saw Harold Johnson display while as a kid in Cleveland. I do not know if this was during the races or at a different venue, but apparently the organizers had put up canvas covering around the outer fence to stop people from watching without paying. Johnson did his stuff and during a pull- out he disappeared behind the canvas and then fireworks lit up. The crowd thought he had crashed and started shouting and generally getting upset, and just about then Johnson did a "Ray Hanna vs Alain de Cadenet" beat- up having flown at low altitude around the field and attacked the public from behind.

    T J
    "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!!!"

    Jules Winnfield 1994

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