REVISED: 12/24/08

Ford, Ford-Stout

1924: (Henry) Ford as partner in (William B) Stout Metal Airplane Co, Dearborn MI. 1925: Stout Metal Airplane Div, Ford Motor Co. 1932: Ended production because of the Depression and a waning market.

Ford registrations

SEE Art Wiggins' Tri-Motor Locator for the survivors


2-AT SEE Ford-Stout 2-AT below.
Ford 3-AT (Ford)

3-AT (Stout) 1924 = O/ChwM; three 200hp Wright J-4. The first Ford Tri-Motor. William Stout, Tom Towle. Blunt-nosed, all-metal transport with the pilot seated in an open cockpit atop a railroad Pullman-style fuselage; wing motors mounted in the leading edge. POP: 1, destroyed in a hangar fire. Despite its shortcomings, and marginal flight characteristics, it brought about the vastly improved 4- and 5-AT series that were familiar shapes in the commercial skies until they were replaced by the faster, more efficient, low-wing monoplanes of Douglas and Boeing. Total population of all Ford tri-motors from 1926-33 was 198, plus a few special-purpose modifications and experiments. Curiously, even though Henry Ford was very much an advocate of air travel, he disliked flying and never personally owned any of the planes that bore his name.
Ford 4-AT-A

4-AT-A 1926 (ATC 2-9) = 12-15pChwM; three 220hp Wright J-4; span: 74'0" length: 49'10" load: 3961# v: 114/95/55 range: 520; ff: 5/11/26 [C1492 (issued in 1927)]. POP: 14, of which the first six had J-4, the rest were 220hp J-5 conversions under (2-9); one to AAC as XC-3, one to USN as XJR-1 with 450hp P&W in the nose.
Ford 4-AT-B "Ship Of Flame" used for night aerial advertising [NC5093]

4-AT-B 1928 (ATC 87, 2-10) = 12-15pChwM; three 220hp Wright J-5. POP: 37, of which 1 to AAC as C-3, 7 as C-3A/-9, 1 as -4, and 4 as C-4A. Several civil models converted to 4-AT-E in 1930-31. (2-10) replaced by (87).

4-AT-C 1928 (ATC 2-11) = 15pChwM; one 450hp P&W Wasp + two 220hp Wright J-5. POP: 1 to Sunbeam Air Transport, crashed 12/1/28 [NC7862].

4-AT-D 1928 (ATC 2-322) = Special long-wing model with three 220hp Wright J-5; span: 78'0". $48,000; POP: 1 for Grand Canyon scenic flights [NC5578], then to Ecuador in 1945 as [HCSBC]; also 1 conversion from 4-AT-B [NC7583], reportedly one other [NC7586].

Ford 4-AT-E [7861]

4-AT-E 1929 (ATC 132) = 12-14pChwM; three 300hp Wright J-6; span: 74'0" length: 49'10" load: 3630# v: 130/110/58 range: 670. $42,000; POP: 25, of which some were 4-AT-B conversions; seven to AAC as C-3A, two to USN as JR-2.

Ford 4-AT-F [9656] (Eugene Palmer coll)

4-AT-F 1931 (ATC 441) = 14pChwM; three 300hp Wright J-6; span: 74'0" length: 49'10" load: 4071# v: 138/113/59 range: 540. POP: 1 [9656], to Spain with three eventual registrations [ECBAB=ECRRA=ECWIO].

4-AT-G SEE 11-AT


Ford 5-AT Front office (Eric Blocher coll)

5-AT-A 1929 (ATC 2-32, 2-282) = 14pChwM; three 420hp P&W Wasp A/C; span: 77'10" length: 49'10". $65,000; POP: 3; one to P&W Co [X/NC6926], and two to Northwest Airlines [X/NC7416, NC7739].
Ford 5-AT-B City of Columbus used by Lindbergh while surveying 1929 national air-rail route [NC9606]

5-AT-B 1929 (ATC 156, 2-12) = 17-19pChwM; three 450hp P&W Wasp; span: 77'10" length: 49'10" load: c.5500# v: 142/122/62 range: 600. $55,000; POP: 42, of which one to AAC as C-4. (2-12) for modification to 14p with 420hp P&W Wasp C. Worthy of note was the nomadic life of c/n 11, starting with PAA in 1929, and ending up at the San Diego Air Museum in 1982. During that era its trail of 13 US and Central American licenses was impressive: [NC9637=NM22=XABCC=ANAJJ=HI3=NX1629M= N1629M=XBKUI=XAHIL=N1629M=N9637=N76GC=N9637].

Ford 5-AT-C [NC421H] (Ford via W T Larkins coll)
Ford 5-AT-C [NC405H] (Eugene Palmer)

5-AT-C 1930 (ATC 165, 2-240, 2-242) = Improved 5-AT-B as "De-Luxe Club Model" with increased performance, cowlings and wheel pants options; length: 50'3" load: 6000# v: 152/130/65. $55,000-68,000; POP: 51, of which 1 was heavily modified in Apr 1931 as XB-906 for AAC bomber evaluation [X9652], only to crash during testing at the factory on 9/9/31. Another was used by Charles Lindbergh to survey TAT transcontinental route [NC9606]. 4 to USN/USMC as JR-3/RR-4. (2-240) and (2-242) for 15p with 420hp Wasp as 5-AT-C Special.

Ford 5-AT-CS [NC410H] (NYC Port Authority)

5-AT-CS 1930 (ATC 296, 2-518) = 16p twin-float version of 5-AT-C; length: 51'4" load: 4825# v: 130/104/64 range: 500. $68,000; POP: 3 [NC410H, NC414H/415H].
Ford 5-AT-D [NC440H] (Ford via W T Larkins coll)
Ford 5-AT-D passenger cabin (Rob Greer coll)

5-AT-D 1931 (ATC 409) = 16pChwM; three 450hp P&W Wasp; span: 77'10" length: 50'3" load: 5660# v: 150/122/64 range: 475-625. $50,000; POP: 20, of which 4 to AAC as C-4A, and 2 to USN/USMC as RR-5. (2-518) for 420hp Wasp.
5-AT-DS 1935 (ATC 2-504) = 13pChwMF; three 450hp P&W Wasp. POP: 1 [NC/NR9657].
5-AT-E 1930 = 5-AT-C modified with one 450hp P&W + two 220hp Wright J-5 mounted on the leading edge of the wings. POP: 1 conversion [NX/NC420H], restored to 5-AT-C in 1930.

6-AT-A 1929 (ATC 173, 2-97) = 5-AT-C as 16pChwM; three 300hp Wright J-6; span: 77'10" length: 50'6" load: 5096# v: 130/108/62 range: 475. $50,000; $92,650 on floats; POP: 2: 1 converted first to 7-AT, then 5-AT-C [NC8485]; 1 to Colonial Air Transport [NC8486]. Both went to China in 1936.
6-AT-S 1929 (ATC 2-80) = 12p on Brewster floats. POP: 1 to Canada as a forest sprayer [GCYWZ=CFBEP], converted to landplane and was destroyed in 1939 when a RCAF Hawker Hurricane ran into it while taking off.

7-AT 1929 (ATC 246) = 16p 6-AT-A with one 420hp P&W Wasp + two 300hp Wright J-6; span: 77'10" length: 50'3" load: 5630# v: 134/112/63 range: 560. POP: 1, modified with three 300hp Wright J-6 for entry in 1929-30 National Air Tours (p: Myron Zeller) [NC8485]. Final conversion was to 5-AT-C with three 450hp Wasp, delivered to American Airlines in 1931. Exported to China in 1936.
Ford 8-AT-S [X8499] (Eugene Palmer coll)
Ford 8-AT-S Cyclone GR [8499] (Hudek coll via Dan Shumaker coll)

8-AT, -AT-S Freighter 1929 (ATC 2-485) = 2-13pChwM; 575hp P&W Hornet A (also tried along the way with Hornet B, 575hp Wright Cyclone, 715hp inline Hispano-Suiza, and 535hp Bristol Jupiter); ff: 7/30/29. A rare single-engine "Tri-Motor" modified from 5-AT-C. POP: 1 as 2p cargo Express with Hispano-Suiza (load: 4900# v: 135/110/x) [8499]; refitted with 700hp Wright Cyclone GR under (2-485) in 1934 for Pacific Alaska Airways with new registration [X/NC8499]; to Colombia in 1938.
9-AT-A 1930 (ATC 307) = 12pChwM; three 300hp P&W Wasp Jr; span: 74'0" length: 49'10" load: 3267# v: 135/115/58 range: 570. $40,000; POP: 1 conversion from 4-AT-B [X/NC7585=NC423H], went to Honduras in 1934.
10-A 1930 = Design study only went as far as a wind-tunnel model. Four engines, two of them pylon-mounted in a tractor-pusher configuration. Design continued in 12-A.
Ford 11-AT [X8404] (Eric Blocher coll)

11-AT 1931 (ATC 441) = 14pChwM; three 225hp Packard DR-980 diesel. POP: 1, temporarily designated 4-AT-G, modified in 1934 to -AT-B with 220hp Wright J-5 [NC/NX/NR8404]. Crashed in Mar 1937, sent to Parks Air College for rebuilding, which proved infeasible due to the extent of damage.
12-A 1931 = Modified 10-A design with three engines (planned for 1000hp Hispano-Suiza + two 575hp P&W Hornet). Not built, but design elements went into 14-A.
13-A 1931 (ATC 431) = 5-AT-D modified as 8pChwM; one 575hp Wright Cyclone + two 300hp Wright J-6; span: 77'10" length: 50'3" load: 5315# v: 150/122/62 range: 550-680. Converted for the 1931 National Air Tour. POP: 1, converted back to 16p 5-AT-D in 1932 (under ATC 209), sold to Panagra [NX/NC433H].
Ford 14-A [9660] (Ford via W T Larkins coll)

14-A 1932 = 40pChwM; two inline 715hp+one 1000hp liquid-cooled Hispano-Suiza; span: 110'0" length: 80'10". Untypically sleek design, involving elements from 10-A and 12-A designs, marked the end of the Ford Tri-Motors. The first impression was that of a flying boat with faired wheels. Pullman-style seats converted into berths in the four main, climate-controlled, eight-passenger compartments. Wing motors, with four-blade propellers, were buried, and the third was pylon-mounted atop the fuselage; compressed air starters. Some data show 775hp wing motors. Whichever, it never flew, and was cut up in 1933 [NX9660].
Ford 15-P [X999E] (Steve Hudek via Skyways)
Ford 15-P 1/72 model (Claudio Luchina)

15-P 1932 = 2pClwM; 115hp Ford V-8; span: 34'0" length: 14'0" range: 500 (approximations from 1936 plans). Henry Karcher. Tailless delta-wing experiment with rear-mounted motor, and a driveshaft running between the seats. Metal-clad fuselage, fabric-covered wings; full-panted gear. POP: 1 [X999E] (some photos show [C402], which was a dummy registration). Made a few short test flights, but was damaged in an accident, and placed in storage. Although the license for this "flying wing" project was briefly renewed in 1936, there is no company record of further development.
B-24 - WW2 contract production of B-24M/-24N. See Consolidated B-24.
Ford C-3 [28-348] (clip via John K Lewis)

C-3 1928 = AAC acquisition of 4-AT-B [NC3444]; span: 73'11" length: 50'0" v: 130. POP: 1 [28-348].
C-3A 1929 = 235hp Wright R-790s. POP: 7 [29-220/226], all later converted to C-9.

  Ford C-4 [29-219] (USAF Museum)

C-4 1929 = AAC 5-AT-B; span: 77'11" length: 51'0" v: 145. POP: 1 [29-219].
  Ford C-4A [31-401] (USAF Museum)

C-4A 1931 = 450hp R-1340-3 similar to 5-AT-D. POP: 4 [31-401/404].

C-4B 1932 = C-4A modified with 475hp R-1340-7. POP: 1 conversion.


C-9 1930 = C-3 repowered with 300hp Wright R-975s; v: 131/x/x. POP: 7 conversions [29-220/226].
Ford Executive [X1085] (Tim O'Callaghan coll)

Executive 1927 = 5pChwM; 225hp Wright J-5; span: 45'0". Gross wt: 3700#. William Stout. Ford's planned all-metal entry for the executive market was good for only one test flight (p: Edward Hamilton). POP: 1, proved to be tail-heavy to the extreme (Hamilton suggested running a bandsaw through it!), and was reportedly scrapped later that year [X1085].
Ford Flivver #1 (Ford Museum)
Ford Flivver #2 [268] (Brian Baker)
Ford Flivver #3 [3218] (Eric Blocher coll)
Ford Flivver #4 and wreckage of #3 [3218] (Tim O'Callaghan coll)

Flivver 1926 = 1pOlwM; 36hp Anzani; span: 21'9" length: 15'6" v: 85-95/80/30. Otto Koppen. Full-span combination flap/aileron. $498 (original estimate); POP: 4; #1 unregistered (Anzani); #2 with a Ford-developed 2-cylinder motor [268]; #3 and #4 [3218 (both planes shared this registration)] with Ford automobile(?) motors. On 2/25/28 , #3 crashed in Florida, killing test pilot Harry Brooks—Henry Ford was so shaken by the tragedy that he ordered further production of small planes halted. However, the wreckage of #3 was either restored or used as basis for restoration as #4 for display in the Ford Museum.

One look at the wreck makes it hard to believe anyone would try to straighten out the pieces. I am convinced it was cheaper and easier to build a new plane (for the display). (— Tim O"Callaghan)
JR 1928 = First all-metal USN transport, from civil 5-AT-C. POP: 1 as XJR-1 [A7526], 5 production JR-2 and -3, redesignated as RR-2 and RR-3.
RR - Militarized 5-AT with similar data.
RR-2 1931 = Redesignated from JR-2. POP: 2 [A8273/8274].

RR-3 1931 = Redesignated from JR-3. POP: 3 [A8457, A8598/8599].

RR-4 1932 = 5-AT-C. POP: 1 to USMC [A8840].

RR-5 193? = 5-AT-D. POP: 2 [9205/9206].


Ford X-B-906 [X9652] (Ford Museum via John K Lewis)

X-B-906 = Converted 5-AT-D as a 5p bomber experiment; three 500hp P&W Wasp; span: 77'10" length: 50'3" load: 5792# v: 156/135/66; ff: 6/27/31. No interest was expressed by either AAC or USN, and the project ended on 9/19/31 with a crash during dive testing. POP: 1 [X9652].
Ford-Stout 2-AT Maiden Dearborn (Tim O'Callaghan coll)
Ford-Stout 2-AT Revised rudder, gear, stacks

-Stout 2-AT (aka Air Pullman) (Stout) 1924 = 9pO/ChwM; 400hp Liberty 12; v: 120/100/x; ff: 4/23/24. Passenger transport, produced under the Ford aegis and wearing that company's logo, but built at Stout's Detroit plant and so named Maiden Detroit, becoming the first plane for Ford Air Transport Service in 1925. The next four planes were built at his new Detroit plant on Ford Airport and all named Maiden Dearbon, with appended numbers for each model (sometimes as Roman numerals), and the balance after Ford acquired Stout Metal Aircraft Co in Aug 1925. $22,500; POP: 11; the first one to USPO and refitted with 500hp Packard, 5 to Ford's Air Transport Service, 4 to Florida Airways, 1 to retailer John Wanamaker. A crash on 5/18/26, of a 2-AT-2 was the first fatal accident for a commercial US aircraft on the new CAM air mail routes (the pilot was killed; there were no passengers); determined cause was weather. First use of the nickname, "Tin Goose," was found in a 12/30/25, newspaper article. Predecessor of the historic Ford Tri-Motors.
Ford-Stout Dragonfly (Brian Baker coll via Avn Heritage)
Ford-Stout Dragonfly

-Stout Dragonfly (Stout) 1927 = 2pOmwM*Am; two 32hp Bristol Cherub. Short-coupled canard design with *two tandem wings, one tail-mounted and the other on the nose; triple tails; truss-mounted motors. POP: 1; all-metal corrugated experimental was badly damaged in hitting a bump during high-speed taxi tests and was scrapped.
SOURCES:

  — Henry Ford's Airport and Other Aviation Ventures, 1906-57,Tim O'Callaghan [1995]
  — The Ford Tri-Motor,William T Larkins [Schiffer 1992]
  — Tin Goose,Douglas J Ingells [Aero Publishers 1968]

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