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RC Ford Trimotor


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Specifications

    Primary Function:
    Crew:
    Engine type:
    Power:
    Weight Empty:
    Max. Weight:
    Fuel Capacity:
    Seating:
    Length:
    Wingspan:
    Cruise Speed:
    Max. Speed:
    Initial Climb:
    Ceiling:
    Range:
    First Flight:
    Year deployed:
transport
three
P&W radials
3 x 420 hp ea.
7,840 lbs.
13,500 lbs.
1,380 lbs.
eight
50' 3"
77' 10"
90 mph
150 mph
950 fpm
16,000 feet
560 miles
6/11/26
1929







When first flown in 1925 the Ford Trimotor represented a leap forward in commercial aviation.

The fuselage, wings, and control surfaces of the Ford Trimotor featured corrugated aluminum construction. It had greater speed, payload, and range than comparable aircraft of its day and earned a reputation for reliability and ease of maintenance.

The Ford Trimotor introduced air service from New York to California, and later flew into Latin America. Eventually the aircraft were sold to operators throughout the world. In addition to the transportation of passengers, the seats in the Ford Trimotor could be removed for mail and cargo handling.



RC Ford Trimotor from Kavan with landing gear.

Pictured above and in the first picture below is the rc Ford Trimotor from Kavan.  It has a wingspan of 42" with a length of 28". Power is from three Speed 280 type motors. Weight is around 1 lb. 4 oz for the landing gear equipped model. It is also available with optional floats which are about 24" in length. A third model is equipped with optional skis.


RC Ford Trimotor with floats from Kavan.


The Ford Trimotor made history when, on Nov. 29, 1929, it made a round trip of over eighteen hours to fly over the South Pole and back to its Antarctica landing field. The aircraft was modified to carry extra fuel, and had a larger, more powerful engine in its nose.


RC Ford Trimotor built by Bob Kreplin.

The 73" wingspan rc Ford Trimotor scratch built by Bob Kreplin. It uses AXI motors for power and weighs around 112 oz.

Piloting the Ford Trimotor is quite an experience. Just the thought that you are in an aircraft that first flew over eighty years ago will leave you grinning broadly.

In a Fort Trimotor things happen at a leisurely pace. Acceleration during take off is slow. However, the aircraft will get off of the ground at about 65 mph.



RC Ford Trimotor from Loud Design.

The rc Ford Trimotor from Loud Design is giant scale with a wingspan of 80".

RC Store has plans for sale for a rc Ford Trimotor. Its wingspan is 40" and length is 39 1/2". Construction is mostly from balsa. For power you will need three .49 engines or Speed 500 type motors.

You can find plans for the rc Ford Trimotor from the AMA Plans Service. Wingspan is 76" and it is made for engine power, but can be converted to motors. Plan number is 21474.


You may want to do some weight training before attempting to take over the controls. Although the elevator control force is moderate, it takes some muscle to turn the aircraft using rudder and elevator. Coordinating turns can be challenging because, when moderate aileron deflection is applied, the aircraft will try to roll in the opposite direction.



A cardboard rc Ford Trimotor built by Barrett.

The rc Ford Trimotor scratch built by Barrett, known as Greenseaships on RC Groups has a 48" wingspan, a 30" length and is constructed from cardboard.  A single E-flite motor powers it.


Monitoring the engine gauges of the Ford Trimotor takes a bit of getting used to. Instead of being in the cockpit, they are mounted on the engines.

Not known for its fuel economy, the three engines of the Trimotor consume between 45 and 50 gph of fuel.  While the corrugated aluminum skin of the aircraft adds strength to the structure, it also contributes to drag.

A total of 199 Ford Trimotor aircraft of all types were produced from 1926 to 1933. A number were still flying for commercial carriers through 1962.

Today Ford Trimotor aircraft are on exhibit throughout the world, but only a handful continue to fly.


If you are looking for a larger rc Ford Trimotor, check out the AMA Plans Service for their plan number 16218. It is made for engine power and has a wingspan of 88".

Cleveland Models has plans for a number of rc Ford Trimotor airplanes. Wingspans are 28 1/2", 38", 57", 76", 114", 152" and 228".

We have seen numerous posts for a rc Ford Trimotor kit by Sterling with a 34" wingspan. They may all be for the same kit.

Dumas has a Ford Trimotor with a 17 1/2" wingspan for free flight rubber power.

Do you have a favorite rc Ford Trimotor?  If you do, please email us.