If you recently heard a loud buzzing in the sky and saw a plane that resembled the aircraft depicted in scenes from an Indiana Jones movie, then you probably spotted the 1928 Ford Tri-Motor plane that soared over parts of San Luis Obispo County recently.
The plane’s next stops are in Lompoc from Thursday through Saturday and in Camarillo from Feb. 23 to Feb. 26.
The vintage Tri-Motor planes, built in the Detroit area, were known as the first successful passenger airplane, and they helped redefine world travel and the beginning of commercial flight, according to the Experimental Aircraft Association, the nonprofit organization that organizes national tours of the plane.
“The Ford Motor company built only 199 of the airplanes between 1926 and 1933,” said Dick Knapinski, the EAA’s director of communications. “Most of them were built before 1930.”
The historic aircraft visited the Paso Robles airport on Friday and Saturday and the San Luis Obispo airport on Sunday and Monday.
“Although it had only a short time in the spotlight, the fact that Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Co. took an interest in airplanes helped move scheduled passenger flight forward in America,” Knapinski said.
The advance purchase flight price is $70 for adults and $50 for passengers 17 and younger. Walk-up flights on the day of the tour are $75 per seat.
Ticket sales from rides on the plane support the EAA, which is dedicated to building, flying, restoring, or enjoying aircraft. EAA currently has 200,000 members in more than 100 countries.
The complete upcoming schedule is at www.flytheFord.org.