Ford Airport / Ford Tri-Motor
The Ford Airport
At this airport, built by Henry Ford in 1924, world and national history was made, ushering in a new era of flight embracing the all-metal airliner, radio control devices, air mail, scheduled flights, and the airline services that the generation of the 1930's came to expect.
For the first time in the world:
--- A hotel, the Dearborn Inn, was designed and built for the air traveler;
--- A guided flight of a commercial airliner was made by radio.
For the first time in the U.S.A.:
--- An all-metal, multi-engine, commercial air-liner was built;
--- A regularly scheduled passenger airline in continuous domestic service was inaugurated;
--- An airline terminal for passenger use was constructed.
The airport's closing in 1933 ended Ford's experimental work in aviation.
Ford Trimotor William B. Stout: 1880-1956
Born in Illinois, Stout came to Michigan as an automotive designer in 1914. During World War I he turned to aviation. In 1922 he produced America's first all-metal plane, a navy torpedo plane. The same year he organized the Stout Metal Airplane Company. In the next two years he built America's first successful commercial metal planes. The company occupied the new airplane factory at the Ford Airport in 1924 and became a division of the Ford Motor Co. in 1925. While he was the division's consulting engineer the Ford tri-motor was developed. In 1926 he founded the Stout Air Services, this countries first regularly scheduled passenger airline. Later, in his Dearborn workshop, Stout designed the "Sky Car," a combination airplane and automobile; the "Rail Plane," a gas-driven railroad car; a collapsible "House Trailer," and the "Scarab Car," a spacious, rear-motor auto.