First, a little history of Ford 4-AT-10;
the“-10” by the way refers to the serial number of this Ford.
It was the 10th model 4-AT built.

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Here are few interesting historic points concerning this ship.

When this ship is back in the air it will be:

1. Quite likely the oldest flying all-metal airliner in the world.

2. The oldest flying multi-engine airliner in the world.

3. The largest flying aircraft of its age in the world.

4. The oldest flying Ford Tri-motor.


Pilots who have flown this ship include:

-Charles Lindbergh

-Harry Brooks, Chief Pilot, Ford Motor Company 

-Bernt Balchen (Byrd pilot/polar pilot, first over the south pole, saved the "America" on Byrd's transatlantic flight)

-Floyd Bennett (Byrd’s polar pilot, first over the north pole if you believe Byrd)

-Captain Herman Koehl*

-Major James Fitzmaurice*

-Baron Ehrenfried Guenther Von Huenefeld*

-Grant McConachie (Canadian aviation pioneer, president of Canadian Pacific Airlines)

-Amelia Earhart -- verification pending

Harold Gray – aviation pioneer – Chairman, Pan American

*The crew of the Bremen, first pilots to fly the Atlantic east to west


This ship was:

-The ship which flew Mrs. Lindbergh to Mexico to see her son, Christmas 1927

-The first ship Anne Morrow flew in with Charles Lindbergh (Christmas 1927)

-In 1927, the largest aircraft to have flow in Mexico

-According to Bill Stout, it could be called the first transport and commercial trip from the U.S. to Mexico.

-In 1928, the largest aircraft to have flow in Canada (still the case in 1935)

-The first Ford tri-motor exported

-The first Ford tri-motor to be put on floats

-The first to fly a commercial flight over the Canadian Rockies

-Alleged to be the first Ford to loop -- verification pending

 We hope you enjoy the history!

Henry Ford Museum photo ©

August 11, 1927:

Present location of airplane: Ford Airport, Dearborn, Mich.

Stout Metal Airplane Company, Airplane Division – Ford Motor Company completes “Application for Airplane License”.  Date of Manufacture listed as August 30, 1927. 

 Edsel B. Ford, President

W.B. Mayo, Vice-President

W.B. Stout, Vice-President

B.J. Craig, Secretary & Treasurer

Seating capacity, exclusive of “pilot-mechanic:” 10

Equipment list:

2 – Fire Extinguishers

3 – Tachometers

3 – Motometers

3 – Oil Pressure Gauges

1 – Compass

1 – Turn & Bank Indicator

1 – Airspeed Indicator

2 – Altimeters

1 – Clock

3 – Navigation Lights

7 – Wicker Chairs

4- Cabin Lights

Lavatory equipment – toilet and wash-bowl

1 – lavatory light


August 17, 1927:
License application received by Aeronautic Branch, Aviation Division, Department of Commerce. Ship is assigned license “C1077”.

August 30, 1927:
Date of Manufacture listed on license application.

September 15, 1927:
Date of factory roll-out photo. Ford Airport, Dearborn, Mich.

September 19, 1927:
Photos of 1077 flying over Detroit. Note says at 2,000 feet. No “Ford” logo yet on the side. “1077” is on the tail with no “C” in front of it yet. 1077 painted on top of right wing.  [HFM (Henry Ford Museum Research Center)]

Date unknown:
Word Order # unknown  [from 18, Box 131, 4AT-10]

To: Mr. Henry:

1. The following work had been done on ship 4AT10.

2. ¼” steel washers used a spanners between steel pulley brackets and dural brackets    riveted on aux spar forward of spar #1. left wing outboard were replaced.

3. Aileron controls on sprocket were reversed there by making one aileron depend on the other for control instead of connecting each ail. as a unit.

4. Due to the fact that the aileron controls were not connected correctly, the cable were altogether too tight, and aileron had too much negative droop. Also one of the short aileron cables in center section was not cottered.

5. Rudder and elevator cables were rigged too tight also.

6. Because of the rudder cable being tight, there was too much strain on the rudder assembly on BLHD #00 thereby causing the rudder system to be stiff.

7. A difference of 1 ½” on the training edge of the elevators has also been corrected by loosening the cables an completely re-rigging

Signed: Saley

Date unknown:
Word Order # unknown (hand written list)

1. Door into wing [sticks?]

2. Replace pyralin in baggage room door

3. Toiled should be washed out or not on….?[] painted

4. Streamliner on left front strut (landing gear) is about 1” too long, causing a buckling of same at radius.

5. Primer coat of paint still on. When is this ship to be painted?

6. Lens in left landing light to be replaced (cracked over full diameter)

7. Right exhaust stack vibrates.

8. Left       “          “         “      .

9. Put in motor temp gauges (r. motor and _______ [?]

10. Out board starters not put on at proper angle.

11.  Oil aileron hinges with light oil.

12.  Cable to center starter is too short to allow full movement of bell crank. Can probably be corrected by flattening cable loop.

13 Tachometer drive (at engine) is badly worn (loose on case)


……….[must get balance of notes from HF]


October 22, 1927:

1. Paint around inside of cabin doorframe

2. Change windshield glass

3. Left gas valve leaks

4. Put double strips on center motor exhaust pipes.

5. Ceiling sags. Correct.

6. Add hinge on pilots’ compartment door


October 27, 1927:
Photo found of 1077 tail skid mounted on a two wheel cart for maneuvering [HFM]

October 27, 1927:
W/O: _________

Maintenance performed at Ford

November 1, 1927:
There are several photos at HFM showing 1077 in Maddux Airlines livery (at least on the right side). There in no “C” in front of 1077.  The photo shows Bill Mayo,
Bill Stout, unknown, unknown, and Harry Brooks. Notes say: Indianapolis 11-1-27 “Mr. Culver & Party trip to Indianapolis”.

Henry Ford Museum photo ©
In November, 1927, #10 (1077) was in Maddux livery for a trip to Indianapolis “the Culver & party trip”. Maddux took delivery of  4-AT #12 later that month.

December 5, 1927:
Testing floats on the Detroit River

From The Ford Tri-motor”, by William Larkins  © 
The same photo is in the HFM dated December 5, 1927.  Judging by the work order below dated 12-8-27 the ship must have taken a beating. It apparently flew quite a bit as there are actually a number of images of it taken that day in different locations.

December 8, 1927:W/O: 6495
Extensive squawk list including:

 1.  Bottom of bulkhead Station #1  (front) corroded probably from battery acid. Clean off.

2.  Left side above fuselage – Spar 1 to 2 lower brace is kinked, This is rib trussing.

3.  Left O.B. primer line is held with tape at Spar 1. Put on a clip.

4.  Safety wire on brass plug-inner and left of gas tank is broken.

5.  Wing handle broken out of brass plug – inner end of Right gas tank.

6.  Put a wire around hose which surrounds gas line to center motor (top of fuselage).

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