|Catalog Number||WF 2086|
|Caption||March's Point Airfield - Ford Tri-motor|
This Ford Tri-motor airplane #9612 is viewed at March's Point airfield. "In 1927, Ford Motor Company produced the Ford Tri-motor, one of the first all-metal airplanes. It was often referred to as the TIN GOOSE or FLYING WASHBOARD. It was the first plane created to carry passengers rather than mail, with a seating capacity of 12. As the name indicates, the airplane had three engines, which allowed it to fly higher and faster than other airplanes of the same time period. The Tri-motor could reach speeds up to 130 miles per hour. A Ford 4-AT-15 Tri-motor monoplane, piloted by Berndt Balehen, was used in the first flight over the South Pole in November of 1929." This plane may have been at the airport opening, or it was probably the one reported by the 8-8-1929 ANACORTES AMERICAN; the latter Ferd Brady rode and may have taken some of his aerial photos of Anacortes. The plane's number is different in the newspaper article, but it is only off by one number and may have been simply a mistake. "Many local people motored to airport Tuesday to view the tri-motored Ford monoplane, ' West Wind', N.C. 9112, which landed in Anacortes Tuesday. ... This is one of the most powerful planes ever built by the Ford company. ...[It] has a wing spread of 74 feet and is 49 feet 10 inches long, with a total wing area of 785 feet. It is 12 feet 8 inches high. It has a gasoline capacity of 235 gallons, weighing 10,000 pounds when loaded. Wednesday afternoon the large plane took a party of local people to Mount Baker."
Included in the 45 minute flight were Ferd Brady, Fred Abbey, Ed Mooney, Fred March, Mrs. Post, Virgil Neeley, the pilot Art Walker, and six other local citizens. The plane was owned by Mamer Flying Service, Felts Field, Spokane.
WF 2074-2099 represent more than just the history of a small airfield and the inauguration of air service to Fidalgo Island. They also signify the island's participation in the global phenomenon ignited by Charles Lindbergh's historic transatlantic flight in May 1927. The first "flight" from march's Point, the first area of white settlement on Fidalgo seventy-five years earlier, had taken place almost forty years before. The 9-14-1889 ANACORTES PROGRESS reported, "Professor Carey gave a talk on astronomy at Munk's Hall. Sent up a hot air balloon: quite a success: Rose up 2000' and went to northeast ... came down on Reservation." The 6-14-1928 ANACORTES AMERICAN reported that the Kiwanis Club had leased land from Fred March for a 2000' airstrip. The 8-2-1928 issue reported on the airfield's inauguration. 10,000 spectators attended the event and witnessed planes fly in from the Puget Sound region. An "airplane" marriage took place between Richard Fenno and Minnie Kirkman, who exchanged vows during takeoff. The airport was the result of Anacortes Civic Club's year-long efforts to establish an airport on March's Point and thus be at the forefront of the changes brought by air travel which reshaped the regional economy.
|Date||1928 - 1929 c.|
|Collection||Wallie Funk Collection|
Place - Anacortes, WA
Event - Airfield opening
Transportation - Air
|Credit line||Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection|
Anacortes Civic Club
Mamer Flying Service
|Object Name||Print, Photographic|