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Thanks to the generosity of Maurice & Judy Hovious, we were given the opportunity to have a flying Ford Tri-Motor back in Port Clinton. If our Chapter found suitable space and committed to actually re-building the plane, they would give us the tools, training and materials needed to get started. Needless to say, we accepted their offer and, in 2004, restoration of Ford Tri-Motor model 5-AT-B (Serial #40) began.

Although the majority of our restoration work is being done by volunteers, a full time mechanic was added to our team to oversee     our work and help with the more technical aspects of the restoration.

During the first eight years of the project, volunteers worked inside the main hangar at what was then known as the Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport.  In 2012, we moved our project across the airfield into the newly built Liberty Aviation Museum where the owner,

Ed Patrick, gave us a new home to showcase our airplane restoration and museum displays.

If you are in the Port Clinton area, we encourage you to visit the museum to look at our restoration project, check our progress and speak with our volunteers.  We'd love to meet you!



Delivery of salvaged tri-motor fuselalge
Placing the first pieces of our fuselage on jig fixture
Attaching the upper jig fixture
Placing window panels
Side view of full fuselage
Volunteers attaching gussets to fuselage framework
First pieces of corrugated paneling on fuselage
Attaching the center wing section
Cockpit canopy paint prep
Rudderless fuselage
Rudder attached to fuselage
Fitting the main wing with corrugated aluminum skin
Interior seat rails
Test fitting of instrument panel
Clecos attaching outer wing tip
One of three new fuel tanks
Installation of front oil tank
Volunteers working on cockpit canopy
Wheel & brake parts
Freshly painted rudder
Tail access panel
Painted front engine mount


Individual chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) are not permitted to

own any aircraft, so we formed a separate 501(c)3 charitable organization,

the Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation, which is used to raise funds for the

restoration and hold title to the aircraft.

To learn more about our Tri-Motor restoration, visit the THF website at

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