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Aviation history visits Monroe on Saturday

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A Ford Tri-Motor plane built in 1929 will be on display Saturday at the Monroe Airport.

An 84-year-old airplane that helped revolutionize the airline industry will be the star of the show for Saturday’s aviation events at the Monroe Airport.

Warriors & Warbirds, a group of Charlotte-area aviation enthusiasts, will join the Experimental Aircraft Association in bringing a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor plane to the Monroe facility. It will be part of a day that also will include a pancake breakfast, a luncheon, and safety seminars for pilots.

A fly-in, drive-in, bike-in pancake breakfast is planned from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Bob Russell/Warriors & Warbirds hangar at the airport, off Old Charlotte Highway west of Monroe. Pancakes are $5 a plate, and the event is open to the public.

Safety seminars are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the Experimental Aircraft Association will sell hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and soft drinks from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The Ford Tri-Motor, introduced in 1926, was the first major aircraft used for passenger travel. It could carry nearly 25 passengers and was used on the first international flights, from Florida to Cuba. It was also part of the first transcontinental travel, in 1927, although part of that trip was conducted by train. The Tri-Motor proved to be a reliable and durable plane that was flown on cargo and other missions into the 1960s.

Saturday’s event also will include the display of the 1944 C-46 Commando “Tinker Belle.” Lee Myers, of the Warriors & Warbirds, says a number of C-46 pilots from World War II have been invited to Saturday’s events.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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