Some were before their time others were just strange and never made it!
Just like the Model “T” Henry Ford thought he could build an airplane every Family could afford to have in their garage, right beside their Model “T”… there were only three made, none survived. There are several replicas, including this one pictired below at the Ford Museum and the Florida Aviation Museum at Sun N Fun Lakeland, FLorida along with an outstanding collection of historic aircraft to behold and learn.
The Florida Aviation Historical Society Has an exact replica on exhibit at the Florida Aviation Museum at the Sun N Fun, Lakeland Linder Airport, Lakeland, Florida.
Henry Ford’s Flying Car
A lot of folks don’t know that the man, who was famous for the Model “T” Ford among others and the first assembly line concept, also manufactured airplanes.
Ford’s first successful airplane venture that was a commercial success was the Ford Trimotor in 1925. But Henry Ford had another vision. Just as he had envisioned the Model “T” as the car for every family, he also saw in his mind the opportunity for every family to own an airplane. Thus; the Ford Flivver was conceived, designed and built.
Bill Stout was approached with the idea. After-all he was the manager of the newly acquired aircraft division for Ford.
Mr. Ford wanted the Flivver designed to the size small enough to fit inside of his office, not that he ever wanted it there. It looked a lot like a toy a kid would ride in around the yard.
The test pilot for The Metal Airplane Division of Ford Motor Company Harry J. Brooks, in 1926, used the Flivver to fly home at the end of the day north of Ford airport. They called it the flying car.
When Henry Ford proudly put his “Flying Car” The Flivver on exhibit the American public crowded to see the little single seat, single engine monoplane. There was a lot of excitement in the air for the little bird.
15.5 length, 21.9 wingspan, 500 lb Gross wt., 2 cyl, 36 HP 90 MPH, Stall speed 30mph,
The Flivver fuselage was made of welded steel tubing with fabric covered wooden wings. A tail dragger with a steerable tail-wheel and the only brake was on the tail-wheel. The Flivver had a stock model T exhaust routed a special manifold.
In 1928 “Brooksie” as his friends affectionately called him, set out in an updated Ford Flivver to set a record from Detroit to Miami, Florida.
First attempt he was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Asheville, North Carolina to refuel. Another attempt ended in Titusville, Florida due to a bent propeller.