For all the boasting that Boeing and Airbus do over the relative silence of their new 787 and A380, there is still something to be said for an airplane engine roar you can feel through your boots. In the air, perpetually performing laps above the OSH airfield, the Tri-Motors sounded like that miserly next-door neighbor who hasn't updated his lawn mower in 20 years and still insists on using it early in the morning. On the ground, it's all sweet sweet guttural engineering purr.
The two planes flying at the fest were different; one painted in army livery and carrying 17, the other in original Eastern Air Lines livery and carrying 9 (11 including pilots). We flew in the latter, sitting in the rearmost seats to maximize enjoyment of both the engines in front and the scenery below. It can never be said that we aren't crafty like that.
At $160 for the two of us, was it worth it? Heck yes. That's the good news. There is no bad news, just even better news...for you. These planes make their way to other air shows around the country, filling their few seats with the similarly aviation-obsessed. Take your kids. Take your mom. Take your hot date. Take your camera cause ain't no "electronic devices must be turned off" 'round here.
Just go and tell 'em we sent ya.
*For more, check out our story (and more photos) of the new museum dedicated to the restoration of these silver birds.
*Disclosure: We traveled to EAA AirVenture for one day as a guest of Southwest Airlines, but all photos, video, Ford Tri-Motor rides and enthusiasm is completely our own.