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Built by Ford as 5-AT-B Trimotor during 1928. First flight on December 1, 1928. During January 1929, sold to Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) and registered as NC9645. Nicknamed "City of Wichita" in honor of the initiation of transcontinental commercial air service on July 7, 1929 with "City of Columbus".
In April 1931, purchased by Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) and helped develop the airlines flight routes. In July 1935 sold to G. Ruckstill / Grand Canyon Airlines. Next, in February 1937 to Boulder Dam Tours.
In December 1937 sold to Transportes Aereos del Continente Americano (TACA Airlines) and registered as AN-AAS in Honduras. In 1942 sold to an unknown owner in Compeche, Mexico and registered as XA-FUB. In 1950, registered to another unknown owner also in Compeche, Mexico as XA-NET.
During 1951, during a major overhaul, the corrugated skin was removed and replaced with flat metal skin and was dubbed “the smooth-skin Ford" and sold in July 1953. In January 1954 damaged during an accident and afterwards placed into storage.
In 1955, purchased by Eugene Frank of Caldwell, Idaho and transported to the United States and registered as N58996 and was placed into storage. In July 1964 sold to William F. Harrah of Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos in Nevada, and returned the plane’s registration to NC9645. Over the next seven years, fully restored with corrugated skin. In 1971 the trimotor returned to flying condition and was flown in Reno then to static display as part of the Harrah Collection until he passed away. In June 1986 auction to Gary Norton of Athol, Idaho.
In February 1999, acquired by Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum and placed into storage until 1996 when it underwent another restoration and resumed flying.
During 2014, acquired by Ed Patrick / Liberty Aviation Museum and registered as N964 arriving during July 2014. Afterwards, this aircraft entered into a leas agreement with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and began flying around the United States are part of the EAA Ford Tri-Motor Tour.
This aircraft has a natural metal finish. The lower left wing has "NC9645" painted in black block. On the right side of the nose is "City of Port Clinton" (where it is normally based). On the left side of the nose is "City of Wichita". The fuselage has the Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) logo. The tail has "Ford" and "NC9645".
FAA Registry - Ford 5-AT-B Trimotor N9645
Liberty Aviation Museum - Ford Tri-Motor "City of Port Clinton"
EAA - History of the Liberty Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT-B
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