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Getting There: ‘Tin Goose’ to fly over Spokane this week

A vintage Ford Tri-Motor airplane will be at Spokane’s Felts Field this Thursday through Sunday. (Jason Toney / Courtesy of Experimental Aircraft Association)
A vintage Ford Tri-Motor airplane will be at Spokane’s Felts Field this Thursday through Sunday. (Jason Toney / Courtesy of Experimental Aircraft Association)

A 1928 Ford Tri-Motor aircraft, the first mass-produced airliner from the early days of commercial aviation, is coming to Felts Field this week.

The plane will do excursion flights over Spokane on Thursday through Sunday.

The Experimental Aircraft Association is bringing the historic aircraft to Spokane as part of its outreach for aviation education.

The Ford Tri-Motor gets its name from its three engines: one on each wing and one on the nose. Originally built from corrugated metal to add strength, the plane earned the nickname the “Tin Goose.”

The model coming to Spokane is the later 5-AT-B. The aircraft initially went to work for Transcontinental Air Transport under the name City of Wichita.

Its original corrugated metal exterior was removed and the plane refitted with sheet metal in 1951, giving it a new nickname, the “Smooth-skinned Ford,” according to the EAA website.

The aircraft was luxurious in its day, with leather seats, plenty of leg room and picture windows for viewing.

The EAA is leasing the plane from the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio. Previously, it was owned by the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

The EAA was founded in 1953 in Milwaukee for enthusiasts building their own planes, but the organization has evolved to cover a wide range of aviation interests.

The EAA has a chapter in Spokane.

The plane is scheduled to operate from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

To raise funds, the aircraft association is offering rides through the four days. The cost is $70 in advance and $75 at the airport, 6105 E. Rutter Ave., near Millwood.

College students have STA pass

Spokane Transit Authority wants to remind students at area universities and colleges that their student passes will double as an STA pass.

In addition, several trade schools are also participating in the universal pass program.

In a news release, STA said, “Getting to school on an STA bus saves students gas money, parking fees and the expense of owning and maintaining a car.”

STA has implemented smart bus technology that allows riders real-time information on arrivals and departures at any stop on its system.

Riders can text their stop numbers to 99689 to find out when the next buses will arrive.

Spokane Public Schools has bus passes for students living more than a mile from their school. Contact the school office for details.

Also, a 31-day youth pass (ages 6 to 18) is $30.

Transportation projects up for review

The Spokane Regional Transportation Council will hold an open house Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. to seek input on a new Transportation Improvement Program plan for 2017 to 2020.

The proposed plan contains 24 new projects, including work on state highways and the North Spokane Corridor.

The meeting will be held at 421 W. Riverside Ave., Suite 500, Spokane.

To review the proposal, go to srtc.org.

Pass blasting starts earlier

With the fading light of September, blasting work along Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass will move up to 6 p.m. this week.

The hourlong closure will occur Monday through Thursday.

The work is part of a multiyear widening of I-90 to six lanes east of the pass.

West Main project in full swing

In Spokane, work is in full bore on West Main Avenue from Bernard to Pine streets to install new angle parking and pedestrian islands.

The biggest changes will occur between Browne and Division, where a midblock crossing is planned along with angle parking in the center of the street.

On the reconstruction of Monroe and Lincoln streets from Fourth to Eighth avenues, Monroe is now open to southbound traffic. Lincoln may reopen as early as Friday for northbound vehicles.

Paving work on Lincoln is scheduled Tuesday from Fourth Avenue to the south side of Fifth Avenue, and on Thursday from Fifth to Eighth avenues.

The intersection of Fifth and Lincoln will close during Tuesday’s paving.

In the downtown area, Lincoln will be closed Monday morning at First Avenue, and First will be closed in the construction zone until 5 p.m. as part of that major construction project.

Hawthorne Road completion to be marked

In Spokane County, officials are planning a ceremony Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. to mark completion of the Hawthorne Road reconstruction from Division to Waikiki Road.

The ceremony will be held across from the main entrance to Whitworth University.

Hawthorne Road east of Division remains closed to through traffic.

Traffic restrictions are in place at the intersection of Division and Hawthorne.

Argonne Road north of the Spokane River remains down to one lane in each direction for construction. Traffic backups have been a consistent problem during the project.

Country Homes Boulevard has some lane restrictions to allow for work in raised islands.

In Spokane Valley

In Spokane Valley, Sprague Avenue from Dartmouth to University roads will be reduced to two lanes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Desmet Avenue from Thierman to Bradley roads remains closed on Monday for paving.

Highway intersection upgrades

On state highways, a project to upgrade intersection striping and signage is affecting traffic at different intersections at different times from the north side of Spokane County to Lincoln and Stevens counties.

Delays, pilot cars or flaggers may be encountered where work is underway, but only from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.


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