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Heroes of the Sky




Henry Ford's Aviation Ventures

Henry Ford is well known for his legendary Model T and his development of the assembly line. But in fact he made major contributions to the early aviation industry.

As an entrepreneur, Ford had the power, knowledge, industrial genius, and money to take big risks. He once said, “I would rather build a big plane and learn something, even it if didn’t fly, than to build a smaller one that worked perfectly and not learn anything.”

He had never really liked airplanes. He was coaxed into the air only three times in his life—twice on one memorable day in 1927 by Charles Lindbergh—in his Spirit of St. Louis—and once in 1936 by C. R. Smith of American Airlines. But he felt that he could make money on this new mode of transportation if he could mass produce planes using assembly-line production, much like his Model T’s.

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the planes   make a paper airplane  
Teachers, get lesson plans and see the curriculum ties to the Heroes of the Sky.
See the planes on exhibit, check out the specifications and get a sneak peak in a few cockpits. Try one of these high- flying designs at home!


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