Heroes
of the Sky

Come honor the men and women who shaped the skies with their minds, hearts, and even their lives.

Daily Activities at Heroes of the Sky

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Highlights

1925 Fokker F. VII Tri-Motor Airplane, "Josephine Ford," Flown Over the North Pole by Richard Byrd

  Details

1925 Fokker F. VII Tri-Motor Airplane, "Josephine Ford," Flown Over the North Pole by Richard Byrd

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Airplane

Date Made

1925

Summary

Richard Byrd flew this plane toward the North Pole in 1926. Though Byrd generally is credited with reaching the Pole, controversy remains. Edsel Ford financed the expedition, and Byrd acknowledged his patron by naming the airplane after Ford's daughter Josephine.

Place of Creation

Netherlands, Holland 

Object ID

26.113.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Heroes Of The Sky
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Heroes of the Sky

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

1925 Fokker F. VII Tri-Motor Airplane, "Josephine Ford," Flown Over the North Pole by Richard Byrd

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

1939 Sikorsky VS-300A Helicopter

  Details

1939 Sikorsky VS-300A Helicopter

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Helicopter

Date Made

1939

Summary

Igor Sikorsky, a young man in Russia, tried unsuccessfully to build a helicopter in 1909. He went on to build fixed-wing aircraft but returned to helicopters in 1938. Within three years, he had developed the first practical helicopter in the United States: the VS-300.

Object ID

43.140.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Heroes Of The Sky
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Heroes of the Sky

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

1939 Sikorsky VS-300A Helicopter

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer

  Details

Replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Airplane

Date Made

2003

Summary

This copy of the 1903 Wright Flyer faithfully replicates the original aircraft. On December 17, 2003, the replica attempted to duplicate the Wright brothers' first flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, exactly one hundred years after that historic feat. The attempt was foiled by bad weather, though the replica flew successfully in earlier tests.

Place of Creation

United States 

Object ID

2004.121.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Heroes Of The Sky
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Heroes of the Sky

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

1931 Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro

  Details

1931 Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Autogiro

Date Made

1931

Summary

Like an airplane, the autogiro is moved by an engine-powered propeller, but like a helicopter, lift is provided by a rotor. The rotor is not powered, and while the aircraft can land vertically, it cannot take off vertically. The Detroit News purchased this autogiro to gather news. The novel aircraft probably was better at making news!

Object ID

34.278.1

Heroes Of The Sky
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Heroes of the Sky

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

1931 Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Ford Flivver Airplane #1, 1926

  Details

Ford Flivver Airplane #1, 1926

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Airplane

Date Made

1926

Summary

Just as he put the world on wheels with the Model T, Henry Ford hoped to give it wings with a small, affordable airplane. Three or four prototype Flivver planes were built, but Ford abandoned the project after his test pilot, Harry Brooks, died in a Flivver crash near Melbourne, Florida, in 1928.

Object ID

28.481.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Heroes Of The Sky
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Heroes of the Sky

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Ford Flivver Airplane #1, 1926

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

1928 Ford 4-AT-B Tri-Motor Airplane, "Floyd Bennett," Flown Over the South Pole by Richard E. Byrd

  Details

1928 Ford 4-AT-B Tri-Motor Airplane, "Floyd Bennett," Flown Over the South Pole by Richard E. Byrd

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Airplane

Date Made

March 1928

Summary

The Ford Tri-Motor was the most popular airliner of the late 1920s and early 1930s. Its rugged dependability led Richard Byrd to choose a Tri-Motor for his attempt to be the first person to fly over the South Pole. On November 28-29, 1929, Byrd and a crew of three achieved that goal in this plane.

Object ID

00.240.3

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Edsel B. Ford.

Heroes Of The Sky
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Heroes of the Sky

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

1928 Ford 4-AT-B Tri-Motor Airplane, "Floyd Bennett," Flown Over the South Pole by Richard E. Byrd

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Heroes of the Sky

Wright Flyer Replica

A faithful reproduction of the 1903 plane the Wright brothers used for their first flight.  

1928 Ford 4AT-B Tri-Motor Airplane

Richard Byrd flew over the South Pole in a Tri-Motor, the most popular airliner of the late 1920s and early 1930s.  

Curtiss JN-4

The U.S. Army’s primary training aircraft in World War I, Curtiss “Jennys” were later used for barnstorming.  

Up Close

Examine the innovative design that allowed men to fly.  

1925 Fokker F. VII Tri-Motor Airplane

Richard Byrd flew this plane toward the North Pole in 1926.  

1915 Laird Biplane, "Boneshaker"

An early stunt plane used in shows all over the world.  

1939 Douglas DC-3

The elemental forms of fish, birds, and falling drops of water can be seen in this design landmark.