Stinson Trimotor NC11153
Photographed on 1 August 2003 at the EAA Air Venture convention, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, about to embark on the 2003 National Air Tour.
Built in 1931, this Trimotor began working for Century Airlines in March 1931. The aircraft was sold to American Airlines in March 1932 and is the oldest example of an American Airlines aircraft.
Over its working life NC11153 has flown under the liveries of four airlines. The aircraft passed through a number of owners until bought by Herrick in 1996.
This aircraft, construction number 5021, has suffered a few indignities in the 77 years since it was built. Besides being used as a crop duster and as a horse hauler in the late 1940s the wings were 'metalized' adding 1600 pounds of aluminium.
The ground up restoration began in 1997 and from the outset the goal was to have the finished product be as authentic as possible. The tailwheel centring system is just one example of the exacting detail used. Research into original Stinson drawings revealed that a bracket was missing. The bracket was fabricated and installed as part of the restoration.
The windscreen is another example - looking closely at Stinson files showed a special "American Airways" window drawing which confirmed that the existing windscreen was correct. Finally, the paint scheme was studied. Planned to be used as a mail plane, the original finish was not the same quality as found on passenger aircraft.
Picture added on 06 November 2008