In order to align NAS Pensacola with security directives issued by the Secretary of the Navy, the air station commanding officer has directed that beginning February 1, 2016, all visitors to the National Naval Aviation Museum, Fort Barrancas and Pensacola Lighthouse who do not possess a Department of Defense identification card or are unescorted by the holder of a Department of Defense identification card, will be required to enter the installation via the West Gate located off Blue Angel Parkway. Click here for directions.


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RR-5 Tri-Motor

One of the most successful aircraft in history, the famed Ford Tri-Motor was used by more than 100 airlines worldwide, and many operated for more than a half century. Nine Tri-Motors, in five different models, were operated by the Navy and Marine Corps between 1927 and 1935. Designated RR-2 through 5 by the Navy, the first example was ordered in March 1927.

Derived from designs by William B. Stout, the famous Ford Tri-Motor came into being following Henry Ford's purchase of the Stout Aircraft Company. Designated the 4-AT, the design followed an earlier, unsuccessful aircraft, the 3-AT, which engineers Harold Hicks and Tom Towle reworked to produce the iconic aircraft. The resulting Tri-Motor went from the drawing boards to flight in just over four months, its first flight in June 1926.

The Navy became interested in the aircraft as a potential transport or cargo carrier, ordering a single example of the 4-AT-A in March 1927. Designated XJR-1 the aircraft was tested in 1928 and served until retired in 1930. Meanwhile, improvements were being made so rapidly that it was said that no two Tri-Motors were the same. Two 4-AT-Es were purchased in 1929. Designated JR-2s, they were assigned to the Marines and were powered by three 300 horsepower Wright J6-9 engines rather than the original 200 horsepower J-4 engines of the prototype, giving them improved performance. In 1930, three JR-3s, with enlarged wings and Pratt & Whitney Wasp engines were purchased, one for the Navy and the other two for the Marines. Shortly after, the aircraft were redesignated RR-2 and RR-3. A single Model 5-AT-C was later purchased and designated RR-4. Finally, two Model 4-AT-Ds were acquired, one each for the Navy and Marines, and designated RR-5s.

While very useful to the Navy and Marine Corps, the Tri-Motor is best known for its contribution to the growth of U.S. commercial aviation. It, and the Curtiss-Wright Condor, made commercial airlines practical and profitable a decade before the advent of Douglas' DC series or the Boeing 247.


Manufacturer:Ford Motor Company, Aircraft Division
Crew:Two crew and up to 15 passengers
Powerplant:Three 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-88 radials

Length: 50 ft., 3 in.
Height: 13 ft., 6 in.
Wingspan: 77 ft., 10 in. 
Wing Area: 835 sq. ft.


Empty: 8,149 lb.
Gross: 13,499 lb.


Max Speed: 135 mph at sea level
Cruise Speed: 122 mph
Climb Rate: 8,000 ft. in 10 min.
Ceiling: 18,000 ft.
Range: 505 miles

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