Ford 15P Personal Aircraft

Ford’s attempt at a personal aircraft. Airplanes are hard. Did the lack of a rudder create the control issues? It’s too bad that the plane disappeared. More than likely it ended up as part of a WW2 scrap drive.

Old Machine Press

By William Pearce

Henry Ford was an absolute titan of industry. His ability to mass-produce the automobile made them affordable to the average citizen in the United States. Owning cars revolutionized the way people lived. On more than one occasion, Ford attempted to do the same thing with the airplane—create a simple, affordable, and easy-to-fly aircraft for the masses. The design of an inexpensive and mass-produced aircraft was referred to as a “flivver” plane. The Ford Motor Company’s last flivver aircraft was the 15P, and like previous attempts, it did not succeed.

Ford 15p mockup Full-scale mockup of the Ford 15P from January 1935. With the exception of an unfaired tailwheel, the complete aircraft was very similar to the mockup.

Edsel Ford, Henry’s son, had an interested in aviation, and he helped finance William B. Stout’s founding of the Stout Metal Airplane Company in 1922. By 1924, Henry had joined Edsel to help…

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