Ford Airport (Dearborn)

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Ford Airport in Dearborn, Michigan was one of the first modern airports in the world. The airport operated from 1925 to 1947, and the site is now part of Ford Motor Company's Dearborn Proving Ground. The airport is about 360 acres (1.5 km²) in size.

Latitude and Longitude : 42°18'0.42"N, 83°13'14.75"W

Historical timeline

  • 1924: 20,000 square foot (1,900 m²) Stout Metal Airplane Company factory opens
  • 1925: Ford Airport is dedicated as the first modern airport, equipped with two grass runways and flood lights for night landings.
  • 1925: Henry Ford builds the largest, most modern and only privately owned permanent dirigible mooring mast. It was only used twice and demolished in 1946.
  • 1925: Ford Air Transportation Service between "Detroit" (Dearborn) and Chicago begins
  • 1925-31: Annual National Air Tour to demonstrate safety and reliability of commercial aviation starts and ends at Ford Airport.
  • 1926: First ever commercial Contract Airmail Route flights made over routes CAM-6 (Detroit-Cleveland) and CAM-7 (Detroit-Chicago)
  • 1926: First successful radio guided flight, using system developed by Ford Motor Company.
  • 1926: Stout factory is replaced with a 62,000 square foot (5,800 m²) facility to build new Ford Tri-Motors using assembly line production for the first time.
  • 1928-29: Grass runways are paved—the first concrete runways in the world.
  • 1931: The Dearborn Inn opens—one of the first hotels built to service the air traveler.
  • 1938: First vehicle test track is laid down.
  • 1947: Ford Air Transport Office moves to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, ending Ford Airport operations.
  • 2003: June 9 - Five vintage airplanes, including two Ford Tri-Motors, fly into Dearborn Proving Grounds; the first time in 56 years the test track is used as an airport. The planes were part of the "Taking Flight: Ford's History in Aviation" exhibit, which was one facet of Ford Motor Company's 100th anniversary celebration.
  • 2005: Major reconstruction and renovation work adds more test track surfaces and handling courses.
  • 2006: Site renamed as the Dearborn Development Center


Coordinates: 42°18′00.42″N 83°13′14.75″W / 42.3001167°N 83.2207639°W / 42.3001167; -83.2207639