The history of Air Force One. Where every presidential plane is today – EFTM

The history of Air Force One. Where every presidential plane is today

A couple of weeks ago, the United States Pentagon announced the Boeing  747-8 would be the next platform for Air Force One, replacing the ageing 747-200’s which were introduced in...
VC-25 A Over Mt Rushmore

A couple of weeks ago, the United States Pentagon announced the Boeing  747-8 would be the next platform for Air Force One, replacing the ageing 747-200’s which were introduced in 1990.  That got me thinking – what happens to the old Air Force one planes?

I wondered; do they securely scrap them?  Like getting rid of secure documents – it happens not via your normal rubbish and recycling run.

These are not just any old aircraft, they are fitted out with kit that we couldn’t even begin to imagine, as a full working White House and command centre in the air.

As it turns out, if history repeats, the current Air Force One will end up in a museum or Presidential library somewhere.

With the help of the knowledgeable and highly qualified team at the Pentagon, EFTM has compiled a list of every US Presidential aircraft to date.

C-54C Sacred Cow

Douglas DC-4.

  • The first official Presidential aircraft
  • Military designation VC-54C
  • Tail number 42-107451
  • Named “The Flying White House” and “Sacred Cow.”
  • Served Presidents Roosevelt and Truman.

Where to find it: on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

Independance in flight ca 1947

Douglas DC-6

  • Military designation VC-118
  • Tail number 46-505
  • Named “The Independence” after President Truman’s home town.
  • The aircraft sported an Eagle livery (paint design) and served President Truman.

Where to find it: on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

Columbine II

Lockheed L-749 Constellation (the first “Air Force One”)

  • Military designation VC-121A
  • Tail number 48-610
  • Named “Columbine II” (after the state flower of Colorado)
  • Served President Eisenhower.

Where to find it: in the Arizona desert at the Marana Regional Airport near Tucson, Arizona.

Columbine III in flight

Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation

  • Military designation VC-121E
  • Tail number 53-7885
  • Named “Columbine III” (again for the state flower of Colorado)
  • Served President Eisenhower from November 1954 to the end of his Presidency.

Where to find it: on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

Douglas DC-6B

  • Military designation VC-118A
  • Tail number 53-3240
  • Served President Kennedy as the Primary Presidential aircraft until the Boeing 707 aircraft tail number 26000 arrived and then was the Presidential backup aircraft.
  • The Air Force stopped naming their aircraft. So this aircraft was unnamed.

Where to find it: on display at the Pima County Air Museum, Tucson Arizona.

VC-137-1_Air_Force_One

Boeing 707

  • Military designation VC-137C
  • Tail number 26000
  • Served Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.

Where to find it: on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

27000 over Mt. Vernon

Boeing 707

  • Military designation VC-137C
  • Tail number 27000
  • Served Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush.

Where to find it: on display at the Reagan Presidential Library in California.

VC-25 A Over Mt Rushmore

Boeing 747-200 (x2)

  • Military designation VC-25A
  • Tail numbers 28000 and 29000
  • Arrived in 1990 and are still in service as the Presidential aircraft.
  • To date they have served Presidents George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barak Obama.

Where to find it: Watch the TV news you’ll see President Obama getting around in it now and then:)

 

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Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
2 Comments on this post.
  • tardis3
    10 February 2015 at 2:16 pm
    Leave a Reply

    I wondered about this as well. thanks for posting

  • Con (@conioo)
    10 February 2015 at 8:14 pm
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    very interesting ! nice article

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