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Story at a Glance
 SAM 26000 goes off display Dec. 5
 Presidential Gallery closed to visitors on Dec. 5, reopens Dec. 6
 Visitors can still see SAM 26000 during a Behind the Scenes tour
 SAM 26000 returns to Presidential Gallery by Feb. 13, 2010
SAM 26000 Final Flight
DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) during its final flight on May 20, 1998, at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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 Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000
Air Force One temporarily off display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Posted 9/22/2009   Updated 12/9/2009 Email story   Print story


by Sarah Olaciregui
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

9/22/2009 - DAYTON, Ohio -- The Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000, also known as Air Force One when a president is on board, will be taken off display on Dec. 5 to be painted back to its original presidential paint scheme. Painting is expected to take several months and the aircraft is currently slated to return to the Presidential Gallery in time for Presidents Day 2010 (weather permitting). 

The Presidential Gallery will not be open for touring on Dec. 5 due to aircraft movement, but the regular schedule will resume on Dec. 6. Visitors are asked to plan their trip accordingly. 

The aircraft will be located in the museum's restoration area while being repainted. Although visitors will not be able to tour the interior, the aircraft will still be on display during the museum's weekly Behind the Scenes tours. 

SAM 26000 was the first jet made specifically for use by the President of the United States. Built in 1962, it served many presidents over three decades, carrying heads of state, diplomats and other dignitaries and officials on many historic journeys. 

President John F. Kennedy flew aboard SAM 26000 to Dallas, Texas, where he was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963 -- and it was on this airplane that Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the nation's new president. SAM 26000 then carried Kennedy's body and Johnson back to Washington, D.C.

In 1972, when the newly delivered SAM 27000 became the primary presidential transport, 26000 was given the role as back-up aircraft. Later, it was given a different paint scheme. The new colors and markings will return 26000 back to how the aircraft looked when it was the primary presidential transport. 

For more information about SAM 26000, visit For information on how to sign up for a Behind the Scenes tour, visit Special instructions for visiting the Presidential Gallery are also located on this page. 

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free.

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Olaciregui at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1376.

2/19/2010 2:34:07 PM ET
Due to inclement weather our restoration staff has been unable to return SAM 26000 to display. We will post an announcement on the Web site once the aircraft is back on display in the Presidential Gallery.
Public Affairs Division, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
2/18/2010 7:34:48 PM ET
When will SAM 260000 be restored and put back online for viewing.
Mark Lumbeck, OQUAWKA iL
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