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Air Force One (SAM 26000) to close Jan. 23-Feb. 3 for lighting upgrade and conservation work

  • Published
  • By Rob Bardua
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will temporarily close Air Force One (SAM 26000) from Jan. 23-Feb. 3, 2017, in order to complete a lighting upgrade with new LED lights and other conservation work.


The VC-137C was used by eight presidents including Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton. However, it is most widely known as the aircraft that carried President Kennedy’s body back to Washington, D.C. from Dallas after his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, and served as the location where President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new president.


According to museum curator Christina Douglass, while the short-term inconvenience is regrettable, the new lighting upgrades and conservation work will greatly enhance the visitor experience.  


"The new LED lights will illuminate the interior much better than the current fixtures, are more cost effective than conventional lighting and also more artifact-friendly, which will help ensure SAM 26000's long-term preservation," said Douglass.

Additional conservation work is also scheduled to take place while the aircraft is closed, to include general cleaning, repairs and installing additional plexi-glass to further protect the aircraft.


The aircraft is scheduled to re-open to the public on Feb. 4, 2017.


The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit



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

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Rob Bardua at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1386.