DAYTON, Ohio — The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force was recently selected by the U.S. Air Force History and Museums Program as a recipient of the 2021 Air Force Heritage Award for its “Flying the President” exhibit. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding achievements by Department of the Air Force History and Museums Program personnel that foster a better understanding and appreciation of the Air Force, its history and accomplishments.
One of the most important missions of the United States Air Force is to provide fast, safe, and reliable air transportation for the President of the United States and other high-ranking government officials. “Flying the President” is a permanent exhibit that opened in the museum’s Presidential Gallery in August 2020 and highlights the rich history of presidential travel and the dedicated men and women of the Air Force who perform this critical, no-fail mission.
According to National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Curator Christina Douglass, there are few symbols as iconic as that of Air Force One.
"Over the last year the ‘Flying the President’ exhibit has been a popular attraction for museum visitors,” said Douglass. “Being recognized with this award is further tribute to the distinguished men and women in the Presidential Airlift Group and the 89th Airlift Wing who have served our presidents and their guests throughout the years aboard this aircraft.”
Throughout the exhibit visitors to the museum can see personal items collected from Air Force One communications specialists, flight attendants, maintainers, support personnel, and security personnel, as well as ordinary items found aboard the aircraft such as china, glassware and stationery that have all been custom designed for the comfort of the president, his staff and guests.
The exhibit includes dozens of objects collected aboard Air Force One from every presidential administration from President Franklin Roosevelt to President Trump including: playing cards and a gin rummy score card from the Truman Administration; President Kennedy’s cigar box from SAM 26000; memorabilia from President Nixon’s 1979 visit to China; candies from the Eisenhower, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations; and a lunch menu from one of President Trump’s many flights on Air Force One.
More information about the Presidential Gallery is available at: https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Presidential-Gallery/
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 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year thousands of visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.