The UH-13J was the U.S. Air Force's version of the reliable Bell Model 47J Ranger helicopter. Two UH-13Js were purchased in March 1957 for use as the first presidential helicopters. On July 12, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first chief executive to fly in a helicopter when he lifted off from the White House lawn in the sister ship of the Sioux on display. In 1958 the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps took over the presidential helicopter mission while the USAF retained responsibility for transporting the president in fixed wing aircraft. Since 1976, the Marine Corps has operated all presidential helicopters.
Following their assignment as presidential aircraft, the UH-13Js were assigned to Bolling AFB in Washington, D.C., to transport high-ranking Department of Defense personnel and numerous foreign dignitaries. In July 1967 both UH-13Js were retired from service and 57-2728 was placed on display in the museum.
Engine: Lycoming O-435 of 260 hp
Maximum speed: 105 mph
Range: 200 miles
Ceiling: 17,000 feet
Weight: 2,800 lbs. (loaded)
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