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Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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)

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)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on April 9, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on April 9, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) being towed into the fourth building at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on April 9, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) being towed into the fourth building at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on April 9, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on April 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on April 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio (05/2016) -- An overhead gallery view of the fourth building aircraft at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The fourth building includes more than 70 aircraft in four new galleries -- Presidential, Research & Development, Space and Global Reach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio (05/2016) -- An overhead gallery view of the fourth building aircraft at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The fourth building includes more than 70 aircraft in four new galleries -- Presidential, Research & Development, Space and Global Reach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio (05/2016) -- An overhead view of the Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio (05/2016) -- An overhead view of the Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio (05/2016) -- An overhead view of the Presidential and Global Reach Galleries at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The fourth building includes more than 70 aircraft in four new galleries -- Presidential, Research & Development, Space and Global Reach.   (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio (05/2016) -- An overhead view of the Presidential and Global Reach Galleries at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The fourth building includes more than 70 aircraft in four new galleries -- Presidential, Research & Development, Space and Global Reach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) in the Presidential Gallery  at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Copes)

The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Copes)

The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) in the Presidential Gallery  at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Copes)
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The VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000) in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Copes)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Copes)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Copes)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 on display in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Copes)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- The Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 on display in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Copes)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 on display in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- The Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 on display in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 on display in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- The Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 on display in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Tail of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Craig Scaling, Airshow Traveler)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Tail of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Craig Scaling, Airshow Traveler)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Craig Scaling, Airshow Traveler)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Craig Scaling, Airshow Traveler)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Forward aircraft entrance to Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Forward aircraft entrance to Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Flight deck view of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Flight deck view of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Pilot's station of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Pilot's station of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Communications station of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Communications station of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Presidential staff area of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Presidential staff area of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Presidential private suite, looking towards the State Room of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Presidential private suite, looking towards the State Room of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Aircrew seating in Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.  The silver strip above the seat is the saw mark where the bulkhead was cut to make room for President Kennedy's casket. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Aircrew seating in Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The silver strip above the seat is the saw mark where the bulkhead was cut to make room for President Kennedy's casket. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Aft aircraft entrance of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Aft aircraft entrance of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This photo is part of the free ACI Cockpit360º app, which features high-definition panoramic photos of more than 20 cockpits from many well-known aircraft on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) taking off early in its career. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) taking off early in its career. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) on the tarmac at an unidentified location. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) on the tarmac at an unidentified location. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) with "The Spirit of 76" painted on the nose. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) with "The Spirit of 76" painted on the nose. (U.S. Air Force photo)

President John F. Kennedy disembarks Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One). (U.S. Air Force photo)
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President John F. Kennedy disembarks Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One). (U.S. Air Force photo)

President John F. Kennedy walks with a base commander under the tail of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One). (U.S. Air Force photo)
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President John F. Kennedy walks with a base commander under the tail of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One). (U.S. Air Force photo)

President John F. Kennedy disembarks Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One). (U.S. Air Force photo)
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President John F. Kennedy disembarks Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One). (U.S. Air Force photo)

President John F. Kennedy with the two U.S. Senators from Maine, Edmund Muskie and Margaret Chase Smith, and Col Robert C. Marshall (U,S, Army Corps of Engineers) on SAM 26000 as it overflew the Passamaquoddy Tidal Basin in Maine on Oct. 19, 1963. Note the glare from the camera flash behind and above, right.  (Photo courtesy of JFK Library)
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President John F. Kennedy with the two U.S. Senators from Maine, Edmund Muskie and Margaret Chase Smith, and Col Robert C. Marshall (U,S, Army Corps of Engineers) on SAM 26000 as it overflew the Passamaquoddy Tidal Basin in Maine on Oct. 19, 1963. Note the glare from the camera flash behind and above, right. (Photo courtesy of JFK Library)

President John Kennedy boarding SAM 26000 on his fateful trip to Dallas, Texas, in 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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President John Kennedy boarding SAM 26000 on his fateful trip to Dallas, Texas, in 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo)

President John F. Kennedy's casket is unloaded from Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) after his assassination in Dallas, Texas, in November 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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President John F. Kennedy's casket is unloaded from Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) after his assassination in Dallas, Texas, in November 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office on board Air Force One (SAM 26000). Johnson became the 36th president of the United States following John F. Kennedy's assassination. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office on board Air Force One (SAM 26000). Johnson became the 36th president of the United States following John F. Kennedy's assassination. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) flies over President John F. Kennedy's funeral in 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) flies over President John F. Kennedy's funeral in 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo)

President Lyndon B. Johnson in the presidential bedroom aboard Air Force One (SAM 26000). From left to right are Sen. Mike Mansfield; President Johnson; Chief Master Sgt. Paul Glynn, serving president; U.S. Navy Aide Capt. Beach; and Sen. Fulbright. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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President Lyndon B. Johnson in the presidential bedroom aboard Air Force One (SAM 26000). From left to right are Sen. Mike Mansfield; President Johnson; Chief Master Sgt. Paul Glynn, serving president; U.S. Navy Aide Capt. Beach; and Sen. Fulbright. (U.S. Air Force photo)

President and Mrs. Nixon are met by People’s Republic of China Premier Zhou Enlai. For a short period, President Nixon renamed SAM 26000 as "The Spirit of 76" in honor of the nation’s bicentennial. (Courtesy of Time Inc.)
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President and Mrs. Nixon are met by People’s Republic of China Premier Zhou Enlai. For a short period, President Nixon renamed SAM 26000 as "The Spirit of 76" in honor of the nation’s bicentennial. (Courtesy of Time Inc.)

Former Presidents Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter on the steps of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One). (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Former Presidents Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter on the steps of Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force One) in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists prepare SAM 26000 for painting in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists prepare SAM 26000 for painting in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists prepare SAM 26000 for painting in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists prepare SAM 26000 for painting in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists prepare SAM 26000 for painting in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists prepare SAM 26000 for painting in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists prepare SAM 26000 for painting in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists prepare SAM 26000 for painting in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists continue painting SAM 26000 in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Restoration specialists continue painting SAM 26000 in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio (03/2010) - Restoration specialists tow SAM 26000 from the restoration hangar to the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (30 Jan 2017)-- Former White House pool reporter Sid Davis visited the museum taking a tour of SAM 26000, the Presidential aircraft that carried John F. Kennedy’s body from Dallas to Washington D.C. on Nov. 22, 1963. Davis heard the gun shots and covered the story, including the swearing in of Lyndon B. Johnson aboard the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio (30 Jan 2017)-- Former White House pool reporter Sid Davis visited the museum taking a tour of SAM 26000, the Presidential aircraft that carried John F. Kennedy’s body from Dallas to Washington D.C. on Nov. 22, 1963. Davis heard the gun shots and covered the story, including the swearing in of Lyndon B. Johnson aboard the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Note: Visitors are permitted to walk through this aircraft.

The Boeing VC-137C on display was the first jet aircraft built specifically for use by the President of the United States. During its 36 year flying career, it carried eight sitting presidents and countless heads of state, diplomats, dignitaries and officials on many historic journeys known as Special Air Missions (SAM).


On Oct. 10, 1962, the Boeing Co. delivered to the Air Force a highly modified civilian 707-320B airliner, serial number 62-6000. Bearing the unique call sign “SAM Two-Six-Thousand,” this aircraft illustrated the Air Force’s commitment to providing safe, reliable and comfortable air transportation for the president and other key personnel to locations anywhere around the globe. Whenever the president was onboard the aircraft, the call sign changed to “Air Force One,” a special designation established in 1953 to avoid confusion with other aircraft in flight.


At the request of President Kennedy, a new paint scheme was developed by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and famous industrial designer, Raymond Loewy. In addition to the vibrant blue and white colors, the words “United States of America” were emblazoned in tall letters along the fuselage and an American flag was placed on the tail. These distinctive markings reflect the stature of the Office of the President and serve as a highly visible symbol of American prestige.


One of the world’s most historic aircraft, SAM 26000 carried eight American presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton. SAM 26000 played an important role in American presidential, political and diplomatic history, and it remains an important national symbol from the Cold War. In June 1963, SAM 26000 flew President Kennedy to West Berlin, Germany, where he declared to the world that “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”), boldly assuring continued American support in the face of communist threats and the construction of the Berlin Wall.


SAM 26000 bears an intimate connection to one of the nation’s greatest tragedies, a moment that forever altered the course of American history. On Nov. 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated while traveling in a motorcade through downtown Dallas, Texas. Hours later, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new president aboard SAM 26000. The aircraft then carried Kennedy’s body and President Johnson back to Washington, D.C., and a grieving nation.


During the Southeast Asia War, SAM 26000 transported President Johnson to visit U.S. troops in South Vietnam. In 1970 President Nixon’s national security advisor, Dr. Henry Kissinger, traveled aboard the aircraft on 13 separate trips to secret peace talks with the North Vietnamese in Paris, France. In February 1972 SAM 26000 flew President Nixon to the People’s Republic of China on his famous “Journey for Peace,” the first visit by an American president to China. Three months later, it carried President Nixon on an unprecedented visit to the Soviet Union, where he signed two historic nuclear arms control agreements.


In December 1972 SAM 26000 became the president’s backup aircraft when the Air Force acquired another Boeing VC-137C (serial number 72-7000). However, SAM 26000 continued flying presidents, vice-presidents and other high-ranking government officials on important missions. In October 1981, it carried former Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter to the funeral of the slain Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. In March 1983 Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom flew on SAM 26000 during her visit to the United States. When SAM 26000 left the presidential fleet in 1990, it continued to fly prominent government officials. Secretary of State James Baker flew aboard the aircraft prior to the 1991 Gulf War for talks with Iraqi leaders regarding their invasion of Kuwait.


In a nationally-televised event, the USAF retired SAM 26000 to the museum in May 1998. After 36 years of providing service and accumulating more than 13,000 flying hours, SAM 26000 began a new career, educating thousands of visitors each year about USAF presidential airlift.


TECHNICAL NOTES:

Crew: Seven or eight (plus 40 passengers)

Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney TF33 (JT3D-3B) turbofans of 18,000 lbs. thrust each

Maximum speed: 600 mph

Range: 6,000 miles

Ceiling: 41,000 feet

Weight: 336,000 lbs. (loaded)

Click here to return to the Presidential Gallery.

 

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Videos
SAM 26000 - Kennedy's Air Force One (00:07:57)
Yesterday's Air Force: Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 (Air Force TV)(00:02:37)
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SAM 26000 Moved into Fourth Building (00:04:23)
Interview with John Hames-Former Presidential Flight Steward (00:04:17)

Interview with MSgt.(Ret.) Pete Patrick

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