Sunday, February 12, 2017

Kennedy's Air Force One

 Nearly 54 years ago I sat in a study hall at Miamisburg High School when the teacher announced that President Kennedy had been shot. It was surreal, hardly a normal day for a high school kid. We were all sent home.

 Later Air Force One landed back in Washington DC carrying the casket of our assassinated president.

 I've wanted to see that plane for years - Special Air Mission 26000 (SAM) - which is housed nearby at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. In past years, the plane wasn't part of the regular exhibit but required an early visit to the museum and a shuttle ride to where it was housed.
 Now the plane is in the main museum, in a new hanger which houses various "Presidential" planes. Here's a similar shot to the black & white one posted above.

 Tom and I visited the museum yesterday (02/11/17) with the express purpose of touring the plane. I haven't been to the museum for four years and Tom remembers a distant visit when he was just a kid.

 Everything is behind Plexiglas. The corridor is narrow and you must pass through an area which makes sure you can manage to squeeze through the plane. The shot above is of the cockpit.

 I expected the decor to be even more upscale. But then the plane was manufactured in 1962 and shows its age in that regard.

 The above shot is the general area where Jackie Kennedy stood nearby and Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office.

 I took a shot of myself at about this point in the walk-through.

 Tom exits the plane.

 A shot of myself at the rear exit.

 Near the left entrance to the plane is this sign explaining the Kennedy connection.

 Tom reads one of the signs.
 The plane remained in service until 1998. Read more about the plane by clicking here.

 Though we walked through a few of the other exhibits, it was the Kennedy plane that commanded my attention. It was an unbelievable day for the short trip to Fairborn. We topped out at 64° and had to have the air conditioning turned on in the car for the drive home.

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