|Above, the forward section of SAM 27000 at the Reagan Library. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
It is hard to believe sometimes how time flies.
It has been about 25 years since the current Boeing 747-200 Air Force One jetliners (SAM 28000 and SAM 29000) were put into service during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. "SAM" stands for "Special Air Missions."
Plans are now in place to replace those two jets with newer model Boeing 747-8.
According to an article in Financial Times:
One of the world’s most exclusive customers could be the last buyer of the aircraft that democratised long-haul air travel after the US defence department selected Boeing’s 747-8 to be the US president’s new Air Force One.
The fleet of presidential aircraft, due to enter service later this decade, could be among the very last passenger versions of the long-haul aircraft to be built because airlines increasingly favour two-engine long-haul aircraft over four-engine craft.
The new aircraft will replace a pair of 747-200s that came into service as the presidential aircraft in 1990, during the presidency of George HW Bush. The type became an all but inevitable choice after the Pentagon decided that the presidential aircraft needed to have four engines. The only other currently manufactured four-engine long-haul jet is Airbus’s A380, manufactured in France.
|Above, the tail section of SAM 27000. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Originally, the jet-age Air Force One (with the distinctive graphics we are familiar with) started out during the Kennedy Administration with a Boeing 707 (SAM 26000). SAM 26000 was relegated to back-up status when SAM 27000, another Boeing 707, was put into service in 1972 during the Nixon Administration. SAM 27000 now is on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
SAM 26000 is now on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio.
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