Step aboard the SAM 26000 — the first jet-powered aircraft ever built for the president of the United States


Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 Air Force One

On October 19, 1962, Boeing delivered a highly modified version of the civilian 707-320B airliner with the serial number 62-26000. It would be tasked with Special Air Missions, and its call sign would be “SAM Two-six-thousand.”

It was the first jet aircraft built specifically for use by the US president, whose presence prompted the call sign to change to “Air Force One,” which had been adopted in 1953 for use by planes carrying the president.

The SAM 26000 would carry eight presidents during its 36-year career — John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton — as well as countless heads of state, diplomats, and dignitaries.

“A person could justify that it’s the most important historical airplane in the world,” Air Force historian Jeff Underwood told CNN in 2013. “It’s a place in history that moves. Every time I get on board, that’s what I think about.”

Below, you can take a tour through the SAM 26000, which is now on display at the National Museum of the Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio.

SEE ALSO: Step aboard the USS Kearsarge, the US Navy workhorse that takes Marines to war

President John F. Kennedy was the first to use the new presidential jet.

At Kennedy’s request, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and industrial designer Raymond Loewy developed a new paint scheme for the plane.

Source: US Air Force

In addition to the blue and white colors they picked, the words “United States of America” were painted along the fuselage, and a US flag was painted on the tail.

Source: US Air Force

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Source:: Business Insider

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