Entries by Stan Stokes

Boeing VC-137C SAM 27000

Boeing VC-137C SAM 27000 Boeing VC-137C SAM 27000 first entered service in 1972 during the administration of Richard Nixon. A modified Boeing 707, SAM 27000 replaced the aging SAM 27000 as the primary means of presidential travel, although SAM 26000 remained as a back-up plane. SAM 27000 served seven presidents in its twenty-nine years of […]

Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000

Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000 was the first of two Boeing VC-137C aircraft specifically configured and maintained for use by the President of the United States. The Boeing VC-137C was a military designation for The Boeing 707 airliner. It used the callsign Air Force One when the President was on board, otherwise SAM 26000. The plane […]

Lockheed VC-140B Jetstar (Air Force One)

The Lockheed VC-140B Jetstar (Air Force One) was the military version of the Lockheed Model 1329 business jet, the first business jet built in quantity for the civilian market. The United States Air Force acquired six of them to transport the President and other high ranking officials and heads of state. They were assigned to […]

Beechcraft VC-6A Air Force One

This Beechcraft VC-6A King Air was purchased by the United States Air Force specifically to fly Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson ( First Lady Claudia Johnson) from Bergstrom AFB to the Johnson Ranch near Stonewall Texas. The runway at their ranch was to short to handle the large Air Force One VC-137jets. So, they […]

Douglas VC-118A Liftmaster

This is a detail from the painting “The History of Air Force One” by Stan Stokes. The Douglas C-118 Liftmaster was a militarized version of the Douglas DC-6 airliner.  Just over 100 C-118s were acquired for use by the Air Force as passenger and cargo transports.  The main difference between the military and civil versions […]

BOEING VC-137A (707) SAM 970 or “QUEENIE”

Toward the end of Eisenhower’s second term, in 1959, the Air Force added the first of three specially built Boeing 707 jet aircraft (VC-137As) into the fleet. Not really intended for presidential use, one of these aircraft, SAM 970 (nicknamed “Queenie”), was “borrowed” for the president when other world leaders, Nikita Khrushchev in particular, started […]

Aero Commander U-4B by Stan Stokes

AERO COMMANDER U-4B The smallest Air Force One ever used, the need arose for an aircraft like the Aero Commander when President Eisenhower started to use his Gettysburg farm during his presidency. Gettysburg had only a small grass airstrip that the Constellations could not use. After Eisenhower suffered a heart attack and had started to […]

Lockheed Super Constellation “Columbine III”

LOCKHEED VC-121E (1049) SUPER CONSTELLATION “COLUMBINE III” This is a detail of Stan Stokes’ painting “The History of Air Force One” that is on display at the Palm Springs Air Museum. This particular airplane is the Lockheed Super Constellation “Columbine III”. The “Super” Constellation was a higher performance version of the previous Lockheed Constellations. It […]


LOCKHEED VC-121A (749) CONSTELLATION “COLUMBINE II” The Constellation was President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s choice for his presidential aircraft. On a Presidential trip from Washington D.C. to Florida, Columbine II, which was known to air traffic control as Air Force 610, or just 610, came into an area which had an Eastern flight 610, or just […]