Air Force One
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

Air Force One

Served Seven Presidents

Custom 1972 Boeing 707
This former Flying White House is called the SAM 27000 when not carrying the president.

Updated July 2024
Posted September 2023

Air Force One Back
Boeing VC-137C Special Air Mission (SAM 27000)

Air Force One Front

Air Force One Right Side Tail

Air Force One Right Side

Air Force One Jet Engines
Jet Engines

Air Force One Jet Engines

Air Force One Side

Air Force One Photo Op
Photo Op

Air Force One Window

Air Force One Door

Air Force One Seal

Air Force One Cockpit

Air Force One Cockpit

Air Force One Control Panel

Air Force One Office

Air Force One Presidential Seal
Presidential Seal

Air Force One Conference Table
Conference Table

Air Force One Conference Table

Air Force One Jelly Beans
Conference Table
Jelly Beans

Air Force One Jelly Beans

Air Force One Phone

Air Force One Phone

Air Force One National Star Insignia
Air Force Roundel National Star Insignia

Air Force One Fuselage

Air Force One Tail

Air Force One Wing

Air Force One Wing

Air Force One Wing
Weird tube thing at end of wing

Air Force One Wing

Air Force One Wheels

Air Force One Wheels

Air Force One Engine

Air Force One Underneath

Air Force One Underneath the Back
Wikipedia Boeing VC-137C SAM 27000

SAM 27000 was the second of two Boeing VC-137C United States Air Force aircraft that were specifically configured and maintained for the use of the president of the United States. It used the call sign Air Force One when the president was on board, and at other times it used the call sign SAM 27000 (SAM indicates Special Air Mission).

  • The VC-137C serial number 72-7000 was a customized version of the Boeing 707 which entered service during the Nixon administration in 1972.
  • It served all US presidents until George W. Bush and was retired in 2001
  • The plane first entered service in 1972 during the administration of Richard Nixon.

SAM 27000 replaced the aging SAM 26000 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 service:
    • Richard Nixon
      He was the first president to use this Air Force One, dubbing it and its sister plane, SAM 26000, the "Spirit of '76", having that phrase painted on the nose of the two aircraft, although later removed by President Carter. Although SAM 27000 replaced SAM 26000 as Nixon's primary mode of aerial transportation, he chose to ride SAM 26000 when his family flew with him. Nixon garnered much attention for his frequent flying aboard Air Force One, usually flying to his homes in California and Florida, but also made many trips abroad, such as his trip to China in 1972. Top presidential aides and cabinet secretaries used the plane as well, including Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. When President Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974, he flew to his home in Orange County, California aboard SAM 27000. While flying over Missouri en route to their destination, Colonel Ralph Albertazzie, the pilot, contacted Kansas City Center and had the aircraft's call sign changed from Air Force One to SAM 27000 due to Gerald Ford being sworn in.
    • Gerald Ford
      He used SAM 27000 somewhat frequently, especially for his trips abroad, such as his meeting with Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev in Vladivostok in 1974. After experiencing two assassination attempts, Ford returned to the plane to hear his wife Betty quip "Well, how did they treat you in San Francisco?" During the Ford years, there was a growing number of airline hijackings and the threat of terrorism expanded, so both SAM 27000 and 26000 were equipped with defense systems to detect heat-seeking missiles. It was President Ford who first decided that the name of the aircraft itself should be Air Force One, along with the call sign.
    • Jimmy Carter
      He made some changes to Air Force One that reflected his personal values. Carter preferred a simpler style of living, something he made apparent on SAM 27000; he even insisted that he and his family carry their own luggage aboard. Carter made regular use of the plane both for domestic use and for use abroad. In 1980, after the American Hockey Team defeated the Soviet Team, Carter sent SAM 27000 to pick up the team and bring them back to Washington, D.C. for a congratulatory ceremony. Carter's last trip aboard 27000 was actually taken as a former president, when Ronald Reagan sent Carter to Germany on behalf of the American people, to welcome home the 52 American hostages that were held captive in Iran.
    • Ronald Reagan
      He was SAM 27000's most frequent flyer, flying longer and farther than all the other presidents who flew on it, traveling more than 675,000 miles aboard it. Reagan used Air Force One to travel to all parts of the world to pursue his ambitious diplomatic goals, taking three trips to Asia, six to Europe, and twelve trips to foreign places in the Western Hemisphere. Reagan flew to three of his four summit meetings with Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev aboard SAM 27000: Geneva, Reykjavík, and Moscow (one was held in Washington, D.C.) The Reagans' last flight aboard the plane was on January 20, 1989, when the then-former President and First Lady flew back to California.
    • George H. W. Bush
      He was the last president to use SAM 27000 as the primary means of presidential travel, for in 1990 the plane was replaced by two Boeing 747-200B jumbo jets, designated VC-25, although SAM 27000 was kept as a backup plane for Bush during the remainder of his presidency.
    • Bill Clinton
      This was his Backup plane
    • George W. Bush
      This was his Backup plane

Missions After Replacement
Former President Richard Nixon died on April 22, 1994, in New York City. SAM 27000 brought his body to the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Orange County, California, four days later. His body was then taken to the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace (now Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum) for the funeral service and burial.

This plane's last Presidential voyage was August 29, 2001, when it delivered George W. Bush and Laura Bush to TSTC Waco Airport en route to their Prairie Chapel Ranch.

The Reagan Library
SAM 27000 was decommissioned and flown to San Bernardino International Airport (formerly Norton Air Force Base) in September 2001, where it was presented to the Reagan Foundation. In what was known as Operation Homeward Bound, Boeing, the plane's manufacturer, disassembled the plane and transported it to the library in pieces. The plane was reassembled and restored to museum quality, as well as raised onto pedestals 25 ft above ground. The pavilion was dedicated on October 24, 2005, by Nancy Reagan, President George W. Bush, and First Lady Laura Bush.

Other Wikipedia Citings