The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in southwest Ohio wants to add a current Air Force One to its collection.
The Dayton Daily News reports a new $40.8 million hangar at the museum near Dayton opens on Wednesday, and officials say they’ve designed the 224,000-square-foot building with the idea of landing the presidential aircraft.
Museum historian Jeff Underwood says the facility has a “pretty good shot” of obtaining a VC-25. Boeing made extensive modifications to two 747-200 aircraft for service as transport aircraft for the President of the United States. While the aircraft made its first flight in 1987, delays with wiring for communications gear pushed back delivery to the U.S. Air Force until 1990.
Officials at the museum have been making sure the secretary of the Air Force understands how important it is to add one of the planes to its collection of presidential aircraft.
In January 2015, Air Force officials announced a version of the Boeing 747-800 would replace the current VC-25 aircraft. Negotiations continue between Boeing and the Air Force about the replacement. Air Force senior leadership say the Air Force needs to own as much of the technical baseline of the new aircraft, in order to permit competition for sustaining it over a planned 30-year lifetime.
Any final decision on which museum obtains a VC-25 won’t be made until they are retired, probably within a decade.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)