An Airplane That May Have Been Air Force One Is Sitting at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

Categories: Travel
air-force-not-one.JPG
gsaauctions.gov
Air Force Maybe One
An airplane that may or may not have been Air Force One at one point in history is currently sitting at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

The General Services Administration is auctioning off this plane next week (with a starting bid of $50,000) and our federal government is apparently unsure if any former President of the United States set foot on this airplane, which would have earned it the Air Force One call sign.

"In the thirty years this aircraft was assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing (Feb 1975-Sep 2005) it flew Presidential missions, Vice President, First Lady, Cabinet Secretaries (Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, others), Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, Four-Star Generals, Admirals, Foreign Heads of State and other foreign dignitaries," the GSA says in its description.

Notice that the phrase "the President" is conspicuously absent.

The description on the auction page says it "may have acted as Air Force One."

If it had ever been used as Air Force One, this DC-9 obviously wasn't the main aircraft, but could have been used in scenarios such as there being a short runway at the destination airport.

If you were to win the auction for the plane, you'd also get an "associated spare parts inventory" -- which, from photos, looks to be about the size of a moderately sized home -- and is conveniently located in North Carolina.

Bidding starts on Wednesday.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.




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3 comments
Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

Technically, there is no one aircraft labeled as "Air Force One". That title is the radio identifier reserved for any fixed wing aircraft with a U.S. president aboard at the time. It typically is a 747 for long domestic and international flights, but can be a smaller aircraft, such as this DC9, for trips from a large airport to a regional airport that can't handle the 747 or similar aircraft. I believe the helicopter designation is "Marine 1", when the president is aboard. I would say it's probable that this aircraft may have had a president aboard during it's useful life as an Air Force passenger craft. It may typically have been used for other dignitaries, however, most of the time.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

It was Air Force Two. The guy standing guard has a double barreled shotgun.

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