Air Force One is the aircraft that carries President George W. Bush. "Air Force One," published by MBI in September 2002, pushes aside the secrecy surrounding the president’s plane, presidential travel, and its meaning to a nation now at war. Before September 11, 2001, the blue and white Boeing 747-200, or VC-25A, was celebrated for its beauty as it whisked the chief executive to fundraisers and ribbon cuttings. An Air Force officer called the plane a "cruise ship," comparing it to a luxurious seafaring vessel.
The terror attacks changed everything. We learned that Air Force One is a military aircraft. The book covers the plane’s zigzag path during hectic moments of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Why did officials believe that Air Force One itself was an intended target? Why did they dust off a hush-hush plan for continuity of government, designed for nuclear war?
"Air Force One" is also a history of presidential air travel. We learn of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s "Flying White House," a C-54 Skymaster modified with a special hoist to accommodate FDR’s wheelchair. We see Harry S. Truman signing national security legislation aboard his C-118, the Independence. We follow the travels of presidents from Eisenhower to Reagan, including November 1963 when Air Force One brought the slain John F. Kennedy home from Dallas.
Author Dorr is an Air Force veteran, diplomat, and columnist for Air Force Times. He was consul at the American Embassy in Stockholm from 1979 to 1982. One of his first books (now out of print) was about the Viggen fighte.
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world. - Credit: Photo by Dane Penland, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Air Force One - author, Robert F. Dorr
Source: National Air and Space Museum (UK)
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