First Air Force One Aircraft Lands in Bridgewater for Restorations
The first presidential aircraft to be called Air Force One landed in Bridgewater to be restored by the Dynamic Aviation Group. The plane once transported President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -
The first presidential aircraft to be called Air Force One is being resurrected by a company in the Shenandoah Valley. On Wednesday, the aircraft built in 1948 spread its wings once again.
The first Air Force One, a US Air Force Lockheed C121A Constellation, flew from Arizona to Texas to its final destination in Bridgewater, Virginia on Wednesday.
“The whole trip, the weather has been perfect and the airplane has been performing very well,” said Lockie Christler, captain of Columbine II.
Nicknamed the Columbine II, the aircraft is almost 70 years old and has been mostly stripped on the inside. It is now in the hands of the Dynamic Aviation Group.
“We'll put the interior back pretty well like it was when Eisenhower flew in it. We already have some of the things we need inside the airplane,” said Karl Stoltzfus, Dynamic Aviation founder.
The four engine plane has had its share of famous passengers, carrying President Dwight Eisenhower to Korea to help end the war. Eisenhower’s phone space, the buttons he would press, and the interior are all originals soon to be restored to their former glory in the first Air Force One.
“It's going to be as good as when Eisenhower had it and that's pretty darn good,” said Christler.
“We want to see it used as a teaching aid for young people understand that era of American history, which was a very, very good era of American history ,” Stoltzfus stated.
As for future flights, Dynamic Aviation expects the Air Force One restoration will take many years.