Lonely Planet Writer

Could very first Air Force One plane have a home in Virginia?

Lockheed Constellation VC-121 as used by President Eisenhower.
Lockheed Constellation VC-121 as used by President Eisenhower. Image by omnibus / CC BY 2.0

One December day in 1953 President Eisenhower was on board a plane which nearly collided with a commercial airliner with the same flight number, number 8610. From then on it was decided that a special call sign was needed for any aircraft carrying the US President. That’s how the Columbine II became the very first Air Force One. The Columbine II is currently gathering dust and wasting away in the Arizona desert, but as of last week Karl Stoltzfus, the chairman of Dynamic Aviation based in Virginia, has committed to buying the plane, and hopes to fly it back to Virginia to put it on display for the public. ‘At the end of the day it’s an airplane that should be preserved for the public to appreciate,’ Mr Stoltzfus said. Read more: cnn.com