Today is sort of a ricochet tribute to JFK as we look at what has become an iconic symbol of the airways - Air Force One, the Boeing 707-320B as designed for use for the President of The United States. Prior to 1962, president's used modified existing airframes as their transport, the fuselage was given its distinctive paint job, and on they went. But in 1962 during JF's time in office, all that changed:
"This U.S. Air Force Boeing VC-137C aircraft (civilian designation 707-320B) was the first jet made specifically for use by the President of the United States. Built in 1962, it served many presidents over three decades, carrying heads of state, diplomats and other dignitaries and officials on many historic journeys.
Popularly known as "SAM 26000" (Special Air Mission; tail number 26000), the aircraft has also been called "Air Force One" -- though this designation was used officially only when the president was aboard. During the 1950s, the call sign of the presidential aircraft was the prefix SAM followed by the aircraft's tail number, and the name "Air Force One" was later chosen to ensure there was no question as to where the president's aircraft was and whether the president was aboard. Because President Kennedy did not name his aircraft as had former presidents, the news media popularized the call sign "Air Force One" as this aircraft's name. "...Courtesy National Museum of the US Air Force
Photo courtesy of National Museum of the US Air Force: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/071106-F-1234S-020.jpg
During the mid-'60s TN of Hong Kong (corrected from earlier post which stated Japan) produced their version of Air Force One. It has a tin-litho upper fuselage and wings, while the lower fuselage and wing bottoms are plastic, and operates off of two 'D' cell batteries. When you turn it on, the plane makes engine noises, the lights on either wing flash, and the plane rolls forward. The plane measures 13 3/4" (34.9cm) L x 12 1/4" (31.1cm) wingspan x 5 5/8" (15.9cm) H.
You'll notice in this version of the toy the tail number #26000 is not on the vertical stabilizer.
The unedited video below shows some of the features of this jet. It would be nice to have a better setup for videos but for now I'm gonna have to make do with what I have.
An better quality, edited video can be seen on our YouTube channel at:
Below is an extract from the 1969 Sears Christmas catalog. This is NOT the same toy featured in today's post but I thought this was interesting in that it has retractable wheels and the appropriate tail #26000 is on the vertical stabilizer.
Thought you might like to see a Daiya B-47 (not yet posted here on the blog) alongside Air Force One