DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in southwest Ohio is looking to add the current Air Force One to its collection of historic presidential planes.
A new $40.8 million hangar at the museum near Dayton opens on Wednesday and officials say they’ve designed the 224,000-square-foot building with the idea of landing the presidential aircraft, the Dayton Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1O9svI5).
“We made the doors wider on purpose kind of thinking down the road there’s a big airplane out there that we want to get in here,” museum historian Jeff Underwood said.
Underwood said the facility has a “pretty good shot” at landing one of the two VC-25s — the designation given to the planes by the Air Force.
“We have been making sure that the secretary of the Air Force and others in Congress and the press understand how important it is to add either one of those aircraft to this great collection of presidential aircraft we already have,” Underwood said. “It’s very important to the museum because it continues the story that we’ve already started.”
Richard Aboulafia, a senior aerospace analyst with the Virginia-based Teal Group, said adding the current Air Force One would be a definite draw for tourists and make the area an “even bigger must-see” for aviation buffs.
“I can’t really imagine many other museums having the space, or any other museum taking precedence for one,” he said.
The final decision on the jets won’t be made until the planes are retired within a decade.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com