The George and Barbara Bush Foundation have requested that a Boeing VC-25A, the current Air Force One aircraft which is scheduled to be retired from US Air Force service in 2025, be permanently exhibited at a museum following its retirement.
If approved, the US Air Force would permanently loan the VC-25A to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at the Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The former US-President passed away in November 2018 at 94, a few months after his wife and former first-lady did.
“He had such a personal history with flying and that plane. He loved the plane.”
Jim McGrath, Vice President of the Bush Foundation
The US Air Force operates two Boeing VC-25As, which are extensively modified Boeing 747-200B airliners. The aircraft entered service with the US air arm in 1990, during George H.W. Bush’s presidency. The aircraft are due to be replaced by more modern Boeing 747-800I platforms in 2024, which will be known as the VC-25B in service. The current plan will see the VC-25A retired from operational service in 2025. If approved, once retired and thoroughly declassified, the aircraft could be on display at the museum by 2026.
Air Force One was an initiative introduced by the US Air Force during the Second World War to enable the President of the United States to safely travel to destinations around the world. Since it was introduced into service in 1990, the VC-25A has served Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush Jr, Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump. It will also serve during the 2020-2024 presidential term, being retired at the start of the following term.
The VC-25A’s are only referred to as Air Force One when the President is on board. When the aircraft are flying without the President, they are referred to as either SAM 28000 or SAM 29000, depending on which of the two aircraft are airborne. The aircraft are maintained by the Presidential Airlift Group, assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing under the USAF’s Air Mobility Command at Joint-Base Andrews in Maryland.