Air Force One Replica Floats Its Way to Washington, DC
This is quite the sight: A Boeing 747-200 that looks to be the spitting image of Air Force One is floating on a barge off the coast of Rhode Island right now, slowly making its way south to its destination at National Harbor on the Potomac River in Maryland.
Of course, this isn't really the presidential plane. It's a replica — a "never-seen-before recreation," according to the Air Force One Experience, a museum of the presidency and one businessman's dream to share an icon of democracy. The plane underwent several years of refurbishment before opening for tours last fall.
"This is a great asset to let kids know America belongs to them," Ari Scharf told The Associated Press when the plane first opened for tours. "It's a very, very sensitive time right now. There’s many people that feel they're not included in this country. We have to do everything we can to get them engaged, to make them know their voice can be heard."
Now the plane, which had been stationed at Quonset State Airport in Rhode Island, will be moved for "a limited engagement" in National Harbor, Maryland. The plane left Thursday and is expected to arrive at its temporary home on Monday. You can follow the journey of the barge called Island Trader via MarineTraffic. The tour-booking page on Air Force One Experience website says tours will begin October 19.
The tour includes a peek at the president's bedroom (with two twin beds!), a presidential conference room, the president's flying office and a mobile medical clinic, according to the AP. The cockpit and second floor of the plane are not part of the tour.
The four-engine jet with the registration N485EV first landed at Quonset in 2015. It last flew with Evergreen International Airlines, which operated it as a cargo aircraft. The plane was originally delivered in July 1973 to Singapore Airlines.
If you want the real thing, there are two real former Air Force One aircraft on display, both of which are Boeing 707s. They are located at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley and at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.