Step back in time and see how President Eisenhower, and the three following presidents, traveled through the sky.
The very first planes to use the call sign Air Force One were two Lockheed Constellations in the late 1950s that flew President Eisenhower, but the Boeing VC-137B that you can tour above, Special Air Missions 970, was the first Air Force One jet. SAM 970's first flight as Air Force One was in 1959, and it carried Eisenhower to 11 nations during his goodwill tour in December of that year.
As you (virtually) walk the hallowed halls of Air Force One, know that in addition to Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon also flew in this aircraft. If you have Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR, you can use the little 3D glasses icon at the bottom-right of the player to experience the jet in virtual reality. But even just using your arrow keys and mouse to navigate the plane is a joy.
SAM 970 currently resides at Seattle's Museum of Flight, and as you can see when you navigate the plane, there are museum information placards identifying different parts of the aircraft and providing historical context. There is a communications station just outside the cockpit, and across from that is a safe that held the nuclear codes when the president was flying. A meeting room lines the hallway, and an office sits adjacent to the president's room.
In the president's room, you will find little more than an FM radiophone and a thin couch that pulls out into a bed. The simple accommodations suited President Eisenhower. "He was a former military man," Ted Huetter, the Museum of Flight's PR and promotions manager, told Wired. "He said this was a place of business, not a flying palace."
You can find little hints of the four presidents' personalities all over the aircraft, such as LBJ's hat hook to hang his Stetson, the doggie door he added for his beagles, and the little bit of wood that sits next to the radiophone in the president's room—all that's left of Kennedy's pipe rack, which was stolen from the aircraft by a visitor.
SAM 970, a marvel of technology for its time, now stands as a monument to history. Until you can make it out to Seattle to see it in person, enjoy this virtual look into the past.