14 January, 2010

Retired Presidential Helicopter-SkyWatch Friday



One of the highlights of a trip to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is the chance to step aboard Army One--the helicopter used by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. Extensively restored and now on permanent display at the library, the helicopter presents visitors with a rare chance to see how presidents traveled aboard one of the most storied aircraft ever made.


The helicopter, which seats sixteen and cost a million dollars to construct in 1960, is a six-ton Sikorsky VH 3A "Sea King" model, bureau number 150617. During its presidential service, the helicopter was known either as Marine One or Army One, depending on whether Marine or Army pilots were operating the craft. President Nixon used it on more than 180 trips, including on overseas visits such as his summit meeting with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt in 1974.

Perhaps his most famous use of the helicopter was his last, on August 9, 1974. On that day, President Nixon resigned and flew in the helicopter from the South Lawn of the White House to Andrews Air Force Base, where he boarded Air Force One for a flight to his private residence in San Clemente, California.

The helicopter was retired from White House service in 1976 and later used for the training of Secret Service. After being put in storage, the helicopter's interior and exterior were restored, and it was installed on the grounds of the library in 2006.

The Sikorsky VH 3A "Sea King" helicopter is on loan courtesy of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Do stop by and visit all my friends at SKYWATCH FRIDAY and share in the new year's spirit. Skywatch Friday was created by Dot, and perfected by Tom and is now hosted by Klaus. Skywatch members are Wren, Sandy, Sylvia, Louise, Fishing Guy, and Klaus.

34 comments:

Merisi said...

Looks better than new! :-)

Somehow I never made it to that museum.

Rajesh said...

Fantastic shots of grand helicopter.

uberrhund said...

Beautiful photos and nice little bit of history too.
We live about 20 miles from the Nixon Library and have been a few times, always something interesting to see.
Thanks for sharing!

Guy D said...

Excellent pics of the Sea King, too bad we can't see inside.

All the best
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Linda Jacobs said...

Love the angle of that last one. Very creative!

ewok1993 said...

Pretty cool. Can you go inside?

Amanda said...

WOW really cool!!! =) happy skywatch

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful shots of the helicopter, were you able to look inside? Great shots.

J Bar said...

Good shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Ramosforest.Environment said...

Beautiful and historical shots.
Luiz Ramos

Carol said...

Nice shots of this famous helicopter. Wonder why they just don't reuse these....

Regina said...

Great photos!
Have nice weekend.

Tabib said...

Beautiful!, can we steep inside?

Jo said...

Oh wow! this is a treat for me. I've only ever seen Air Force one (the aircraft) in movies. Thanks for sharing this. That was a historic flight President Nixon took on his resignation. I' m also amazed that he could do an international trip in this helicopter. Brilliant shots.

Ebie said...

Honestly, living in the southland, I have not visited the Nixon Lib. and the Regan Lib. Got to make time to see both.

Great photos as always, Erin.

Have a great weekend. I am off tomorrow to take new photos.

Pacey said...

They are so marvelous...what a lucky day!

Jane said...

Awesome shots, I think I would be scared to ride a helicopter. Thanks for sharing have great weekend:)

Ishtar said...

How cool is that!!

George said...

Thanks for the pictures and the information about the helicopter. I remember seeing pictures of President Nixon's last trip in the helicopter.

Coffeedoff said...

Great photos!

earthtoholly said...

Great pics, Erin! It sounds like a fun and interesting visit you had. Hope you're warming up down there and have a good weekend!

Martha Z said...

Interesting. I've never been to a presidential library although I once lived not far from the Regan Library. I'm beginning to think it might be worth while even if I don't share the political views of the presedent.

Daryl said...

Very cool stuff ...

christina said...

Thanks for shring, interesting!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Erin: What a neat post and quite the show.

susieofarabia said...

It looks like it's still in great shape! Great background info and wonderful shots.

kbguy (福生) said...

I never sit on a Helicopter before. This pic is really interesting.

Wren said...

I haven't been there, but I got to see kennedy's air force one in Pima, AZ. Even though dated, it was fun to see what can be done with a plane.

Stine in Ontario said...

It looks BIG! And it looks great for being that old. :)

Janie said...

Interesting to see this helicopter and learn about it. I like the museum's setting with the palm trees.

Ann said...

Are you allowed to go into the helicopter?

In the Singapore Science centre, they have a retired heliopter shell, and my son loved it.

Erin said...

regarding going into the helicopter:
yes, you can go in but no photography is allowed. i was so hoping i could share the interior with all.

MedaM said...

Beautiful photos and interesting post of the helicopter and its history.

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