Take A 360 Virtual Tour Of The First Air Force One Jet

Theodore Roosevelt became the first president to fly in an airplane back in 1910 but that was an early Wright flyer and he was no longer president at the time. It wouldn’t be until the 1940s that the President would fly on official business. FDR flew in a modified VC-54C as did Truman, who replaced it with a C-118 Liftmaster in 1947.

The “Air Force One” call sign was introduced during Eisenhower’s presidency in 1953 when an Eastern Airlines commercial flight (8610) entered the same air space as Eisenhower’s flight, Air Force 8610. Eisenhower would go on to use a number of propeller-driven Air Force One aircraft before entering the jet age in the late 1950s.

In 1958, the Air Force added three Boeing 707 jets into the President’s fleet, which Eisenhower first flew in during his “Flight to Peace” Goodwill tour in December 1959, when he flew 22,000 miles in 19 days, visiting 11 Asian nations in the process.

That 707, SAM 970, currently resides at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, but you don’t have to travel all the way there to take a look inside the historic presidential jet. Matterport has created a virtual tour of SAM 970 that you can view below or on your Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR device.