Air Force One Experience Now Open at National Harbor

The plane was transported by barge from New England. (Courtesy photo)

Exhibition Featuring Former Pan Am Boeing-747, Recreated as Air Force One, Provides Rare Glimpse into Presidential Travel

After days of being hauled by barge from Rhode Island down the Atlantic Ocean, up the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River, the Air Force One Experience is now open for visitors at National Harbor. The actual Boeing 747, a former Pan Am plane and then a cargo plane, has been transformed into a replica of the president’s aircraft. It is available for tours from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily (801 National Harbor Blvd., National Harbor, Md. 20745,) until at least the first of next year. It may remain for a longer engagement.

It took more than two years and 150 workers to transform the Boeing 747 and create the Air Force One Experience. The plane is approximately 63 feet tall (more than four stories high) and 232 feet long. It has a wing span of approximately 196 feet and weighs around 200 tons.

The conference room aboard the replica Air Force One. (Photo by Mary Wadland)

The front of the plane’s presidential quarters has been restored. There’s an exhibit hall in the back of the plane where visitors can see the inner workings of a 747, including overhead cabling mechanisms that turn the plane and the actual “black box,” (orange on this plane.) Since most U.S. airlines have retired the 747, known as the “Jumbo Jet” and “Queen of the Skies,” this is a rare glimpse into an icon for long-haul travel and aviation history as well as America’s flying White House.

While the exhibit has been well received by those interested in history as well as aviation, the experience is particularly recommended for children and discounted tickets are available for school groups. Tickets are $25.99 for adults, $15.99 for children ages 4 to 12 and $19.99 for seniors and military. Ticket pricing excludes tax. A teacher’s guide is available on the Air Force One Experience website that can be downloaded and used in the classroom prior to a visit.

For more information, teacher’s guide or tickets, visit this website or call 844-302-1379.

The Boeing 747 is a complete replica of the real Air Force One. (Photo by Mary Wadland)