This is the second part of our trip to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This post is all about the Presidential Gallery. This was actually the last gallery we checked out but I was too excited to share to wait until last for this part. Make sure to check out my U.S. Air Force Museum part 1 if you want to start at the beginning. There’s a lot of information in there about the museum itself. Including all the galleries leading up to this point.
The Presidential Gallery
In the Presidential Gallery we got to see President Kennedy’s Air Force One. We also got to see Truman’s Independence and Eisenhower’s Columbine. These Presidential aircraft were huge. I mean, of course they were but to see them up close and personal was another story. And do you want to know the best part? You can actually board and walk through them!
They do have everything inside of them glassed off on both sides making a narrow hallway you have to walk through.
The first one we went through was Air Force One but I am going to include that one last. The Independence wasn’t as big as Air Force One but it was pretty cool to see that it looked like inside.
Our boys loved looking at the cockpit on all these planes. They were amazed by all the buttons, lights and everything that is needed to fly a plane. As we walked through we saw kitchen areas, seating areas, conference areas, etc.
On the Independence (and the Columbine as well) even had sleeping quarters. I love the conference room in this one. There were even really old TV’s in some of the rooms on board. It was also kind of funny because on either the Columbine or the Independence the kids saw a bathroom with an actual toilet bowl in it. For some reason they thought this was an amazing thing like they didn’t actually believe planes had bathrooms on them.
The Columbine seemed to be a little wider than the Independence but not as long. It’s kind of neat to see the evolution in these planes. The Columbine was before the Independence by the way. There I go again not putting things in order.
You can see the cockpit in the above photo. The Columbine had more sleeping quarters than the Independence did. I can’t remember exactly how many we saw but each one had a top and bottom bed. On the Independence, there were only a couple sleeping quarters and they weren’t double beds.
As we went on, we saw more seating areas and a conference area as well. This conference area was in the open though and not in a separate room like it was on the Independence.
President Kennedy’s Air Force One
When I first saw that we could board Air Force One and see inside my inner child came out. I wasn’t expecting to be able to get on board any of them to be honest with you. I looked at my husband and said, “We can actually go inside?!” He just looked at me and grinned. By that time our kids were already climbing the stairs!
Again, close hallway to walk through. I don’t know if you can tell from my pictures how narrow it is or not. My husband is a big guy and he didn’t have any problems walking through or anything. It’s not that tight a fit. I only mentioned it because it does feel kind of claustrophobic if you have that kind of issue. I have a slight issue with it but I was too excited to get too worked up about it.
Unlike the first two, we had a couple turns on Air Force One. It’s amazing how big it is. Air Force One had tons of seating areas, conference areas and the such. I am pretty sure I even saw some office equipment in one section. We thought it was pretty darn cool. I told my youngest that when he goes back to school he needed to tell his teacher that he was on President Kennedy’s Air Force One.
After Kennedy’s death, LBJ was sworn in on it. Even though I keep calling this Kennedy’s Air Force One, I have been told that this one was used through to Clinton.
I highly recommend checking out the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This gallery was my favorite part but the whole museum is an amazing experience. Make sure to take a look at my first blog post for more information. I will have a part 3 coming up about the Space Gallery and the rest of it!
Posts in Series
Our Day at The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (Part Two)
Our Day at The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (Part Three)