31 photos that show how Air Force One has changed through the years

Joe Biden on Air Force One.
President Joe Biden meets with staff aboard Air Force One in 2021. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz
  • Any plane carrying a US president is called Air Force One.
  • John F. Kennedy was the first to use a jet designed specifically for a US president.
  • President Donald Trump proposed new paint colors for the exterior of Air Force One in 2019.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to travel on a jet aircraft in 1959.
Air Force One taking off in 1959.
Air Force One taking off in 1959. Terry Fincher/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
Eisenhower’s Boeing 707 Stratoliner, nicknamed “Queenie,” featured a section for telecommunications, room for 40 passengers, a conference area, and a stateroom.
John F. Kennedy was the first to use a jet specifically designed for the US president. It had the tail number 26000.
Pilots in the cockpit of Air Force One during John F Kennedy's presidency
President John F. Kennedy’s pilot, Colonel James B. Swindal, left, and Major Lewis Hanson, co-pilot, check Air Force One’s cockpit before a presidential take-off in 1963. John Rous
The Boeing 707 included a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
Raymond Loewy designed the plane’s blue and white exterior.
Jackie Kennedy lands in Texas in 1963.
President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy arrive in San Antonio, Texas, in 1963. Kennedy Library Archives/Newsmakers/Getty Images
The plane’s design featured an American flag on the tail and presidential seals on the nose.
After Kennedy’s assassination, President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in on Air Force One.
Lyndon Johnson takes the oath of office aboard Air Force One after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
President Lyndon Baines Johnson takes the oath of office on Air Force One in 1963. Universal History Archive/Getty Images
It marked the first and only time a presidential swearing-in ceremony took place on an airplane.
Johnson met with Cabinet members on the presidential aircraft in 1966 in a small seating area.
Lyndon Johnson meets with members of his Cabinet on Air Force One.
President Lyndon Johnson meets with cabinet members on Air Force One. Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
The small alcove was decorated with a globe decal on the wall and curtains lining the windows.
In 1972, Richard Nixon was the first president to use the Boeing 707 plane with tail number 27000 as Air Force One.
President Nixon in a meeting on Air Force One.
President Richard Nixon aboard Air Force One. Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Nixon stood behind the plane’s bar while meeting with military and civilian leaders en route to Vietnam.
When President Gerald Ford took office after Nixon resigned, seats in the rear cabin were upholstered with striped fabric.
President Gerald Ford speaks to reporters on Air Force One.
President Gerald Ford holds a mini news conference aboard Air Force One. Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
Presidents would occasionally make their way back to the rear cabin to chat with reporters.
Ford’s office, just off the stateroom, also featured striped furniture.
Gerald Ford with a photographer on Air Force One.
President Gerald Ford poses with Candice Bergen on Air Force One in 1975. David Hume Kennerly/ Getty Images
Ford is pictured with Candice Bergen, the first female photographer to shoot a behind-the-scenes story on an American president.
President Jimmy Carter outfitted the press area with blue carpeting.
Jimmy Carter is interviewed on Air Force One.
President Carter is interviewed aboard Air Force One in 1978. Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
Carter talked to reporters on his way back from a trip to Europe in 1978.
President Ronald Reagan used 27000 as his primary presidential aircraft.
Ronald Reagan with staff aboard Air Force One.
President Ronal Reagan meets with advisors aboard the plane in 1983. Bill Fitz-Patrick – White House via CNP/Getty Images
Reagan met with Secretary of State George P. Shultz and national security advisor-designate Robert McFarlane in a meeting space that featured a magazine rack, teal chair, wood grain table, and photos of him and first lady Nancy Reagan.
Reagan also hung pictures of himself in Air Force One’s rear cabin.
Ronald Reagan aboard Air Force One.
President Ronald Reagan with reporters aboard Air Force One in 1981. Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
The photos show Reagan toasting with a champagne glass and waving while boarding Air Force One.
New blue striped curtains matched the blue carpeting and furniture in another meeting area.
Ronald Reagan on Air Force One.
President Ronald Reagan with staff aboard Air Force One. CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
The meeting room also included a television set.
In 1990, George H. W. Bush began using new Boeing 747 planes with tail numbers 28000 and 29000 as Air Force One.
The presidential office of Air Force One in 1990.
The presidential office of Air Force One in 1990. Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images
The presidential office was updated with a stately desk, gray carpeting, and leather chairs.
The staff and secretarial area was decorated with neutral whites and grays.
The staff area of Air Force One in 1990.
The staff and secretarial area of Air Force One in 1990. Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images
The staff area featured plenty of phones for official business. Air Force One is also known as the “flying Oval Office.”
The new plane’s annex could also be configured for medical use.
Chairs facing each other in the Annex of Air Force One
The Annex of Air Force One. Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images
The annex is pictured in executive configuration, with seating for meetings.
The new planes featured over 4,000 square feet of space, which President Bill Clinton often used to hold meetings.
Bill Clinton meets with staff on Air Force One.
President Bill Clinton holds a meeting aboard Air Force One. LUKE FRAZZA/AFP via Getty Images
Clinton met with a delegation from North and South Dakota to address flooding in the area.
In the guest area, Clinton’s Air Force One featured tan chairs and blue carpeting.
Bill Clinton meets with staff on Air Force One.
President Bill Clinton on Air Force One. DAVID SCULL/AFP via Getty Images
Clinton met with members of Congress to discuss nuclear waste management in 1999.
President George W. Bush flew 27000 one last time in August 2001 before it was retired to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
George W. Bush and Laura Bush on Air Force One.
President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush sit aboard Air Force One on the plane’s last mission in 2001. Rick Wilking/Getty Images
The plane flew 444 missions adding up to over 1 million miles.
When the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked on September 11, 2001, the Secret Service kept Bush in the air aboard the new Air Force One.
George W. Bush talks on the phone and staffers huddle aboard Air Force One.
President George W. Bush talks on the telephone on September 11, 2001, as senior staff huddle in his office aboard Air Force One. Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library/Getty Images
Bush insisted on returning to Washington, but the Secret Service refused since they were unsure if more attacks were coming.

Assistant White House press secretary Gordon Johndroe described Air Force One that day as “the safest and most dangerous place in the world at the exact same time.”

Bush conferred with chief of staff Andy Card in his stateroom, designed by Nancy Reagan.
President George W. Bush talks with his chief of staff aboard Air Force One.
President George W. Bush and Andy Card on September 11, 2001. Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library/Getty Images
The president’s suite included a small bed, light pink couch and carpeting, and a desk with a brown leather chair.
Bush walked down a hallway arm-in-arm with Harriet Miers, assistant to the president and staff secretary.
George W. Bush on Air Force One.
President George W. Bush and Harriet Miers on September 11, 2001. Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library/Getty Images
The hallway was lined with a beige couch with side tables and lamps on either side.
When President Barack Obama took office, Air Force One’s conference room had been updated with a television screen and brown leather chairs.
Barack Obama sits around a table with staff on Air Force One
President Barack Obama talks with his staff aboard Air Force One in 2009. Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images
The plane has 85 phone lines as well as encryption and scrambling devices to ensure secure communication.
On the other side of the conference room, a decal that read “Air Force One” was displayed on wood paneling.
Barack Obama speaks on the phone in a conference room on Air Force One.
President Barack Obama talks on the phone aboard Air Force One. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
The food and drinks are provided by the plane’s galley kitchen.
The plane’s senior staff room featured more phones, a coat closet, and leather chairs.
President Barack Obama meets with staff on Air Force One.
President Barack Obama talks with senior staff and former President Bill Clinton on Air Force One in 2012. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Obama met with chief of staff Jack Lew, senior advisors David Axelrod and David Plouffe, and former president Bill Clinton in the senior staff room in 2012.
The presidential office furniture was also updated, with mahogany chairs and sofas replacing the gray.
Barack Obama aboard Air Force One.
President Barack Obama meets with staff on Air Force One in 2014. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
The carpeting was also updated with a subtle star pattern, which also appears in the conference room.
The plane’s guest section was reserved for special visitors like members of Congress.
Barack Obama on Air Force One.
President Barack Obama talks with a Congressional delegation aboard Air Force One in 2009. Official White House photo by Pete Souza
The chairs feature a subtle polka-dot pattern, and the tables fold down to make more space.
The rear cabin for press looked just like a standard commercial airliner.
Barack Obama briefing reporters on Air Force One
President Barack Obama arrives to brief traveling journalists on board Air Force One in 2010. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images
Journalists can wander the rear cabin freely, but they aren’t allowed to walk forward to speak to the president — the president has to come back to them.
President Donald Trump proposed new paint colors for the exterior of Air Force One in 2019.
President Donald Trump's proposed paint scheme for Air Force One.
A model of the proposed paint scheme of the next generation of Air Force One. Alex Wong/Getty Images
New Air Force One planes are expected to replace the current aircrafts by 2024 as part of the Air Force’s Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program. Trump proposed a red, white, and navy blue color scheme for the new models.
For now, the current baby blue color scheme remains.
Joe and Jill Biden board Air Force One.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden board Air Force One in 2021. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz
When asked if President Joe Biden would change Trump’s planned color scheme for Air Force One, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, “I can confirm for you here the president has not spent a moment thinking about the color scheme of Air Force One.”
The conference room also has the same star carpeting as the plane’s presidential office.
Joe Biden on Air Force One.
President Joe Biden meets with staff aboard Air Force One in 2021. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz
Plain beige carpeting continues down the hallway.
The placard in the conference room has been updated to read “Aboard Air Force One” with an image of the iconic aircraft.
Joe Biden sits at a table on Air Force One
President Joe Biden participates in a phone interview on Air Force One. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz
President Joe Biden took his first overseas trip as president in June, visiting Europe for the G7 leaders’ summit.