- 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.
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.
The Boeing 707 included a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
Raymond Loewy designed the plane’s blue and white exterior.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President Joe Biden took his first overseas trip as president in June, visiting Europe for the G7 leaders’ summit.