Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Presidential Helicopters

Ever wonder what kind of helicopters our presidents rode in?

Eisenhower, on July 12, 1957, became the first American president to ride in a helicopter. He was in a little United States Air Force Bell UH-13-J. He took it weekly to Camp David or his farm in Gettysburg.

Starting in 1958, the Sikorsky CH-34 Choctaw took over the duty of transporting El Presidente. Here is Kennedy and family climbing aboard one. There is an excellent example of one at the Travis Air Force Base museum.

Starting in 1961, the Sea King VH-3A became the official presidential helicopter. The amazing thing is that variants of the original still act as Marine One. Here's Johnson.

The infamous Nixon shot.

President Ford with a young Bob and Elizabeth Dole.

Jimmy Carter.

Ronnie and Nancy.

George H.W. and Maggie.

Bill Clinton.

George W. leaving on inaugural day, 2009.

Marine One leaving Chicago with the Obamas.


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