The first “Air Force One,” which after being built in 1948 flew President Dwight D. Eisenhower around the world, is expected to leave Arizona in April as it continues to undergo a restoration.
The Lockheed C-121 Constellation, which has sat seemingly forgotten at Marana Regional Airport, will fly to Bridgewater, Va., to be restored by Dynamic Aviation and its founder Karl Stolzfus, reports The Associated Press.
Following a 1953 near-collision when air traffic controllers confused the craft, then called “Air Force 8610,” with another plane, “Eastern Airlines flight 8610,” the plane was renamed “Air Force One.”
Stoltzfus became aware of the plane in 2014, when he read a magazine story about the previous owner’s decision to scrap the old plane or sell it. That owner had bought it in 1970.
“I didn’t want to see somebody drinking a beer,” Stoltzfus said, “and wonder if the beer can came from that plane.”
Stoltzfus told the AP he paid less than the $1.5 million asking price.
Dynamic Aviation mechanics have already spent hours of time on repairs for the plane that is reportedly in flying condition. All four engines work but mechanics will continue to fix up the aircraft before it flies across the country.
To keep up to date with the historic aircraft’s restoration, the First Air Force One Facebook page will continue to update the public on the project.