Columbine II Makes It To Texas
Columbine II, a Lockheed VC-121A Constellation that once served as Air Force One for President Dwight Eisenhower, took to the air this week after being grounded since 2003. The airplane, which has been undergoing restoration in Tucson, Arizona, flew to the Mid America Flight Museum, in Mount Pleasant, Texas, on Monday. The 1,000-mile flight took about five hours. Volunteers from the museum have been working with engineers from Dynamic Aviation, the aircraft's current owner, to return it to flight status. The Connie was to have flown to Bridgewater Airpark, in Bridgewater, Virginia, the home base for Dynamic Aviation, on Tuesday but that flight has been delayed until Wednesday. The reason for the delay has not been released.
Karl Stolzfus, chairman of Dynamic Aviation, told reporters his company will completely restore the interior to create a "living museum" reflecting the times of the Eisenhower administration. "He was a very good president and a very well-liked president," Stolzfus said. President Eisenhower's granddaughter, Mary Jean Eisenhower, was the guest of honor at the departure ceremony in Arizona, and shared her memories of flying in the airplane as a child. "Now she moves on to expert hands who will restore her and ready her to be shared with future generations of Americans around the country," Eisenhower said.