Retired Air Force One Gets $31 Million Hangar


While we don’t know how much a used 707 goes for these days, the $31 million hangar taxpayers are funding to keep the rain off one to be based in California might be a bid worth considering. Of course, this is no ordinary 707. It’s the old turbojet that carried Ronald Reagan to the far corners of the world for his Cold War-ending private chats with the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev (here ends our knowledge of world politics). The Boeing, dubbed the Spirit of 76, is now mounted on a pedestal, in takeoff attitude, as workers create the Air Force One Pavilion at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. “I know Ronald Reagan is looking down on us and saying, ‘This is wonderful,'” said Duke Blackwood, executive director of the library. The plane, which flew 445 missions as Air Force One (Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and both Bushes also used it) was dismantled in 2003 and shipped to California to fulfill Reagan’s dream of having it at the library. The pavilion is 87,000 square feet and has a glass wall with a view of the nearby mountains. It will also house motorcycles and a police car from the Reagan era as well as a presidential limousine. The pavilion will be open in the fall.