UPDATE: 'Air Force One' landing in Bridgewater delayed until Wednesday
UPDATE: 3/22/2016 12:30 p.m.
Dynamic Aviation tells WHSV the plane's arrival has been delayed until Wednesday afternoon in Bridgewater. We're working to confirm exactly when the plane is expected to land.
A Valley company is working to help the first presidential aircraft to be called “Air Force One” take flight again.
According to Ken Stoltzfus, Project Communications Coordinator, the 1948 USAF Lockheed C-121A Constellation also known as "Columbine II" was retired by the USAF in 1968 and sold surplus in 1970.
He said, "It then sat in salvage yards in Arizona until 1990 when it was made airworthy again. After flying a few hours it was parked in Marana, AZ in 2003. The plane served President Eisenhower from 1952 to 1954."
Now, after a year of work by a dedicated and skilled team, Dynamic Aviation's Columbine II is nearly ready to fly.
The website, john2031.com, has been updating the public on the project's progress. The site says, "according to Dynamic Aviation's founder, Karl D. Stoltzfus Sr., this was only possible because of the on-site leadership of Dynamic's Brian Miklos and the generous contribution of others, in particular Scott Glover and his Mid-America Flight Museum, of Mt. Pleasant, Tx."
The site also says, "the team has not only prepared the aircraft for a ferry flight, they have gone to the effort of bringing it back to airworthy status and will fly it to their home base, Bridgewater Airpark, Bridgewater, Va., as a certificated aircraft. All systems have been thoroughly gone through; brakes overhauled and new tires installed; many engine accessories overhauled, and much more. At Bridgewater it will be restored to its former glory and prepared for the air show circuit."
The site adds, "Columbine II was mostly intact including its 2500-HP, Wright R-3350 engines and much of the original interior, instruments, avionics, and other important historical details, but was at risk of being scrapped because of the complexity and cost of preparing it for flight."
According to Katie Dillon, Communications Manager for Dynamic Aviation, the plane is spending Monday night in Texas. The plane returned to flight in Arizona over the weekend. Monday afternoon, she told WHSV the plane is expected to land at Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater between 2 and 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. For those who would like to join in welcoming this historic aircraft, Dynamic Aviation is setting up a designated area beside our facility to watch.
The website, john2031.com, adds, "Dynamic Aviation, a Virginia for-profit corporation, purchased Columbine II on a tax free exchange basis with an aircraft being sold. When that process is satisfactorily completed the airplane will be transferred to a non-profit museum."