This episode is dedicated to the Boeing 707. Our guest is the facilities manager for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute which displays a Boeing VC-137C used as Air Force One for seven U.S. presidents. In the news, Lufthansa looks to reactivate some A380s, sometimes it’s a good idea to toss something into the cockpit, and how old planes are repurposed.
John Lehne is the facilities manager for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute, located at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
John’s responsibilities include the operations and maintenance of Foundation property and displayed artifacts, such as the Air Force One Pavilion and SAM 27000, the Boeing VC-137C aircraft used by the president of the United States.
In October 2005, John was asked to help the Foundation on a “temporary” basis. The completed Air Force One Pavilion was being transitioned from the general contractor to the Reagan Foundation. That “temporary” job turned into a 16+ year career with the Foundation.
He also oversees construction projects, contracted services such as maintenance, and various trades, as well as special event logistics. John has a small staff of foundation employees and outside contractors that make up his “on-site” facilities team. It is an ever-changing job that presents some unique challenges, especially the care of the aircraft and other displays.
Our Main(e) Man Micah reflects on the history of the Boeing 707.
SAM 27000 was the second of two Boeing VC-137C United States Air Force presidential aircraft. It is a specially-built Model 707-353B that served seven United States presidents over 29 years.
John explains the acquisition process and ownership of the aircraft, along with the transportation challenges to get it to the facility. He tells us about how the aircraft was prepared and the display constructed. We learn about the maintenance challenge in the face of large numbers of visitors who go through the aircraft. John describes the interior of the plane, including the presidential suite and other cabins. He also tells us about the other aircraft and exhibits at the site.
The airline anticipates increased travel demand in 2023 and is assessing the number of A380s they plan to reactivate. Delayed deliveries of other aircraft contributed to the decision to bring the A380 back into service. In 2021, Lufthansa announced a phase-out of some long-haul aircraft, including the A380. Six of the airplanes have been sold. Up to eight may be reactivated. Lufthansa plans to add more Airbus A350-900s and Boeing 787 and 777 airplanes to replace older aircraft.
In a viral video, an airport worker throws a passenger’s forgotten purse from the edge of the passenger bridge to a pilot’s waiting hands in the cockpit window. It’s a perfectly executed toss.
Recycling old airplanes takes several forms: Some parts and components are sold into the used parts market. Others A few items become end up as aviation collectibles, artwork, and even functional furniture. What’s left over can be sold as scrap. This article gives some creative ways that old aircraft have been repurposed.
- American Helicopter Museum membership with Airplane Geeks discount
- Star Trek Screen-Used Props and Costumes
- Member’s Only Speaker’s Series
Palms to Pines Air Race – August 11 – 13, 2022.
Hosts this Episode
Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Rob Mark, our Main(e) Man Micah, and Brian Coleman.