A full-size replica of the aircraft that carries the president of the United States on trips across the country and around the world will be on display at National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington through the holiday season.
The aircraft is a retired Boeing 747 that, although it never served as an actual Air Force One, has been painted and remodeled to look like the real thing. The idea is to give visitors a sense of what it feels and looks like to travel with the president.
On Monday the plane was transported on a barge up the Potomac River to its new temporary location at National Harbor.
The aircraft and barge reportedly departed from Quonset State Airport in Rhode Island Sept. 27, towed by the tug “Island Trader,” and reached the Chesapeake Bay by way of Cape Henry, Virginia, according to the Safety at Sea Facebook page, a website devoted to “sea safety, equipment, seafaring accidents and general nautical knowledge.”
The exhibit is part of the Children’s Democracy Project, which aims to “bring powerful lessons teaching the value of democracy and the right to vote to 50 million children across America,” according to its website.
The aircraft itself is part of the Air Force One Experience, which is a division of the Children’s Democracy Project, according to its website.
“Feel the thrill of presidential travel as you immerse yourself in the luxury, the excitement, and the history of Air Force One,” the website reads. “In this never-seen-before recreation, you’ll take an exclusive insider’s look at the iconic plane that travels the world as America’s flagship.”
The aircraft replica will be located at 701 National Harbor Blvd., next to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
The venue will host 90-minute tours of the aircraft at a cost of $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for children ages 3-12 .
Photos of the replica’s internal design are not allowed, according to the Air Force One Experience’s FAQs page.
The Children’s Democracy Project reports that it plans to distribute more than $5 million dollars in grants during the duration of its activities. The funding is open to schools, community centers, after school programs, youth groups and teachers.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.