President Truman’s VC-118 presidential aircraft closed to tours this week for upgrades needed to open the aircraft to the wider public early next year. The Independence currently resides in the National Museum of the US Air Force’s presidential and research aircraft annex on the restricted side of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Museum workers are reinforcing the aircraft’s floor, among other restorative measures, to allow the aircraft to be moved to the museum’s future fourth hangar, allowing all visitors unrestricted access to tour The Independence, as well as the other aircraft currently housed across base. Modification work is expected to take three months, during which time visitors who take the shuttle to the annex will still be able to view the aircraft’s exterior, according to a museum release. The new 224,000 square foot hangar that will house the presidential, research and development, global reach, and enlarged space gallery is slated to open in the spring of 2016, according to the museum. (Museum VC-118 factsheet)
Robins Air Force Base, Ga., has completed two environmental reviews, clearing the way for new construction to support the bases four new missions sets, which will replace the E-8 Joint STARS mission that has defined the base for decades.