Ike’s Air Force One to visit Mid-Way Airport

Presidential plane from 1950s to be on display Saturday, June 5

Staff report
President Dwight Eisenhower's Air Force One will be on display at Mid-Way Regional Airport on Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
President Dwight Eisenhower stands next to the Aero Commander L-26 that he used as Air Force One in this 1955 photo. The aircraft will be on display Saturday, June 5, at Mid-Way Regional Airport.

The smallest plane ever to be used as Air Force One will be visiting Mid-Way Regional Airport on Saturday, June 5.

All are invited to come see the plane where former presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and other government VIPs sat.  Also attending will be a T-34 Mentor from the Air Force, and a 1942 Piper J-3 Cub.

President Eisenhower needed a small plane to fly short distances.  The helicopter was not yet safe enough. The Air Force chose the Aero Commander and designated it the L-26B.   Six aircraft were assigned to exclusive White House use. 

This aircraft, owned and operated by the Commemorative Air Force, is the last remaining flyable L-26 from the Air Force inventory.  It is kept flying by donations from the public and by selling rides aboard the aircraft.   For more info, go to www.IkesBird.org .  For a video of Ike flying aboard the L-26, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvMhEM0Cl5k&t=9s

This event is free to the public and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Airplane rides will be offered in each of the three aircraft.  

Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world.

The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 10,000 members and a fleet of over 180 airplanes distributed throughout the country to almost 80 units located in 27 states for care and operation.

For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.

Mid-Way Airport is located just off Highway 287 between Midlothian and Waxahachie and is jointly operated by the two cities. For more information about the event, visit www.IkesBird.org/midlothiantx