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Lockheed C-140B JetStar

History of the (V)C-140B JetStar

The C-140 is a military version of the Lockheed Model 1329 light jet transport. Production began in 1960, and although most of them were built for the civilian market, the United States Air Force (USAF) purchased sixteen of these aircraft in 1961. Eleven were assigned to the Military Airlift Command for operational support airlift and the remaining six were flown as (V)C-140Bs on special government and White House airlift missions.

Lockheed C-140B JetStar

Serial Number: 62-4201

Manufacturer: Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Crew: Three

Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney J60-P-5 turbojets

Wingspan: 53 feet 8 1/2 inches

Length: 60 feet 6 inches

Height: 20 feet 6 inches

Weight: 22,500 pounds (empty); 40,470 pounds (maximum)

Speed: 526 mph (cruising); 573 mph (maximum)

Range: 1,930 miles

Service Ceiling: 36,000 feet

Armament: None

Cost: $1,771,000

The (V)C-140B JetStar at Hill Air Force Base

The C-140B was manufactured by Lockheed Corporation in Georgia and delivered to the USAF in July 1963. The aircraft was first sent to the 1254th Air Transport Wing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland where it remained until January 1966. From there it was transferred to the 89th Military Airlift (Special Air Mission) Wing at the same base. The 89th SAM Wing provides transportation for the President and cabinet-level VIPs. The aircraft at Hill Aerospace Museum was assigned to President Lyndon B. Johnson and First Lady Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson.

In June 1972, the C-140B was re-designated as a VC-140B and in the summer of 1977, was relocated to Germany to serve with the 435th Tactical Airlift Wing. In February 1978, the aircraft was re-designated and reconfigured back to a C-140B and moved to the 58th Military Airlift Squadron at Ramstein. In March 1982, the 89th Military Airlift Wing acquired the aircraft again and kept it until January 1987, when it was returned to the 58th.

The C-140 returned to the United States in October 1987 and served with the 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing and 1467th Facilities Checking Squadron at Scott Air Force Base. The aircraft was used to check aircraft instrument landing systems, which is a tough job for any plane, and after a left-wing spar cracked, the aircraft was sent to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for storage in January 1989.

Hill Aerospace Museum acquired the JetStar in January 1992 for static display at the museum. While closing the air stair door, some white paint flaked off and we discovered the one-of-a-kind, Air Force blue paint that indicates Presidential usage. The 89th SAM Wing at Andrews Air Force Base inspected and confirmed that the aircraft was used by both President Johnson and Lady Bird extensively. The aircraft was repainted in Presidential livery and put on display.

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