USCGC130
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VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Tue May 29, 2007 11:45 pm

I have a coffee table book about the various aircraft that have servednas Air Force 1. The section on the VC-137s includes a photo of JimmynCarter disembarking informally with his family, apparently via anretractable airstair that unfolded through what would be the forwardnbaggage compartment door on a civilian 707. I believe the aircraft innthe picture is 72-7000.

I've never seen this featurenmentioned, and the photo's caption says nothing at all about it. It'sndefinitely extending out of the aircraft, and isn't a roll-up stairwaynor ladder. Does anyone have any information on this?
 
Venus6971
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Wed May 30, 2007 1:18 am

72-7000 or any other C-137 never had built in stairs, but the 89th has assigned C-9's and C-140's that had them during Carter's term.
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zanl188
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Wed May 30, 2007 6:54 am

Quoting Uscgc130 (Thread starter):
I have a coffee table book about the various aircraft that have servednas Air Force 1. The section on the VC-137s includes a photo of JimmynCarter disembarking informally with his family, apparently via anretractable airstair that unfolded through what would be the forwardnbaggage compartment door on a civilian 707. I believe the aircraft innthe picture is 72-7000.

I've never seen this featurenmentioned, and the photo's caption says nothing at all about it. It'sndefinitely extending out of the aircraft, and isn't a roll-up stairwaynor ladder. Does anyone have any information on this?

I have a pix of Jimmy Carter and Family deplaning an E-4 thru the forward rightside airstairs. This is on page 89 of Robert Dorrs book "Air Force One". The alert phone by Amys left knee is a sure sign of the E-4 and the height of the R-1 door sill is a sure sign of a widebody. The caption on the photo doesn't explain that it's an E-4 but it's safe to assume that the aircraft was using the "Air Force One" radio callsign if President Carter was aboard.
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USCGC130
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Wed May 30, 2007 10:18 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
I have a pix of Jimmy Carter and Family deplaning an E-4 thru the forward rightside airstairs. This is on page 89 of Robert Dorrs book "Air Force One". The alert phone by Amys left knee is a sure sign of the E-4 and the height of the R-1 door sill is a sure sign of a widebody.

Yup, that's the book I have. But that isn't the photo I have in mind, The one I'm referring to was taken from outside the aircraft, so there's no telephone in view. And the door that the airstair extends out of is in the lower lobe of the fuselage and isn't shaped like a conventional passenger door. Don't the baggage doors on 747s hinge upward and outward? This one was slid to the inside, 707-style.

Lastly, the scale of what's visible of the airplane reveals that it's definitely not a 747 derivative. (Unfortunately most of my books are in storage at the moment, so I can't cite a page number.)
 
Venus6971
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Wed May 30, 2007 11:01 pm

Quoting Uscgc130 (Reply 3):
Yup, that's the book I have. But that isn't the photo I have in mind, The one I'm referring to was taken from outside the aircraft, so there's no telephone in view. And the door that the airstair extends out of is in the lower lobe of the fuselage and isn't shaped like a conventional passenger door. Don't the baggage doors on 747s hinge upward and outward? This one was slid to the inside, 707-style.

On the the C-137B's we had a ladder that helped us get in an out of the fwd lower lobe to load crew bags and also so I could get to my toolbox, plus the stews had to get in there for some of their stored food, the ladder was most appreciated hen she was wearing a skirt and high heels. That was something as Crew Chief I enjoyed about my job. When engines were started I usally jumped through the lwr 41 door and came up under the Nav's table, on 85-6973 and 74 we had a lobe access in the crew area right behind the comm suite.
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zanl188
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Thu May 31, 2007 8:20 am

Quoting Uscgc130 (Reply 3):
Yup, that's the book I have. But that isn't the photo I have in mind, The one I'm referring to was taken from outside the aircraft, so there's no telephone in view. And the door that the airstair extends out of is in the lower lobe of the fuselage and isn't shaped like a conventional passenger door. Don't the baggage doors on 747s hinge upward and outward? This one was slid to the inside, 707-style.

I'm pretty sure the photo you're referring to is the E-4 photo. The pix is taken from the ramp. The phone is at the foot of the airstair on a stand sitting on the ramp. The E-4s airstair deployed from what on a regular 747 would be the forward baggage pit. The door hinges out & up and so is not visible in the pix



Big version: Width: 2232 Height: 2347 File size: 1859kb
Photo in Public Domain. Courtesy Carter Library & U.S. National Archive
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Venus6971
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:30 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 5):
I'm pretty sure the photo you're referring to is the E-4 photo.

I could sure tell it was a bit lax back then, no officers or enlisted to carry the bags of the first family and the Crew Chiefs up front at ease . Things sure did change when Pres. Reagan showed up, we stayed at attention until he got into the limo or Marine 1 unless we were doing something with the aircraft. This would have cost the 89th CC his job if this happened today.
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T56A15
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:14 pm

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 6):
I could sure tell it was a bit lax back then,

It sure was. Was stationed at Andrews during the late 70's. SAC had an E-4A on alert there at the time with a fair sized maintenance package to take care of it. The assigned crew chiefs were pretty laid back and just happy not to be at Offut. Are the E-4B's still kept there?
 
zanl188
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:19 pm

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 6):
I could sure tell it was a bit lax back then, no officers or enlisted to carry the bags of the first family and the Crew Chiefs up front at ease .

I'm going to take a guess and suggest Carter got his E-4 ride before he took office, as part of his Presidential training. It would be awful "threatening" to the Soviets if he did it after he had access to the codes -- The Soviets could have intrepreted the move as a prelude to a first strike on their territory.

Carter was pretty relaxed, he may have insisted on carrying his own bags.

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 6):
This would have cost the 89th CC his job if this happened today.

If this is a military base and if Carter was President at the time the Wing King should be in the picture doing the "meet & greet" thing.

Quoting T56A15 (Reply 7):
Are the E-4B's still kept there?

When I was at ADW, mid 90s, the E-4 would randomly come and sit alert, but weren't stationed there.
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USCGC130
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:49 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 5):
I'm pretty sure the photo you're referring to is the E-4 photo. The pix is taken from the ramp. The phone is at the foot of the airstair on a stand sitting on the ramp. The E-4s airstair deployed from what on a regular 747 would be the forward baggage pit.

That's the one! Thanks for posting it. I stand corrected.

Looking at the photo now, it's obvious that the airplane isn't a VC-137. And I'd forgotten about the telephone.
 
zanl188
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RE: VC-137 Right-Side Airstair?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:58 am

Quoting Uscgc130 (Reply 9):
That's the one! Thanks for posting it. I stand corrected.

Glad to help!
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