SAM 27000 was the second of two Boeing VC-137C United States Air Force aircraft that were specifically configured and maintained for the use of the President of the United States. It used the call sign Air Force One when the President was on board, and at other times it used the call sign SAM 27000.
The plane first entered service in 1972 during the administration of Richard Nixon. SAM 27000 replaced the aging SAM 26000 as the primary means of presidential travel, although SAM 26000 remained as a back-up plane. SAM 27000 served seven presidents in its twenty-nine years of service: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In 1990, it was replaced as the primary presidential plane by two Boeing VC-25 jumbo jets — SAM 28000 and SAM 29000.
E-Systems Greenville, TX, began the first year of twenty years performing depot maintenance and modifications on Special Air Mission (SAM) aircraft in Sept 1973 and delivered the last airplane in May 1994. During this time all Special Air Mission aircraft were at the Greenville, TX facility numerous times for maintenance and/or modification including SAM 62-6000 and SAM 72-7000.
SAM 27000 was decommissioned and flown to San Bernardino International Airport (formerly Norton Air Force Base) in September 2001, where it was presented to the Reagan Foundation. In what was known as Operation Homeward Bound, Boeing, the plane’s manufacturer, disassembled the plane and transported it to the library in pieces. After the construction of the foundation of the pavilion itself, the plane was reassembled and restored to museum quality, as well as raised onto pedestals 25 ft (7.6 m) above ground. The pavilion was dedicated on October 24, 2005, by Nancy Reagan, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
The included information comes from local Sulphur Springs resident Tony Hughes. Mr Hughes worked on, performed engine run up, pre-flight/post flight and flew as an aircraft mechanic observer on FCF’s (functional check flight) at the Greenville, Tx. plant, formerly known as TEMCO. The Greenville plant started as Temco (Texas Engineering & Manufacturing Co.) then changed to Ling-Temco Electronics, Inc. in 1960, then Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc. in 1961. The company then changed it’s name to LTV Electrosystems, Inc. in 1965, then E-Systems, Inc. in 1972. A merger changed the name to Raytheon E-Systems in 1995, and now the company has been managed by L-3 Communications since 2002.