Step inside the president's plane with this Air Force One replica In this Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 photo Alysia Palmisciano along with three of her children, Riley Palmisciano-Wright, 6, right, Chace Palmisciano-Wright, 4, center, and Camden Palmisciano-Wright, 4, left, view an exhibit on a wall outside the presidential conference room abroad the "Air Force One Experience," a full-sized 747 replica of Air Force One which is now open to the public in North Kingstown, R.I. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Step inside the president's plane with this Air Force One replica
Lexile

The image is among the most indelible of any American presidency: The commander-in-chief and first lady emerging with a wave from Air Force One.

Now, people outside the first family have a chance to recreate that shot, and get a behind-the-scenes peek at the world's most famous Boeing 747. A new Air Force One replica is currently on display in Rhode Island until the end of October and headed next to New York. It meticulously recreates many of the details inside the aircraft.

The Air Force One Experience is the brainchild of Ari Scharf, who says he hopes to inspire an appreciation for democracy, the right to vote and the United States.

"This is a great asset to let kids know America belongs to them. It's a very, very sensitive time right now. There's many people that feel they're not included in this country," Scharf said. "We have to do everything we can to get them engaged, to make them know their voice can be heard."

There are other ways to experience Air Force One: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, for example, has an earlier, smaller Boeing 707 version on display. But Scharf said he wanted to recreate the current, 747 Air Force One, because it is a modern marvel. It allows the president to travel within his own domain.

Inside the plane, visitors can peek inside the president's bedroom, recreated here with two twin beds. They can imagine cabinet secretaries gathered in a conference room, or the president sitting at his desk. A small sitting area serves as a mobile medical clinic. The second floor of the plane, including the cockpit, is off-limits.

"We built this for kids, but we're finding that adults are enjoying this as well. I didn't expect to see all these adults coming without kids," Scharf said.

While the 747 is fully functional, and Scharf would not rule out flying it sometime, it is due to travel by barge to New York.

Still unfinished is the back of the airplane, in an area where the press sits on the real Air Force One. The replica will instead use the space for a learning center for school groups, Scharf said. The work should be finished before it opens in New York at a yet-to-be announced location next summer, Scharf said.

Only the president and his family are allowed through the front door of the real Air Force One. Perhaps that's why the front door seemed to be the biggest attraction one recent day, with visitors snapping selfies and getting each other to pose in front of the presidential seal.

"Your average person would never get the chance to do that," Ken Martin, of Plymouth, England, said shortly after taking photos with his friends on the rolling staircase.

Alysia Palmisciano, of Moosup, Connecticut, came with her four children. She homeschools her oldest son, Riley, 6, and she used their visit as an opportunity to talk with him about the presidency and what it means.

"A lot of people never get this close to Air Force One," she said. "It's pretty cool."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How can a replica of the president's plane help people learn about Air Force One?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (36)
  • cadens-lew
    9/29/2017 - 12:57 p.m.

    This is a very interesting topic. It shows very precise details and information about Air Force One. I would love to go visit this soon!

    • EvanC-del
      10/02/2017 - 04:47 p.m.

      I also thought this was a very interesting topic and I've always loved planes and over excited to hear that Boeing 747 is coming to New York. I can't wait to see it sometime.

    • EvanC-del
      10/02/2017 - 04:53 p.m.

      This was absolutely a great topic to read about and this can help to teach some history about the so kids can see what it looks and how it works and how it keeps the president safe. I really like planes and when I hear that Boeing 747 is coming I am just exploding with joy. Can't wait to see it someday.

    • AnnabelleA-del
      10/02/2017 - 05:30 p.m.

      I totally agree. @cadens-lew. I think it did have "precise details and information" About air force one and everything!

    • AnnabelleA-del
      10/02/2017 - 05:31 p.m.

      especially the fifth paragraph!

  • WilliamF-del
    10/02/2017 - 03:35 p.m.

    The Air Forse One is a really cool plane. Since now the replica is now in place it would be a really cool plaC

  • WilliamF-del
    10/02/2017 - 03:38 p.m.

    I learned that it's purpose is to not only show the elarobate designs of the air craft but also to let everyone feel involved in the american history and that they are important too.( sorry about the last coment I accidently pressed enter )

  • SophiaD-del1
    10/02/2017 - 04:13 p.m.

    The President's plane is a sign that the government of the United Sates truly care about the mental welfare of the country. This plane is a signal that hope cannot die if we all stay faithful. Once we all believe that Air Force One is a monument of hope then this nation can wholly call itself a COUNTRY.

  • PedroM-del1
    10/02/2017 - 05:04 p.m.

    I think this was a very nice article about kids and adults connecting more with their country. One thing i did not like about this article was in on e paragraph, it says that America belongs to these kids. All we need is for little child to say, "I'm gonna rule the America!!!!"
    and then it becomes his dream, he tries to achieve this dream, fails, get humiliated, and probably kills him or herself out of depression in their teen years. So yea that's all we need. (sarcasm)

    • ZofiaT-del
      10/03/2017 - 05:49 p.m.

      God Bless America

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