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L-26B in flight
L-26B in flight

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Photo by Scott Slocum
Photo by Scott Slocum

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L-26B in flight
L-26B in flight

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Restored, flying, and coming to an airport near you...

History of "Ike's Bird"

This 1955 Aero Commander L-26B is nicknamed "Ike's Bird".  It is the smallest plane ever to be used as Air Force One.

From 1955 to 1960 it was used by the Eisenhower Administration and the White House to carry the President, Vice President, First Family and other VIP's on short distance trips.   

Its now owned and flying with the Commemorative Air Force... and you can ride in the President's seat.

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President Eisenhower with his Air Force One pilot, Col. William Draper with the Aero Commander L-26B at his farm in Gettysburg, PA in 1955.

Click on the video above and watch as President Eisenhower flies aboard "Ike's Bird" as he travels from Washington DC to his farm in Gettysburg, PA.  


Ride on Ike's AIR FORCE ONE

Relive history by riding on the smallest plane to fly as Air Force One


Sit in the President's seat or ride in the cockpit. 


Feel history come alive. 


Check out our Schedule to see where you can join a select group of privileged fliers aboard a Presidential aircraft.   

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Youth as young as five can ride with a parent.   


Click on the pictures to expand them.

Victory Flights for Veterans

Victory Flights for Veterans

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One of the missions of the CAF’s “Ike’s Bird” is to fly veterans for free in an historic plane.  These flights are called “Victory Flights for Veterans”.


Victory Flights are done to honor the veterans service to the nation and our freedoms.       A unique feature of “Ike’s Bird” is its low entry door.   Only one foot off the ground, the Commander can easily accommodate wounded and disabled veterans…   men and women who otherwise have great difficulty in climbing into some of the CAF’s World War II aircraft.  

You can help by making a donation here.   


Thank you...

About the Commemorative Air Force

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Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historic aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to preserving our American Military Aviation heritage through education, inspiration, and honoring our veterans. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 12,000 members, 40,000 donors, and a fleet of 175 airplanes distributed throughout the country to local units located in 27 states for care and operation. For more information, visit or call (214) 330-1700. 


Ike's Bird is based at the CAF HQ and National Aviation Education Center at Dallas Executive Airport in Dallas, TX.

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