MESA, AZ (CBS/KPHO) -- How would you like to own a piece of Presidential History? You can pretty much name your price for an aircraft that has served as both Air Force One and Air Force Two.
The 40 year-old DC9 transported high-level government officials and their staffs from February 1975 to September 2005. The State Department has been storing the aircraft and its sister at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport for about a year and a half.
Brian Sexton with the airport says, "They selected Gatway Airport for our dry climate, the long runways to get the aircraft in and out safely, and it's secure."
Although Presidents may have ridden on the aircraft at some point, the DC9 was more commonly used for vice presidents, first ladies, Cabinet members, members of Congress, and other government personnel. Regardless, it certainly gets a lot of attention here at Gateway. Sexton says, "We parked the DC9 close to our passenger terminal, and for about a year, we've had passengers come and go and ask about it... it's been generating a lot of attention lately."
Despite its age, the airplane is in very good condition. The inside features a 10-seat VIP cabin, a full galley, and a rear cabin with 32 first class-style seats. And we're told there's only about 700 hours on each engine and they're fired up about once a month.
Sexton says, "It's rather unusual for an airplane to have this kind of history up for public auction. And to have it in Mesa and the Phoenix backyard, it's really exciting for all the people in the Valley to come out and see an airplane that has such history up close, it's pretty cool."
One question that remains unanswered is would the new owner have to repaint the aircraft, or could you leave it in its original colors?
The auction ends on Thursday, May 30th.