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March 25, 2016, Columbine II has arrived at Bridgewater, VA!!
See details below.
Lockheed C-121A Constellation, Columbine II,
President Dwight D. Eisenhower's "Air Force One"



Click on photos and links
This 1948 Lockheed C-121A Constellation, USAF SN 48-610,

was President Eisenhower’s “Air Force One” in 1952-54

The first presidential aircraft identified as “Air Force One”
The only “Air Force One” that was ever sold by the U.S. government

March 23, 2016, arrival in Virginia!

Columbine II arrived at Dynamic Aviation's home base, KVBW, Bridgewater Airpark, Bridgewater, VA around 2:00 this afternoon, after a good flight from the Mid America Flight Museum in Mt. Pleasant, TX. The flight crew was led by Capt. Lockie Christler, former co-owner of the aircraft and son of Mel Christler, who purchased it as government surplus in 1970.
Many wonderful photos and details on the flight from Marana, AZ to Mt. Pleasant, TX can be seen on Mid America Flight Museum's Facebook page. And more on the Facebook page for "First Air Force One".

There's a YouTube video of the landing called "Columbine II to KVBW" and certainly there will be more. From the looks of it, #2 engine will need some oil before the next flight! And maybe a "ring job" - although that term might be lost on the younger generations.

This very complex airplane had probably been flown less than 15-hours since it went into the Davis Monthan boneyard in 1968, and it is a testament to the quality and thoroughness of work that was done in Marana over the past year, that the flight was made to KVBW with very few mechanical issues.
My twin, Karl D. Stoltzfus, Sr., founder and Chairman of Dynamic Aviation, will deflect credit for the project to other people. Certainly others were crucial to it's success, especially those named below. Bottom line though, without Karl's vision for Columbine II for history's sake; his bent toward calculated risk-taking for a good cause; and his insistence on thoroughness and detail for safety-sake, the project would never have started and certainly couldn't have arrived at this happy juncture. "Thank you," Karl.
This effort is altogether privately-funded and no taxpayer dollars are involved. The inspiration behind the project is stated at the bottom of this page.
Work will now begin on the interior and other aspects of the aircraft including the overhaul of all four engines, to prepare it for the airshow circuit. Please see the notes in the March 12, 2016 entry which follows, and use the contact details below that for further information.

March 12, 2016: After a year of work by a dedicated and skilled team, Dynamic Aviation's Columbine II is nearly ready to fly! In fact, if all continues to go well it could happen this month or at least by mid-April.

According to the company's founder, Karl D. Stoltzfus Sr., this was only possible because of the on-site leadership of Dynamic's Brian Miklos and the generous contribution of others, in particular Scott Glover and his Mid-America Flight Museum, of Mt. Pleasant, TX.

The team has not only prepared the aircraft for a ferry flight, they have gone to the effort of bringing it back to airworthy status and will fly it to their home base, Bridgewater Airpark, Bridgewater, VA, as a certificated aircraft. All systems have been thoroughly gone through; brakes overhauled and new tires installed; many engine accessories overhauled, and much more. At Bridgewater it will be restored to its former glory and prepared for the air show circuit.

Because of other commitments I have not followed through with updates on this project in the way it and those working on it have deserved, and for that I apologize. - Ken Stoltzfus
For further information please contact

Katie Dillon, Communications Manager,
Dynamic Aviation, 1402 Airport Road, Bridgewater, VA 22812


Tel. 540-828-6070


Columbine II was mostly intact including its 2500-HP, Wright R-3350 engines and much of the original interior, instruments, avionics, and other important historical details, but was at risk of being scrapped because of the complexity and cost of preparing it for flight.

For history on Columbine II please see
Ralph M. Pettersen's reports here and here , or see it on Wikipedia
Columbine II is itself an airplane worthy of a preservation effort, but it is more than that. It represents a period in history when America was united for the good of our nation and our world - - a cause that was advanced through the integrity of those who led us. Recognizing and promoting such values inspires those who lead this preservation effort.

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

*Disclosure: Dynamic Aviation, a Virginia for-profit corporation, purchased Columbine II on a tax free exchange basis with an aircraft being sold.  When that process is satisfactorily completed the airplane will be transferred to a non-profit museum.
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  © 2016 John
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