Helicopter Resources

Marine One – The President Doesn’t Just Have An Airplane

Everyone has probably heard a reference to the president’s airplane, Air Force One, but not everyone has heard about, Marine One, the president’s very own helicopter. The current helicopter the president uses for Marine One is a VH-60N which became the main model beginning in 1989. This helicopter will fly with as many as 5 identical helicopter spares, to deter possible threats against the president. As well, they fly in a varying formation throughout the flight to keep the vessel with the president as disguised as possible. This technique is often referred to as the presidential “shell game”.

While it makes sense that the president has a helicopter, one might ask who the first president was to use one, and why? In 1957 the first helicopter was used for presidential transportation when Dwight D. Eisenhower needed a quick way to visit his Rhode Island summer home. He didn’t want to drive and disrupt traffic with his motorcade, but Air Force One was too big to take for trips that small. After having his staff look into alternative forms of transport, the first helicopter – the Sikorsky UH-34 Seahorse – was commissioned. These helicopter weren’t luxury in any sense of the word (lacking even toilets), but they did get the job done. The helicopter maintenance also proved to be cheaper than the costs associated with using Air Force One.

With over 800 Marines supervising the current operation of Marine One out of Quantico, Viriginia, the president is kept very secure whenever operating in his helicopter. It is still considered to be an excellent alternative to using a motorcade (which can be logistically difficult and/or expensive) and is still considered to be one of the safest modes of travel because of how much control a helicopter has over the environment. The age of the helicopter model also provides for easy access to helicopter spares, being one of the reasons it has stayed in commission for so long.

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Your helicopter doesn’t work from 9 to 5…Neither do we. When you are in need of helicopter spare parts, we strive to fulfill your orders with access to our large, on-shelf inventory. In situations that are more urgent, such as Aircraft On Ground (AOG), we are always a phone call or email away in getting you your needed replacements or repairs.

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