[Ed. – In an act of fairness, the WH will give one to every middle class family in the country.]
The U.S. government has been trying for decades—and burning through billions—to replace Marine One, the president’s helicopters. Will it finally get it right this time?
The Pentagon has awarded a contract to begin development of the most expensive helicopters ever made.Each helicopter will probably cost at least $400 million. The entire project, to build at least 23 helicopters, has been estimated to eventually cost between $10 billion to $17 billion. By comparison, the project could pay the combined defense budgets of Finland, Norway, and Sweden for one year ($16.9 billion).
The passengers for this enormously expensive helicopter fleet? The President of the United States and his entourage.
The first president to fly regularly in helicopters was Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower faced a two-hour commute to and from his summer home in Rhode Island, a commute that could be shaved down considerably if taken by helicopter. In these early days of the Cold War the president needed to be moved around quickly—the president could not be stuck on a ferry for an hour in case the Soviet Union launched a nuclear attack.
The South Lawn of the White House was designated as the official presidential helicopter landing pad, and official flights to Andrews Air Force Base began.
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