The VC-140B was a VIP transport jet of the Unites States Air Force. The C-140 was the military version of the Lockheed Jetstar, and sixteen were built for use as transport and navigational equipment testing. Six of these aircraft added the “V” designation and were built for VIP transport with the 89th Airlift Wing. Presidents from Kennedy to Reagan and other senior officials regularly flew on these aircraft. President Lyndon Johnson once called the VC-140B “Air Force One Half”. Later, they were used for transport of lower level government VIPs until they were phased out in the mid 1990s.
The Jetstar was the first dedicated business jet, first flown in 1957. As the only business jet with four engines, they can be easily recognized by the two engine pods mounted on each side of the rear fuselage and additional fuel tanks called slipper tanks on each wing. The extra fuel capacity of 4,000lbs in each of these extra tanks allowed the VC-140B to have nearly a cross country range despite being relatively heavy for a business jet. The cabins were outfitted with 8 or 10 seats (8 for the VC-140B). A total of 204 Jetstars were built when production ended in 1978. In 2016 the FAA mandated new Stage 3 Noise Compliance rules for aircraft weighing less than 75,000lbs such as the Jetstar and will require a cost prohibitive upgrade to the engines so it is unlikely that any will remain in use.
|Lockheed VC-140B Jetstar Specifications|
|First Flight||Sept. 4, 1957|
|Number Built||204, 1960-1978|
|In Service||1961 – 1990s|
|Max Gross Weight||41,535lbs|
|Powerplant||4 Pratt & Whitney JT12 Turbojet (3,300lbs thrust each)|
|Maximum Cruising Speed||457kts|