The scientific tourist #197 — Ike’s ride

Another interesting bit of history from the South Dakota Air and Space Museum — a B-25J “Mitchell III” bomber, converted into a transport for General Dwight Eisenhower during WWII.

Ike's ride

From the placard:

The B-25 design was started prior to WWII to meet a requirement for a twin-engine medium attack bomber. The -J was the last B-25 production model manufactured. Almost 4,500 B-25J’s were built, far more than any other model.

The B-25J on display was converted as a personal transport for General Dwight Eisenhower. The top of the bomb bay was lowered and the remaining bomb bay space was fitted with a fuel tank for additional range. Two seats were installed immediately aft of the bomb bay, and behind these seats a fold-down table was fitted which extended the full width of the airplane. The rear entrance hatch was revised for easier access to the cabin. The interior walls were insulated from sound and were paneled like those of a commercial aircraft.

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