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Please begin with an informative title:

Lockheed JetStar C-140, quarter angle shot looking from left front
   If you travel Highway 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg in the Hill Country of Texas, midway among the wineries and sweeping vistas you'll find the entrance to a National Historical Park - the LBJ Ranch. If you drive in and tour the grounds, on display is the aircraft you see above, a Lockheed VC-140, AKA JetStar used by President Lyndon Baines Johnson to ferry himself and numerous visitors to his ranch on the Pedernales River.
National Park Sign at entrance to LBJ Ranch
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These days, most people think of the Presidential Plane as the Boeing 747s currently serving in that role. Back in Johnson's day as president, Boeing 707s flew that mission. And, there's Marine One, the helicopters used to ferry the President on shorter flights. And, there are other aircraft used by the President as needed.

Johnson had used his ranch on the Pedernales as a base for years, and had a 3,000 foot grass strip for flying in and out during his years in Texas politics and later Congressional service. When he ascended to the Presidency following the assassination of Kennedy however, his transportation needs changed. As big as the ranch was, putting in a strip capable of handling a 707's size and weight was not really an option. But, there are a variety of aircraft at the President's disposal, and the Air Force VC-140 (Or C-140 in other roles) was put to the task - along with a paved 6,300 foot strip.

According to the National Park Service website,

President Johnson flew home to his Texas ranch 74 times during his 5 years in office, living and working for 490 days—or about one-fourth of his presidency—at the Texas White House...
This placard from the National Park Service display shows the working set up that made this possible. The aircraft is parked in the picture just about where it's displayed today.
National Park display placard showing aerial view of LBJ Ranch with hangar and JetStar parked on the ramp, explaining how aviation made it possible for the ranch to used as a working Western White House.
The JetStar on display, tail number 12490, is in the paint scheme similar to that worn by the 707 Air Force One - but in reference to its size, Johnson jokingly referred to it as Air Force One Half. It could carry up to 10 passengers in comfort.
Presidential seal on the side of the Lockheed JetStar used by President Lyndon Baines Johnson
The JetStar was an early entry in what would come to be known as business jets. According to the wikipedia link, it was originally designed for an Air Force proposal that never panned out, but was continued by LockHeed for the business market - where it did quite well, according to the wikipedia article.

Note that it has 4 engines - that's partly a reflection of the reliability of the small jet engines of the day, and the amount of power they could put out. Two on each side of the tail is rather like the Vickers VC-10. McDonnell took a different approach with the Model 119 rival to the JetStar.

Rear view of Lockheed JetStar showing engines and cruciform tail, from dead astern
This rear angle view shows a couple features of note. The pods on the wings are another reflection of the times - those four thirsty turbojets  found the fuel capacity of the slipper tanks rather needful I would expect. Putting them in the middle of the wing span may have made construction and maintenance a little more complicated, but it ameliorated the problems with weight loading at the wing tips and balancing the fuel load that the Lear Jet's choice on early models entailed.

The cruciform tail had a feature that was notable as well. Putting the elevators halfway up the rudder got them out of the wash from the engines, but made adjusting them problematic. Lockheed solved the problem by putting the whole rudder-elevator assembly on a mount that moved the rudder up and down to change the angle of attack of the "all-flying" stabiliator. The joint can be seen as the unpainted silver arc along the base of the rudder in the picture of the tail.

View of JetStar tail from left side, showing cruciform elevator placement, and area where entire tail moved to adjust elevator trim. Tail number 12490
Performance of the JetStar was not too shabby for the day. Here's some numbers from the aircraft operating handbook, taken from National Park Service placards at the plane display.
JetStar dimensions taken from National Park placard detail from aircraft manual.
JetStar performance specs taken from National Park Service Placard showing extract from aircraft manual.
From the displays at the LBJ Ranch, it's quite clear that it was a working White House; the JetStar was used to bring in an impressive roster of guests and officials while Johnson was in residence, with communications links and other resources at the ranch to make it far more than just a vacation get-away or photo-op. Johnson was born, lived, and is buried within the grounds of the park; it's no wonder he appreciated that plane that made it practical for him to stay in touch with his roots, and why it is appropriate it is preserved there today.

Here's a couple more photos to close this out. Enjoy!

Front view of Lockheed JetStar C-140, looking straight on at nose.
Wide angle left side view of Lockheed JetStar C-140
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Originally posted to Kossack Air Force on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 06:24 PM PST.

Also republished by Shutterbugs.

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