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DC-9 with presidential history up for auction

May 15, 2013 at 2:35 PM

MESA, Ariz., May 15 (UPI) -- An auction of a DC-9 airplane used by six U.S. presidents began Wednesday in Mesa, Ariz., with an opening minimum bid of $50,000, officials said.

The plane was one of three identical aircraft used by presidents from Gerald Ford to George W. Bush, from 1975 to 2005, and is considerably smaller than the current Air Force One, the Boeing 747 used by President Barack Obama, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

The auction by the General Services Administration will end May 30, and the winning bidder will get a 38-year-old aircraft with a 10-seat VIP section, a main cabin with 32 first-class seats and plenty of history.

"Some of the old histories do mention that the presidents flew on DC-9s," said Bob Spiers, historian of the U.S. Air Force's 89th Airlift Wing, caretakers of the plane. "They were used mostly for vice presidential parties and first ladies."

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