(TAMPA, Fla.) — Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are getting two brand-new sets of wings on Friday.
The day after Romney officially accepts the presidential nomination of his party at the Republican National Convention, he will hold a morning campaign event with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Fla. — a community about 30 minutes east of Tampa.
That’s where, for the first time, he will hop on the campaign plane he will use between now and the November election. The customized jet, a McDonnell-Douglas 83, is emblazoned with the Romney-Ryan logo. Ryan will also get his own plane — a DC-93.
The planes are operated by USA Jet Airlines, a Belleville, Mich.-based private charter company that has provided its jets to other political candidates, sports teams, celebrities and bands like U2.
Both of the new campaign jets flew from Willow Run airport in Ypsilanti, Mich., in the dark of night Wednesday and are now in an airplane hanger at the Lakeland airport in Florida.
A source at the airport said Secret Service agents are “all over the place” preparing for Friday’s plane unveiling and speeches.
During the primary and general election, Romney has been using a variety of private jet charter companies to wing his way around the country, but now he will be able to travel in his own customized plane. Last December, Romney’s wife, Ann, jokingly dubbed a charter plane taking her and her husband from campaign events in Iowa to South Carolina, “Hair Force One” — a nod to his well-groomed coiffure.
Friday’s event is being billed as a “Farewell Victory Rally” with Romney and Ryan and is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.
Romney and Ryan will take their inaugural flights in their jets to Richmond, Va., on Friday, where they plan to hold a joint rally in the afternoon.
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