President Eisenhower needed a quick and effective way to travel from Washington to his summer home in Rhode Island. Air Force One was too large for the trip and a motorcade would take too long, causing major traffic jams.
Helicopters were relatively new in aviation and the military began conducting tests to see if one would meet the needs of the president.
Check out the video of the landing tests they performed on the White House South Lawn in 1957.
- Ike and the First Presidential Helicopters (blog.nasm.si.edu)