The iconic Air Force One plane that the president of the United States flies in is instantly recognizable to many people around the world. Despite its name, Air Force One isn’t one aircraft, but two highly customized Boeing 747 with specific features. Let’s explore more about this private jet that the U.S. President flies in.
Air Force One
The term “Air Force One” traditionally notes the particular aircraft the President happens to be flying in. The current aircrafts are two Boeing 747-200, which were originally normal Boeing 747s that have been customized to suit the President’s way of travel. They were delivered in 1990 to President George H. W. Bush and continue to operate to this day.
The exterior of Air Force One remains similar to a normal Boeing 747. They are very large aircrafts with three decks capable of long trips of 6,735 miles which is enough to go from Washington D.C. to Tokyo on a single flight whose top speed is around 0.84 mach, or about 700 miles an hour.
The current Air Force One spots a white and light blue color scheme with a line of gold. “United States of America” is painted down the body with the American flag on the tail.
Packed with Features
The amount of customization on the normal Boeing 747 sets Air Force One apart. Often called “the Flying Oval Office”, Air Force One focuses on being a center of command for the President while away from the White House.
Within its 4,000 square feet and three decks, Air Force One sports a complete office for the President with special quarters and lavatory. There is a combination conference room and dining hall, an office for senior officers, and an area for work and rest for other staff and people of the press.
Many features set Air Force One apart from normal Boeing 747. They are equipped for mid-air refueling, have a permanently staffed doctor and a medical suite that can transform for surgical operations, and have two food galleries that can feed up to 100 people at the same time. They are equipped with the most advanced navigation and communication equipment as if an emergency arises, the President can command from his plane in the most secure way possible.
The Past Air Force One
Air Force One is maintained by the Airlift Group which was founded in 1944. For 15 years, several propeller aircraft were used, all designated “Air Force One” when the President was on board. But in 1959, President Eisenhower flew a Boeing 707 to Europe. Starting with President Kennedy, Air Force One were specially customized Boeing 707 until the current run of Boeing 747.
The Future of Air Force One
Boeing is currently planning to replace the two Air Force One Boeing 747-200B with their newest long-range passenger aircraft, the Boeing 747-8. This aircraft is overall larger, more fuel-efficient, and has a longer range and a higher maximum takeoff weight.
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