Air Force One is the most recognizable symbol of the presidency in the sky. While we think of it as referring to the planes themselves, Air Force One is actually a radio call sign for any plane that the US President travels on.
The first president to fly aboard the AFO was Franklin D. Roosevelt. But the plane was very different from the aircraft nowadays. Military planes were transformed to include all the latest technology and defense systems to carry and protect the POTUS.
Starting with the Entrance
The plane has two entrances. The President, his family, and distinguished guests use the front entry near the plane’s nose. You’ve probably seen photographs of the President waving as he enters and exits the plane from this spot. Journalists and other personnel should use the second entrance.
Both exits of the plane have retractable stairways. Crew workers and staff climb internal staircases to reach the upper decks accessible from the lower deck. It’s an incredible sight, and it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever seen.
His Health Is an Utmost Priority
The plane has more features than you could ever imagine, and it, of course, caters to all of the President’s requirements. The President’s health is one of those critical requirements. A fully stocked medical suite is available onboard, along with a team of professional and qualified doctors, nurses, and surgeons.
It has a large pharmacy, as well as emergency room equipment and a fold-out surgical table. While the President’s health is of paramount significance on the plane, all passengers are entitled to medical attention. The plane is always ready for any situation.
4,000 Square Feet
Air Force One has three decks totaling 4,000 square feet. Have you ever wondered why the plane is so long? Like the White House, the plane has conference rooms, a medical suite with an operating room, a kitchen, a master bedroom, and perhaps more features that we don’t know about.
In addition, the President has his suite, which includes a huge office, bathroom, and conference room. There are also dedicated quarters for individuals accompanying the President, such as key advisors, Secret Service officials, and the media.
The Big Brother, Doomsday!
If Air Force One needs a backup, its larger brother steps in. E-4B, often known as “Doomsday Plane,” is his name. Designed to protect against a nuclear assault during the Cold War, the E-4B is an airborne nuclear bunker and command center. In the event of an emergency, Doomsday is constantly ready, following Air Force One. According to reports, there are four Doomsday Planes in existence.
Air Force One and “Doomsday” can both stay in the air for days and survive even a nuclear blast. The majority of the Doomsday planes’ capabilities are classified as those of Air Force One planes.
Close to the Speed of Sound
At any time, the President must be prepared to travel anywhere on the globe. As a result, Air Force One can travel at speeds approaching those of sound. The Air Force One’s normal cruising speed is 580 miles per hour. It can also fly quite high, reaching a maximum altitude of 45,100 feet, much higher than commercial aircraft.
The plane must be able to travel quickly so that when allies request a meeting, the President can reach practically any country in a matter of hours. And, of course, outrun hostile planes at breakneck speed.
Mid-Air Refuel is Almost Unbelievable
If you remember the dramatic refueling scene in “Air Force One,” you’ll know what I’m talking about. AFO, like many military aircraft, can refuel while in the air. This is normally only used in an emergency.
At 35,000 feet, the plane can extend a pole from its tail and hand it to a trailing aircraft. The plane can stay in the air for as long as necessary because of this capability, keeping the President safe from the tragedy on the ground.
Built to Survive
In the event of a nuclear attack, your chances of survival are practically none. So, if that happens, you’d better locate the AFO and seek refuge. You have a strong probability of surviving an attack in the AFO. In the event of a nuclear attack, Air Force One functions as a bunker.
The plane’s body is armor-plated, and the windows have armor-plated glass. The plane can flee a ground attack’s blast while also acting as a shelter. Furthermore, radioactive particles cannot penetrate the plane’s body.
Four-Course Meals on Air
Would you ever consider a layout that included two full kitchens? You’ll never go hungry on board, and the food is far superior to what the rest of us eat when we fly. In case of a lengthy trip, fresh ingredients are always on hand and prepared by multiple chefs in two fully equipped kitchens.
The majority of the meals are prepared in a Joint Base Andrews kitchen, then vacuum-sealed and frozen. The meals are then reheated on the plane by the crew. At 45,000 feet in the air, two kitchens allow the crew to make four-course meals for 100 guests in such a small space.
Phones on Air Force One
It is not necessary to turn off your phone during takeoff on Air Force One, as is the case on commercial aircraft. The President cannot step out of his function for 15 minutes before takeoff or for the duration of the journey.
After the plane lost its Internet connectivity in July 2012, President Obama held a conference call to learn about the DOMA judgment. There are also two-way radios, fax machines, 19 televisions, and various office equipment in addition to telephones. Despite being tens of thousands of feet in the air, the President and his team can communicate with everyone on the globe.
Smuggling The Rocky Mountain Beer
Only after 1985 did Coors Beer become commercially available in the United States. It was formerly exclusively found in a few western states. President Gerald R. Ford was a huge fan of Rocky Mountain beer. So, when he went to the states where the beer was sold, he smuggled them back to DC on board.
He once flew Air Force One only to stock up on beer. We assure that his trip contained some business, but the beer was the main reason for his visit.
Transformed Into a Spy Plane
During the Cold War, national security was at an all-time high. The CIA director at the time, Allen Dulles, converted AFO into an espionage plane. From 29,000 feet in the air, powerful cameras were installed in the plane’s wheel wells to read license plates.
Of course, with satellite monitoring at such a high level, all countries of interest are constantly monitored – and with Air Force One being such a well-traveled aircraft, it would be unlikely for the US government to miss an opportunity to obtain intelligence.
Flying Command Center
AFO transforms into the “flying White House” during a crisis, such as a terrorist attack like 9/11. The President and his staff can lead the country when the White House’s security is threatened thanks to its mobile command center, which is equipped with superior secure communications equipment and a variety of other top-of-the-line technologies.
As a result, if the United States is attacked, the President has all he needs to retaliate. AFO is the safest location for him to be until they get the all-clear.
Takeoff and Landing
During a takeoff or landing, air traffic controllers give AFO top priority. When the AFO departs or returns to the ground, it is standard procedure for traffic control to halt all commercial traffic at public airports.
For obvious reasons, the Presidential plane normally lands at military airports, both for security concerns and to avoid commotion at civilian airports. When the plane does make a landing, the airport is notified far in advance, and the entire airspace is cleared to ensure a safe landing.
Airforce Jelly Bean
President Ronald Reagan was such a fan of jelly beans that he always had a supply in the Oval Office and on Air Force One. Reagan’s fondness for jelly beans originated when he was a little boy and was offered some while touring the White House. Jelly beans, he believed, were a symbol of America.
The crew aboard Air Force One, on the other hand, went above and beyond in giving the President his favorite candy. They also know how each individual prefers their coffee. President George W. Bush sipped his coffee black and sweetened with Equal.
Not Your Regular Plane Tickets Fee
Although the kitchen can feed 100 people, this does not guarantee that there will always be 100 people on board. 96 is the ideal amount for the most comfortable journey. And don’t believe for a second that all passengers get free food.
Air Force One has a high operating cost. We’d imagine that with an $80,000 airline ticket charge per journalist, they’re getting at least some water and pretzels for free every trip. Most journalists take the charter plane that follows Air Force One to the location because of the excessive expense.
Well-Assigned Seating Chart
Because every White House administration has its seating arrangement, you can feel like you’re back in elementary school. Passengers may stroll freely toward the back of the plane while in flight, but they are not permitted to walk forward past their seats.
The “admins assign the seating.” Nonetheless, more than half of the seats on the plane are reserved for members of the press and Secret Service officers. So you get what we mean when we say it’s like going back to elementary school?
The Present-Day Boeing 747s
The construction of this structure cost around $380 million. If you think that’s a lot, consider the cost of the Air Force One, which is $660 million! The Air Force paid the bill in installments of $140 million each due to its various features (including those kept secret from the public).
And if you think that’s a lot, wait till you hear how much President Trump’s recent deal with Boeing Co. for the new Air Force One program was worth. $3.9 billion! “That’s a lot,” you can now say.
Department of Homeland Security
Public safety is the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security. Anti-terrorism, immigration, customs, border security, and cybersecurity are all handled by this department. While on his way to Berlin in 2002, President Bush established the department.
The following was the official announcement of its establishment: “The Office’s objective will be to create and implement a comprehensive national plan to protect the United States against terrorist threats and attacks. The office will coordinate the actions of the executive branch to identify, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist acts in the United States.”
Blasting Inside and Out
The radio is in the hands of the plane’s captain. But don’t worry, the President will choose the music for the trip. They, too, must find methods to entertain themselves while they aren’t busy administering the country from Air Force One. Seems like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?
Clinton enjoyed blasting jazz music at great volumes, which not everyone could appreciate. He also loves to travel with his saxophone. Due to his poor hearing, he turned up the volume of the music.
And the Cost to Operate Per Hour Is…
When the expense of running AFO for an hour is compared to the national debt, it doesn’t seem like much. However, it is excessive compared to the $20,000 to $25,000 per hour it costs to run a commercial 747. You may rent the plane out for $200,000 per hour.
Hundreds of personnel, dozens of vehicles, and a fleet of aircraft are involved in presidential travel. Given the steep price tag, we’re sure you can see why there was so much uproar over Trump’s numerous golf outings.
240 Miles of Cables
Even though the plane is packed with cutting-edge technology, it is still not wireless. To power up the screens, phones, and other devices, you must plug them in. Can you imagine how that might appear? Inside the plane, there are 240 miles of cables.
I can’t imagine becoming entangled in such a mess! That would be a hassle for the electrician who completed the task. It’s an Air Force One plane, so it’s well worth the money.
No Broccoli Allowed!
You should have figured out by now that only the most powerful political figures are allowed to board the jet. Anything that the President does not agree with is, of course, totally prohibited. You wouldn’t want to irritate him over something so minor.
As a result, since the 41st President despised broccoli, it was clear that it would be avoided on the plane. Broccoli was never utilized in any kitchens under his administration, both in the air and on the ground.
The Perfect Movie
For whatever reason, Air Force One passengers are huge fans of the film Fargo. Everyone on board watched the Coen Brothers’ film during Clinton’s 1996 campaign for a second term. Helen Thomas, a well-known journalist, dubbed it “the record-holder of the Longest Playing Film Abroad Air Force One.”
Clinton stated that it had been played at least 25 times and that his staff had been repeating lines from the dark comedy. It didn’t matter if the movie was worth the hype or not; it got its name on the lips of influential individuals.
Waiting for a Haircut
Air traffic controllers, passengers, and the LAX airport all shared one thing in 1993: their displeasure with President Clinton for causing several flight delays. The President sat on the runway getting his hair trimmed, forcing controllers to make a split-second decision.
Air traffic controllers hurried to ensure that no other planes came in or out during his haircut, causing a massive snarl-up. However, the President of the United States must look nice and arrive in elegance. We just believe he could have done so once the plane was securely in the air.
AFO is Actually a Name
While many people believe that AFO refers to a single plane, it is a name. AFO refers to the plane on which the President is traveling. The President, on the other hand, does not always go by plane. When the President flies aboard an Army plane, it is known as Army One.
And it’s called Marine One if he’s on a helicopter. Marine One is the radio call sign for the President’s helicopter, a Marine Corps chopper. The Marine One helicopters are equipped with ballistic armor and anti-missile defenses. Their pilots are known as the Nighthawks, and they are from Marine Helicopter Squadron One.
Its Unique Seal of Approval
If the White House had a logo, Air Force One would be it. It was built and intended to have a personal and noticeable presence no matter where it flies or sits. The jet is clearly labeled with the words “United States of America,” an image of the American flag, and the Seal of the President of the United States, making it difficult to confuse it with another.
Because it is a symbol of America and the President who is traveling in it, the plane must maintain its appearance at all times. The plane’s status is also a symbol of the United military and economic power and strength, and it is mostly unequaled.
The White House, Secret Service, and Boeing
The White House, the Secret Service, and Boeing are all involved in the development of Air Force One. It must meet Boeing’s quality standards, the Secret Service’s safety requirements, and the White House’s operating efficiency requirements. As can be seen, all three parties are crucial to the remarkable Airforce One.
The purchase of a plane can only be made during the current President’s second term. Therefore the President cannot utilize the plane they choose.
Half-Way Across the World
This one hits it out of the park for us. We are aware that planes can transport us across oceans. The AFO, on the other hand, can fly halfway across the world. That’s a distance of almost 12,000 miles. The plane can carry roughly 52,000 gallons of gasoline to accomplish such a feat. That’s enough to get it halfway around the world with a full tank.
Air Force One is a magnificent aircraft, but it isn’t the only one of its sort. A list of the world’s most stunning presidential planes, their amazing features, and how much they cost can be found below.
Mexico’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner – $600 million
This gorgeous Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which costs $600 million and outperforms the famed Air Force One in cost and performance, is the world’s most expensive plane. It was Mexico’s ex-president Enrique Pea Nieto’s official presidential aircraft until Lopez Obrador succeeded him.
This incredible machine can travel 10,000 miles without refueling and accommodate up to 250 passengers. Oh, and if you’re ever in the mood for a fast excursion from Los Angeles to Tokyo, this baby will get you there in no time! If the purchase price wasn’t high enough, the aircraft also requires $100,000 in annual maintenance!
The Konrad Adenauer Aircraft
Even though Prime Minister Angela Merkel has several other planes at her disposal, this is the most well-known and the most expensive at $300 million. The aircraft’s official name is Konrad Adenauer, after Germany’s first chancellor. Merkel’s planes are all equipped with the most powerful anti-missile defense systems.
The jet can carry up to 150 guests and, like the other planes she has at her disposal, comes with luxurious beds, baths, offices, and a large conference area. Another noteworthy feature is that this aircraft has additional fuel tanks, allowing it to travel nonstop for up to 13,000 kilometers.
Britain’s Airbus A330 – $250 million
The plane has a comfortable 58-seat capacity for government leaders and close employees and an additional 100-seat capacity for media in the tail. This clever little vehicle can even recharge while in the air! The presidential jet with the largest passenger capacity on our list comes from the United Kingdom, and it is also one of the smallest.
According to reports, the purchase and repairs were conducted with the country’s economic predicament in mind, with smaller engines and less fuel claiming to save a lot of money. Overall, the jet is pretty modest, even in its interior decor, yet it nevertheless tops our list at $250 million.
Amazing Interior Decorated Aircraft
Saudi Arabia’s ruler, King Abdullah, renovated this Boeing 747 into a flying palace, complete with its fountain on board! The jet originally cost $228 million, but the King chose to increase the price to $520 million by changing the interior.
The airplane is equipped with five bedrooms, twenty smaller rooms, and a marble-walled steam room. But wait, that’s only the start. It also includes a private elevator, a magnificent grand piano, and a performance hall for his beloved (and oh so humble) Rolls Royce. Isn’t that incredible?
Zimbabwe’s $400 Million Airplane
Given that Zimbabwe is one of the world’s poorest countries, its President flying about in a $400 million plane is quite amusing. This didn’t stop President Mugabe from using it to pay off the country’s existing $40 million debt rather than utilizing taxpayers’ money.
The plane is not only painted in the colors of Zimbabwe’s flag on the outside, but it is also royally decked on the inside. When you’re working from an airplane that looks like this, it’s obvious that thinking about your country’s problems isn’t a priority.
Italy’s Airbus A319CJ – $90 million
An Airbus A319 Corporate Jet serves as Italy’s presidential plane (CJ). It is a traditional aircraft that President Sergio Mattarella uses. While it isn’t particularly extravagant compared to other presidential planes, it is nevertheless an excellent piece of equipment with a stylish and classic European interior.
This $90 million plane can carry 30 passengers, but the Italian Air Force utilizes two more Corporate Jets! After all, the Italians aren’t exactly humble. Two additional equally stunning Airbus A319s, each with 50 passengers, flank the A319 on either side. These are often only available to government employees.
The Santos-Dumont Airplane
The Brazilian presidential Airbus has a Latin American flair with its national colors of green and yellow. This airplane, valued at $81 million, is a wonderful piece of machinery, and we’re sure Brazil’s new President, Jair Bolsonaro, would enjoy flying about in it. The Santos-Dumont is the name of a Brazilian inventor and aviation pioneer.
The Brazilian Airbus is divided into three components. One is solely for presidential use. There’s a large office, a beautiful master suite, and a security room. The third section is for honor visitors, while the fourth is for media guests. It is styled in a simple but stylish manner.
Russia’s Ilyushin IL-96-300 – $50 million
Unsurprisingly, a world powerhouse like Russia would have a presidential plane of equivalent power. It was estimated to cost roughly $50 million. But that’s just for the plane; renovating the interiors was a different matter entirely. This exquisite aircraft’s interior is decorated in a neoclassical style with gold and white colors.
Putin’s lavish master suite features a king-sized bed, a big bathroom with a gold-plaited toilet, a private wine collection worth millions of dollars, a gym, and a war room with a gold-trimmed conference table and cream-colored leather seating.
France’s Airbus A330-200 – $240 million
When it comes to flying, France’s current President, Emmanuel Macron, appears to have everything. The Airbus A330-200, developed for comfort and incomparable to other aircraft in terms of practicality and necessary amenities, is a modern and reliable airplane from France.
The plane features exquisite interior décor throughout, in addition to being quite useful. It has a private presidential suite with a shower and a large conference room with 60 seats and other amenities. The biggest feature of this plane is its long-range internet, which the President may use up to 10,000 meters above sea level.
Jordan’s Airbus A340-600 – $275 million
Jordan’s presidential plane is a work of art. With four Rolls-Royce engines, it features one of the most sophisticated aviation technology, allowing it to use substantially less fuel than other planes, making it a more “economical” and ecologically responsible option.
The Airbus A320 is the smallest plane in the company’s fleet. While the aircraft is smaller, it is equipped with cutting-edge technology and is as luxurious as possible, featuring a bedroom, bathroom, office, and traditional dining area. Although the cabin can accommodate 19 passengers, the King prefers that no more than eight individuals be in the cabin at any given time. We understand that you don’t want your $50 million planes to feel crowded.
Bangladesh’s Boeing 777-300ER – $260 million
You don’t instantly think of luxury when you think about Bangladesh. Beautiful scenery comes to mind, as well as a country that is still, tragically, impoverished. However, President Abdul Hamid went ahead and bought a $260 million piece of equipment for his official visits.
The good news is that the plane is an environmentally friendly alternative, emitting 22% less carbon dioxide than other airplanes of its class. It boasts twin General Electric engines, making it one of the most powerful planes in the world.
Yemen’s Boeing 747SP – $300 million
Yemen’s President, Abdrabbuh Hadi, traveled on a $300 million Boeing 747SP until it was destroyed in a fire during an attack on the country’s main airport during the civil war.
Following this, the modest President decided in 2015 that he wanted to buy a $75 million plane for the second time. Apart from the fact that it is fully equipped for a VIP configuration, little is known about the plane’s interior.
Qatar’s 14 Aircraft – Over $100 Million Each
We didn’t expect Qatar’s Emir, Tamim Al Thani, to have anything less than a palace when it came to his presidential aircraft, given that he is one of the world’s wealthiest men. What we didn’t expect, though, was for him to have 14 of them! They’re all part of Qatar Amiri Flight, the Emir’s personal airline. Why wouldn’t you just buy your plane ticket at that point? Even if each of these little planes costs only $100 million?
On official government excursions, the Emir of Qatar travels with a large entourage, which can number up to 1,000 individuals. He also likes to display his extensive aircraft collection, as evidenced by the fact that he once traveled to Japan to see the Prime Minister and arrived with ten jets!