The name ‘Air Force One’ is used for any plane that carries the US president, but the term is often used to refer to those Blue and white Boeing 747 decked out with the American flag and the words ‘United States of America’ On the side. Specifically, they are two highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft, which have codes 28000 and 29000. The Air Force designation for the aircraft is VC-25A.
Unlike a normal 747, the plane has its own retractable stairs for the rear entrance and the front passenger entrance. These stairs open to the lower deck and crew members and staff climb the internal stairs to reach the upper decks.
The aircraft also has its own baggage loader, so you do not have to depend on the facilities of an airport (something that could be a security risk for the president).
With the ability to mid-flight refueling, the ‘Air Force One’ has unlimited range. It can stay airborne indefinitely, which could be crucial in an emergency situation. It is definitely a military aircraft. Designed to withstand an air attack among many other things, the aircraft is equipped with electronic countermeasures (ECM) to deceive or bypass enemy radars. The aircraft can also launch flares to deflect heat-seeking missiles.
Three floors and two kitchens
The electronic equipment of the aircraft is shielded enough to protect the aircraft even against electromagnetic impulses associated with a nuclear explosion. Onboard electronics include approximately 238 miles of wiring (twice the amount on a typical 747).
Inside, 372 square meters of space on three levels, including a spacious suite for the president with a large office, a bathroom and a conference room. The presidential plane ‘Air Force One’ includes a medical room that can function as an operating room and there is a doctor on board permanently. The plane has two kitchens and can feed up to 100 people at the same time.
An hour of flight has a cost of 206,337 dollars, about 195,000 euros. If we add the transport of the helicopters —among them, the famous ‘Marine One’—, the bills come out at 2,614 dollars per minute (2,400 euros at the exchange rate).
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism