Air Force One is one of the obvious symbols of the presidency, spawning countless references in American culture and worldwide. Mark with the words “United States of America,” the American flag, and the Seal of the President of the USA, it is an undeniable presence wherever it flies. These days, this name refers to one of two customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft, which carry the tail codes 28000 and 29000. The Air Force designation for the aircraft is VC-25A.
Theodore was the first president to use a plane for traveling. On the other hand, Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to have a military aircraft designated for his use when the Army Air Corps became concerned about the president’s security on commercial flights. The name Air Force One was first used in 1953 with President Eisenhower when the aircraft transporting the president had the same call sign as an Eastern Airlines commercial flight while both used the same airspace.
A Closer Look at the Presidential Plane
The modified Boeing 747s used as Air Force One are as large as flying mansions. They are probably bigger than most of our houses. With 4,000 square feet of floor space, there’s lots of room for a walk around the decks. Check out these amazing things you can find on board.
In front of the plane, up top in the ‘hump,’ You will see the cockpit. It’s a standard 747 cockpit, yet there are some more bells and whistles than your typical commercial plane. In front of the cockpit, is a midair refueling prow lounge, which means Air Force One can be topped up with gas to keep it flying for as long as it needs.
The crew lounge
At the back of the cockpit is the crew lounge, where pilots, as well as the crew members, can rest. The flight crew mainly uses this area, and there is another lounge downstairs for other support crew on the plane. All in all, 26 crew members can work on any one flight.
State-of-the-art communications center
To finish off the upper deck, behind the crew lounge, is a state-of-the-art communications center. The room houses 240 miles of wiring to support the jet’s 85 telephones and 20 Televisions onboard. Moreover, the comms room has all the latest radar, tracking, and defense systems. The aircraft is fully protected from electromagnetic interference from a nuclear explosion.
Below, at the very nose of the plane, you’ll find the president’s private quarters. This suite includes a sofa, bed, dressing room, and a bathroom with a shower. There is also a mini gym so that they can stay fit. Behind the suite is the president’s office. It is the Oval Office with a large desk and room for the president to chat privately with their special guests and political advisor.
At the back of the office is a full medical suite. Here, you’ll find all the equipment necessary to perform emergency first aid on board, such as a defibrillator, blood supplies, and more. It can also function as an operating room! Whenever the president flies, a qualified doctor is on board, just in case.
Next is the galley, which is located along the corridor. Much bigger than those on a regular commercial plane, this galley accommodates a bartender, a chef, and a sous chef; between the three, they can whip up gourmet meals for about 100 people and store enough food to prepare a total of 2,000 meals.
Room for senior staffers
Past the galley is a smaller room for senior staff. Fairly compact, this room has comfortable business class-style seats arranged in a circle and is where the president will have their private discussions with important team members.
Next up is the conference room. Eight executive leather chairs are circled on the large central table, with extra sofa seating against the walls. The room is dominated by a large television screen, which can be used to keep up with the news or to hold video conferences with people on the ground.
Office staff room
Behind the conference room is a place for the office staff of the president. The room, has WiFi, fax machines, phones, and TVs, letting the president do all their business wherever they are.
As it gets more compact down the plane, the rooms start to resemble something we would expect on a commercial flight. Behind the office, the staff room is a guest section of the plane. This looks more like a commercial aircraft cabin, albeit a premium business category cabin.
Next is a security area for the president’s detail to rest, as well as bathrooms for the guests and press onboard. Now, you might ask, how do they keep the plane safe? Air Force One is equipped with advanced secure communications equipment, making it possible for the jet to function as a mobile command center in the event of an attack on the United States.
The plane can remain aloft for days and is prepared to withstand the electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear blast. It conducts routine training and readiness missions. At least one is kept on 24/7 readiness.
The US president has to fly on Air Force One because of its capabilities for defense and security. This aircraft is also bigger, faster, and can fly for longer without refueling. Although you might never know how it feels to ride on a presidential plane, you can still experience the luxury of flying private. Book a flight with us here at Jetonset, and we’ll take care of your needs from the moment you get on until you reach your destination.