Top 10 facts about Air Force One

It’s one of the most famous planes in the world but here’s a few facts about it that you might not know.

1. It’s name

The term “Air Force One” is actually not the name of the plane but the ATC callsign for any US Air Force aircraft that is carrying the President of the United States at the time. These days this is almost always the iconic 747 that everyone knows. 

2. There’s more than one

There’s two of them. In 1990, the US Government introduced the two highly customised 747-200B aircraft into the fleet as it’s always handy to have a spare. 

3. It’s roomy

Inside, the President and his travel companions enjoy 4,000 square feet of floor space over three levels, including an extensive suite for the President that features a large office, bathroom, and conference room.  

4. It can stay in the air for quite some time

Air Force One has the ability to refuel in-flight and can therefore stay in the air indefinitely. It has a purpose built refuel nozzle in the nose of the plane which can deploy to allow the aircraft to connect behind a refuelling tanker. 

5. At a price

Air Force One costs over $200,000 for every hour it’s in the air.

6. It’s hard to shoot down

The aircraft has built-in defensive systems such as ECM {Electronic Counter Measures) to confuse enemy radar and flares which deter heat-seeking missiles.

7. It has more than just a first aid kit

Air Force One includes a medical suite that can function as an operating room, and a doctor is always on board.

8. There are a couple of untruths

Contrary to what you might be lead to believe by the movie Air Force One, there’s no escape pod or parachutes on board.

9. It’s kitted up to the hilt

Air Force One contains twice the amount of wiring found on a regular 747. It is all heavily shielded to protect it from an electromagnetic pulse which can be caused by a nuclear explosion.

10. There’s an upgrade in the works

The current 747’s used to transport the President are 25 years old but are soon to be replaced by Boeing’s new 747-8 aircraft.

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