Air Force One is the specific planes that are equipped with amazing features to transport the president of the United States. If you’re curious about this historic and famous plane of the Commander-In-Chief, we made a list for you to get to know the surprising facts of the Air Force One. Check our list below and learn the facts that can blow your mind!
Air Force One – a Spacious Flying House
Air Force One has three levels of 4,000 square feet, making it a triple-decker in the sky. The president can happily stretch his/her legs once in a while in this spacious flying house. This plane features a large suite for the president, with a latrine, conference room and a capacious office.
There’s also an area for the press, and the plane includes a situation room. Also, the plane has private quarters for the guests and if there’s someone not feeling well while boarding the plane, no need to worry because the plane features a hospital too! (Move forward to find out!)
A Miniature Medical Facility on Board
Getting dizzy, or having motion sickness while traveling is familiar to some people especially when traveling a plane. While normal passenger planes can help sick people with an emergency kit, the Air Force One has a mini hospital facility that can also function as an operating room with a doctor available at 24/7.
The president, members of the press or any guests in the plane can stay still and feel comfortable throughout the air travel due to the well-equipped medical suite of Air Force One. While the plane looks highly constructed with its facilities, the interiors and overall design make it appear stylish and elegant due to Jackie Kennedy’s creative input. Find out more on the next slide.
Redesigning the Aircraft
Jackie Kennedy redesigned the Air Force One. She was the one responsible for the crystal, silverware, and chinaware of the airplane. With the help of a French designer named Raymond Loewy, Jackie Kennedy used her creativity in designing the aircraft from inside out.
Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy joins the President in greeting Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie at Union Station. Photo Source: Gettyimages.
She also added the United States of America on the sides of the plane along with the flag on the tail. While comfortable and pleasing interior design of the Air Force One is essential, the safety of the President is a priority. Learn more on the plane’s landing safety measures in the next picture.
Landing Safely with Air Force One
The airport that caters the Air Force One acts immediately before the president’s arrival. They make sure that the airspace is cleared an hour before the landing. The name of the plane also works as a radio call name to avoid confusion with planes nearby.
Marine One helicopter, carrying US President Barack Obama, prepares to land next to the Presidential limousine, known as ‘The Beast,’ at the Wall Street landing zone in New York City, March 11, 2014. (Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Once the Air Force One lands, the president won’t need any outside services because his specially-crafted limo known as the “Beast” goes ahead of him on a military cargo plane.
Meet the “Beast”
Wherever the president goes, his special limo comes with him to ensure safe transport. The Air Force One does not necessarily bring the “Beast” with the president, it is actually loaded in a cargo plane and flies ahead of the Air Force One to make sure that when the president arrives in the airport, the limo is there waiting for him/her as he/she travels by land.
Another great feature of the Air Force One is the top of the line fridges. Check them out into the next slide.
Deluxe Fridges and Chillers
The Air Force One has four different spaces for cold food, 26 climate-controlled compartments, and five chillers but they need to replace two chiller units. Back in December 2017, the Department of Defense listed a 24 million contract for two refrigerator units for Air Force One but it was later on canceled. Despite the cancellation of new refrigerators, the fact that the aircraft has top of the line refrigerators are just amazing.
The contract was canceled for the two new refrigerators due to the impending new units of the Air Force One. To learn more, click on the next slide.
New Air Force One
Last July, it was confirmed that Boeing received a $3.9 Billion for two new aircraft for use as Air Force One. The two new Boeing 747-8 planes will replace the current two 747-200s Air Force One aircraft, which served many presidents of the United States since 1987. According to the CNBC channel, the Pentagon and San Antonio will work on the two new aircraft and they will have it ready by the end of 2024.
(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
No new beginnings for the presidential plane without the rich past. Check out the brief history of Air Force One in the next slide.
The Beginning of the plane, Air Force One
The current Air Force one has been around for almost 30 years since Ronald Reagan purchased them and these planes began service under former President George Bush. However, the planes’ origin dated far more in the past.
(Original Caption) President Johnson shields his head from the wind as he boards Air Force One to fly to North Carolina to pay an unannounced surprise farewell to a Fort Bragg brigade of paratroopers who are being rushed to Vietnam this weekend.
Though no confirmed reports of any presidents boarding the first Air Force One, the Douglas Dolphin (previous name) was known as the first deluxe amphibious flying boat, where passengers have small sleeping compartments. After this, Franklin Roosevelt became the first president to have his own Air Force One, which was formerly known as the “Sacred Crow.” For fifteen years, propeller-driven aircraft served many presidents, but during JFK’s administration, he flew a Boeing 707 jet model Air Force One.
Apart from the origin of the aircraft, one of the most remarkable histories of the plane was when Nixon transferred the role of president to Gerald Ford.
The Most Significant Presidential History of the Plane
The two planes, 2800 and 2900 are the common term for the aircraft without the president aboard. However, when the US president boards the plane the call sign of the aircraft changes to “Air Force One.” During the time of Richard Nixon’s resignation, while he was traveling back home to El Toro, CA aboard the Air Force One, the plane call sign was changed to SAM Air Mission 2800. The reason behind this was the transfer of presidential leadership to Gerald Ford.
Five Presidents at the Reagan Library opening. (L-R) President George H. W. Bush, former presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon in Simi Valley, California at the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Library, November 4, 1991. It was the first time five presidents had been together in one place. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
This is not the end of the significant history of Air Force One with President Nixon; there’s another historic event during his term.
Another Nixon’s Momentous Aircraft History
During Nixon’s administration, he boarded a civilian aircraft to send a political message to the people. He broke the rule of the Air Force One as the sole plane intended for presidential travel. With these circumstances, the United Airlines (the civilian plane that Nixon boarded) call sign was changed to Executive One, and since then the term is used every time a president travels in a different country.
So much about the history, let’s get back to the fantastic features of the plane, starting with how high and how fast the Air Force One can reach.
Speed and Altitude Reach
The speed and altitude reach of the Air Force One is beyond unimaginable. It can travel at a top speed of 700 miles per hour and reach a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet. For comparison, the commercial flights that the rest of us take can only reach 30,000 feet. If you’re not amazed by this, then take the fact that it can also go a total distance of 7,800 miles on one tank of fuel.
(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Speaking of fuel, did you know that the Air Force One can refuel in the air and does not need to touch the ground? (Move to the next picture)
Refueling in the Sky
Another excellent feature of the Air Force One is that it can refuel in the sky and does not need to land on the ground to do so. The plane features a special fuel cap on its nose so a fuel plane can connect a pump to the front of the aircraft while still flying in the air. Isn’t that amazing?
The plane’s amazing features continue with two huge kitchens on board. Check them out on the next slide.
Two Kitchens Cater 100 People
Commercial planes usually have a small kitchen in the back of the aircraft. With Air Force One, one kitchen isn’t enough. There are two massive kitchens in the Air Force One that can cater at least 100 people with four-course meals. The president and his/her guests can ask any scrumptious food from top rated chefs that are available in the plane.
Watching TV while eating is also possible with Air Force One. Find out in the next picture.
From news, reports, to movies and series, televisions can provide many viewing choices for the president, guests, and even the press while traveling in the air. The Air Force One (both two model series) has twenty television throughout the plane. Another bonus feature is that 26 crew members on uniforms bearing Air Force One with the presidential seal.
While televisions can help the president and his/her guests feel relaxed while traveling, the plane also makes them safe from nuclear attack.
Safe from Nuclear Attack
The Air Force One acts as a nuclear attack shield. The plane is reported to be capable of withstanding nuclear attack due to its nuclear resistant body. Also, the electronics in the aircraft are made to protect the passengers against an electromagnetic pulse rendering the place safe and secured while flying in the sky.
(Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
This plane is also equipped with secured communication tools to help during emergency attacks. Find out more in the next slide.
The Plane Functions as a Mobile Command Center
In case of emergencies, such as terrorist attack, the Air Force One serves as an airborne command center that allows the president to deliver counterattacks, run nuclear wars, relays national television address through a video-conference system that is also available in the plane. All of these tasks are possible because of the top-notch and superb satellite communications networks in the Air Force One.
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, UNITED STATES: US President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi meet inside the President’s office on Air Force One as they fly to Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion outside Memphis, Tennessee. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Along with the high tech satellite communication system, the plane also contains a large number of phones. Check this fact in the next picture.
Phones Are Everywhere
In a commercial aircraft, phones are required to be turned off during take-off, but with the Air Force One, this standard rule is not applied. In fact, phones are everywhere in the plane. Everyone in the aircraft, including the President has significant work to do. Having phones available is crucial regarding defense or attack communication during emergencies and even essential transactions between different countries. There are more than 85 phones in the Air Force One, and in case 70 people use the phone there are still available 15.
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN: NOVEMBER 1 — Aboard Air Force One President Barack Obama makes phone calls to Gov. Chris Christie and other officials after a campaign stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Thursday, November 1, 2012. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
If you’re wondering if 70 people can fit in the plane, then click on the next picture.
Hundreds of People on Board?
Remember the fantastic fact the kitchen in the plane can at least feed 100 people, well, the same thing goes with the capacity of the Air Force Once. It can hold hundreds of people but can safely seat up to 70 people only (with assigned seating). There are living compartments for reporters, guests, secret service officers, and senior advisers.
With this number of people on board, you might be thinking how much the US government spends a day for flying the Air Force Once. Find out the truth by clicking the next button.
Expensive to Operate
During the fiscal year of 2016, the Air Force was spending about $180,000 every hour the aircraft was in the air. Due to this costly amount, even current President Donald Trump mentioned canceling the new aircraft replacement of the Air Force One back in December 2016. However, the Air Force awarded the Boeing a $3.9 billion contract for the two new Air Force One after a handshake deal between President Trump and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg last July of the present year.
(Original Caption) Advice from the Top. Aboard Air Force One: Despite some grandfatherly advice from none other than President Lyndon Johnson, little Patrick Lyndon Nugent can’t seem to figure out which end of the contraption is for talking into. The pair, along with other members of the first family, was en route to San Juan, P.R., for a brief holiday.
In the past, Trump claimed that his plane could be used as the Air Force One. Learn more about this in the next slide.
Trump Force One
Based on an American news website, Trump repeatedly claimed that by using his own Boeing 757 jet (also known as Trump Force One) he could save taxpayers money. However, the Pentagon did not accept his offer.
US President Donald Trump, on board Air Force One, speaks about the confirmation Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court while en route to Topeka, Kansas. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Trump Force One is printed with gold plating with Trump’s family crest. It also has large flat screen television and can safety seat 43 people, but his plane lacks power and capabilities that the two Air Force One have. If the Pentagon agreed with Trump’s offer, the Trump Force One would require hundreds of millions of dollars to make it as powerful as the Air Force One, and this means spending more money.
You came to the last surprising and a fun fact of the Air Force One. Did you know that there is someone among the presidents of the US who is known as the “Jelly Bean President?” Click on the last slide to learn more about him.
The Jelly Bean President
Known as the great communicator, Ronald Reagan was also called the Jelly Bean President and here’s why. Every time he rides the Air Force One during his term, a jar of jelly beans awaited him because he simply loves jelly beans!
President Ronald Reagan confers with Chief of Staff Donald Regan and Robert McFarlane aboard Air Force One. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
When asked why he loves jelly beans, Reagan mentioned that when he was younger and toured the White House, a nice man gave him jellybeans and since then he attributed the jelly bean as a symbol of the uniqueness and greatness of America. Similar to jelly beans, each state is different and unique in its way, but in unison, they blended well.