25 Interesting Facts About Air Force One • MetDaan

25 Interesting Facts About Air Force One

air force one

There’s a lot of interesting stuff you are not aware of in regards to Air Force One. Yes, you may have learned a lot from that Harrison Ford flick. Or your imagination may have gone in some strange directions, on account that it’s the presidential plane we’re talking about here. But, the truth is that in reality, it’s way cooler than you thought. Along with some anecdotal episodes, this list will prove to you that AF1 really is one of the most interesting pieces of machinery there is!

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Being the presidential plane, no wonder most of the stuff about the AF1 involves – presidents. Things like Clinton playing his saxophone during flight, Bush Senior banning broccoli from the lunch menu, or Coors beer being smuggled aboard by President Ford.

Apart from serving as a surprising fun distraction, this list will also inform you in detail about lot of stuff involving the Presidential plane. Being what it is, you shouldn’t be surprised by the security features it has, nor the communication abilities present on board. Read on and surely you will be amazed by the fun stories involving this airborne wonder.

The plane has a Mini-Hospital

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Photo: Wikimedia

In case the President or any other present passenger is injured or sick, Air Force One is equipped with a complete medical suite. Apart from the doctors (well of course), it also has an operating room. Check. How’s that for medical care!

Source: White House

Air Force One has 4,000 square feet of floor space, spread out on three levels

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Photo: Kevin Stanchfield/Flickr

As it’s frequently used on intercontinental flights, there has to be some space for the President to stretch his (or her?) legs from time to time. It’s where those 4,000 square feet of floor space come into play. They are spread out on three levels. Didn’t know that, did you!

Source: White House

On some trips, AF1 is accompanied by a 747 nicknamed “Doomsday Plane”

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Photo:  Horizontal Rain/via Youtube

There is a back in case of impending apocalypse, such as nuclear war, Yellowstone volcano super-eruption, meteor strike, or even a zombie outbreak. The “doomsday plane”, codenamed E-4B is constantly on alert. It has the ability to stay airborne for an undisclosed number of days. It is believed to be able to outrun a nuclear blast.

Source: ABC News

Its officially reported speed is 650 mph

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Photo:  Pete Souza/via Wikimedia/CC BY 2.0

Although the usual operative speed is 580 mph, the highest speed AF1 can reach is 650. There are those who claim it can go up to 700, but the confirmed top speed is between 630 and 700 mph. Does anyone ever get airsickness at that speed? Hmm…

Source: Air Force One: A History of Presidents and Their Planes

It can refuel while in flight

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Photo: gregde/Flickr

It’s something that many would like to see for their planes. For now this technology is limited to military aircraft and the presidential plane. The refueling can be done as high as 35,000 feet.

Source: Daily Mail

It’s supposedly nuclear-blast-proof

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Photo: Wikimedia

There are just a few safe places you will want to be in case a nuke explodes nearby. AF1 is one of them, provided you get your ticket booked on time. The body of the plane is designed in such a way that it can survive a nuclear blast coming from the ground. Now, that’s a hell of a nuke shelter!

Source: Business Insider

It has two kitchens, able to accommodate 100 people at a time

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Photo: U.S. Embassy, Jakarta/via Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Unlike the mini kitchen of you regular plane, where there’s space for only dwarf-size burgers, AF1 packs two fully equipped kitchens that can serve 100 people regular-to-huge size meals. And we’re not talking prepacked and precooked food, but a fresh and healthy meal.

Source: India TV News

It has a telephone station with 85 separate lines

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Photo: The U.S. National Archives/Flickr

“Please turn off your phones during the take-off” is not something that can be heard on AF1. It has 85 telephones with separate lines, to be used at whatever moment it is deemed necessary.

Source: NY Daily News

The staff of President Ford smuggled Coors beer

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Photo: Judd Judice/via Pinterest

At the time, Coors beer was in limited supply in the eastern parts of USA. So whenever visiting some of the 11 western states that had it, President Gerald Ford and his staff would use the occasion to load cases of Coors on the place. There is no official confirmation that a single flight was organized for that purpose only. But Colorado was visited a lot, as it’s been known as a good place to find Coors.

Source: NY Times

For a certain period around 1959, it carried spying equipment

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Photo: Nixon Library

The Cold War was a time that for some called for unusual measures. Allen Dulles, CIA director at the time, had cameras secretly installed into the wheel wells of the place. The cameras were believed to be equipped with the most advanced zoom lenses of the time, able to distinguish people’s faces from as far as 30,000 feet.

Source: Air Force One: A History of the Presidents and Their Planes

It can serve as mobile command center in case of ground attack

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Photo: The U.S. National Archives/Flickr

As a presidential plane, AF1 needs to be equipped for any scenario. This includes usage of the plane as a flying command center. So in case the White House becomes unsafe for any reason, the Commander-in-Chief can use it as an office in the sky and get things done.

Source: NPR

AF1 does not care for air traffic

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Photo: Max/via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The presidential plane has priority over all other aircraft in the sky. AF1 pilots have one less thing to worry about – no chance of mid-air collision. Usually when the plane takes off or lands at commercial airports, all air traffic is on hold. But most of the time the plane uses military airports so as not to pose a burden on sometimes already overcrowded airports.

Air Force One gets priority over every other plane in the sky and AF1 pilots don’t have to worry about the amount of air traffic. In fact, air traffic at commercial airports is usually halted when AF1 takes off or lands. A lot of the time, the plane lands at military airports so it doesn’t mess with usual air traffic.

Source: Politicians Are People Too

Ronald Reagan ordered jelly beans to be always stocked on the plane

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Photo: Wikimedia

Bush Sr. banned broccoli from the flight manifest, but Reagan had ordered jelly beans to be always present on board. Being Ronny’s favorite, a jar of jelly beans was always present on the desk in the Oval Office and in Air Force one during both terms of his presidency.

Source: TODAY

The plane can carry ALMOST 100 people

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Photo: Wikimedia

Although the kitchens technically can provide for 100 people, in actuality the plane can’t fly that many people. It gets really close to that number though, with the 26 crew members and 70 passengers – a total of 96.

Source: How Stuff Works

Yes, the seating is pre-assigned

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Photo: WhiteHouse/via Twitter

Every White House administration has its own rules about who can sit where. Nonetheless, seating is always assigned on Air Force One. Almost half the seats are for the press pool and for Secret Service agents.

Source: Power Game: How Washington Works

The initial production costs went up to over $660 million

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Photo: Wikimedia

The cost of even an ordinary airplane is pretty high. So it’s almost self-explanatory why Air Force one is so ridiculously expensive. Just in the initial production, the “Flying White House”, as it’s often dubbed, cost $660 million. Luckily, the Air Force footed the bill, the big gentlemen that they are.

Source: LA Times

Bush Jr. approved creation of the Department of Homeland Security while in air

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Photo: The U.S. National Archives/Flickr

As you might imagine, some serious historical decisions were made on AF1. President George W. Bush, while on his way to Berlin, signed approval of the proposal from which the Department of Homeland Security was created. It was a totally new part of the Government, and it still exists today.

Source: Air Force One: A History of the Presidents and Their Planes

President Clinton had jazz played loud on the plane

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Photo: Wikimedia

One of the few things missing from AF1 is a resident DJ. That said, President Clinton had intricate jazz playlists played during long flights. A saxophonist himself, he had the music played at very loud volume levels, probably because of his somewhat poor hearing.

Source: Air Force One: A History of the Presidents and Their Planes

The operating costs are $56,000/hour

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Photo: Wikimedia

The hourly rate is something most employees dream of. It costs $56,000 an hour to operate the plane

Source: Daily News

AF1 has not range limit

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Photo: Columbia Pictures

One of the perks of being able to refuel in mid-air is that AF1 can have technically no range in its limit. With that in mind, the presidential plane is one of the few aircraft in the world today that can circumvent the globe without stopping.

Source: TIME

There are 240 miles of wire running inside the plane

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Photo: Emmanuel Ejam/via Pinterest

Because of all the electronic equipment it has, Air Force One has an incredible amount of wiring in its ‘belly’. 240 miles, to be more precise. The equipment includes telephones, screens, communication devices of all kinds, thus making the plane extremely sophisticated and powerful.

Source: Washington Post

A doctor is on board the plane at every flight

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Photo: The White House/via Flickr

The rules of AF1 provide that every time the president uses the plane, a doctor has to be on board as well. No wonder the operating costs are so high.

Source: Reuters

No broccoli allowed on board by Bush Sr.

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Photo: Wikimedia

It is understandable that no unwanted elements should be present on AF1 for various reasons. One such unwanted element for Bush Sr. was broccoli. The reason being – he hated it more than anything. His chefs made sure no broccoli was ever on the menu of both the AF1 and the White House as well.

Source: Washington Post

Fargo was the movie on the flight most often

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Photo: Gramercy Pictures

The famous Coen Brothers flick Fargo is said to have been played countless times on board AF1. In time of the campaign for reelection of President Clinton in 1996, the press corps, sometimes joined by Bill himself, often watched the movie. There is, however, no official data on how many times AF1 flew over the actual town of Fargo, ND.

Source: Front Row at The White House

President Clinton stopped traffic at LAX to get a haircut

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Photo: Wikimedia

Clinton got heavily criticized when in 1993 he decided to get a haircut while on AF1. The place was sitting on the runway, its engines were running. So as per rules, LAX staff made sure all other traffic was halted at one of the country’s busiest airports. No plane landed or took off until Willy was satisfied with the look of his mane.

Source: NY Times
From: ranker

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