It’s not a shock to many that the aircraft that holds the nation’s leader, President Barack Obama, is equipped with advanced security features as well as out of this world luxury. We have already taken an extensive look at the car that has the privilege of transporting the President around. And the aircraft is no different, it is better known as Air Force One. The plane features three levels and stands as tall as a 6 story building. It is a custom Boeing 747-200B that has 4,000 square feet of interior floor space, including a conference room, dining room, private quarters for the president, offices for senior staff members, a medical operating room (a doctor flies on every flight), press area, and two food-preparation galleys that can provide 100 meals. Needless to say, this flying home is unlike anything else in the sky. Because of that, Air Force One is the most expensive plane to operate, costing taxpayers $206,337 every hour it is in flight. But what most people don’t know are the security features that this plane has.
Air Force One isn’t technically a plane. It’s simply the radio call name for any U.S. Air Force plane carrying the president of the United States.
Did you know that there are actually two customized Boeing 747-200B jets that regularly fly under this designation? They are nearly identical and are almost as tall as a six-story building, and as long as a city block.
The plane is completely off-limits to just about everybody. Even visiting politicians aren’t allowed in some parts of the plane, and the Air Force is careful to conceal specific details of the craft’s layout including its advanced avionics and defenses.
Every Air Force One flight is classified as a military operation, which necessitates the following procedure: The Marine One Helicopter transports the president from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. The Air Force inspects the runway and aircraft, and then transports the president’s motorcade to his super plane.
Air Force One is maintained and operated by the Presidential Airlift Group, which is part of the White House Military Office.
The onboard electronics are hard-wired to protect against an electromagnetic pulse, and Air Force One is equipped with advanced secure communications equipment, allowing the aircraft to function as a mobile command center in the event of an attack on the United States.
Along with various private quarters for staff and guests, there are two kitchens and a medical suite which is equipped with supplies in case there is a need for emergency surgery.
Air Force One has four General Electric CF6-80C2B1 jet engines, which provide 56,700 pounds of thrust a piece. The top speed is between 630 and 700 miles per hour and the ceiling maximum (i.e how high the plane can fly) is 45,100 feet about 10,000 feet more than a normal commercial plane.
I love the description the White House gives in regards to Air Force One: “Air Force One is one of the most recognizable symbols of the presidency, spawning countless references not just in American culture but across the world. Emblazoned with the words “United States of America,” the American flag, and the Seal of the President of the United States, it is an undeniable presence wherever it flies.”