Fun facts about Air Force One

10 High-Flying Facts about Air Force One

Did you know that the US President can fly? Not with wings of his own, of course – but via his own personal aircraft. Air Force One refers to transport that’s equipped to dispatch the US President anytime, anywhere – such is the life of a world-stage diplomat! Here are some fun facts about Air Force One that will hopefully clue you in on the craft.

1. Air Force One isn’t just one vehicle alone.

Technically, the term “Air Force One” actually refers to any plane or aircraft in the US Air Force that’s equipped and ready to transport the US President or Commander-in-Chief. Therefore, it needs to be on-demand, and ready to fly anywhere in the world. Better have a couple on standby!

2. There are two main AFOs in use right now.

The President’s current Air Force One fleet comprises two different Boeing aircraft. Specifically, it’s two 747-200Bs, which have been catering to Presidential flying needs since 1990! The main aircraft designated as AFO is also known as VC-25A.

3. It’s more than just a plane!

Air Force One is stacked with some fantastic pieces of equipment. It has some of the most advanced security and comms technology ever seen on board an aircraft – it has the ability to evade missiles with ease, for example.

Air Force One landing in Mongolia

4. Is there a doctor on board?

Air Force One is amazingly equipped to handle medical emergencies. It boasts a full medical suite, offering operating room facilities, and can easily support a President in need of urgent care.

5. There’s more than a cockpit on board, too.

Air Force One provides the US President with a stunning array of leisure facilities – there’s a gym, bedroom, bathroom suite, and space for conferences. There’s even a full office on board – not bad when you’re several thousand miles off the ground!

6. It’s an American icon.

Air Force One is undoubtedly one of the most famous icons of the US Presidency. It boasts the Stars and Stripes on its fuselage and comes fitted with the Presidential seal! What’s more, it’s always recognizable – you can certainly tell who’s on board thanks to insignias displayed across the craft.

7. It’s a movie star in its own right.

Air Force One has been featured in many, many Hollywood movies. Five of them, in particular, are likely to be familiar to moviegoers – it’s been pivotal in Escape From New York, White House Down, Big Game, Bermuda Tentacles, and – funnily enough – Air Force One!

8. It’s been around for a long time.

While the planes in the Air Force One fleet may change, the current fleet concept’s been a part of the US regime since at least 1974. It took over from the President’s Lockheed VC-137C.

9. Better watch those pennies!

If you think running Air Force One is a cheap business, think again. It actually costs more than $200,000 per hour to keep the fleet up in the air!

Bill Clinton on Air Force One Steps in Arkansas
President Bill Clinton and Arkansas Senator Lincoln on the steps of Air Force One at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.

10. It’s got incredible stamina.

Air Force One is built for long flights and has an incredible range. Per flight, it can run for up to 7,800 miles, and can even keep going on the same tank of fuel for up to 12 hours.

FAQs about Air Force One

When was Air Force One first launched?

The concept of Presidents using aircraft first emerged in 1933, when Franklin D Roosevelt took the Douglas Dolphin. The concept’s been refined over the years.

Does Air Force One have an escape pod?

No - unfortunately, the President doesn’t have the ability to escape his craft via pod, even if he wanted to!

Is there an Air Force Two?

Yes - it’s the secondary aircraft typically used by either the Vice President, the First Lady, and members of the US Congress.

Further reading

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This page was last modified on July 26, 2023. Suggest an edit