This article is a bit of fluff. Does anyone really expect to hear comments that are critical in nature about Air Force One.
Anyway, I never get tired of reading about the history, specs and capabilities of the plane.
“The aircraft is maintained and operated by the Presidential Airlift Group, which falls under the White House Military Office.
It was founded at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 and originally called the Presidential Pilot Office, according to the White House Web site.
During the next two decades, different propeller planes served as the main transportation for the president. That was until President Kennedy became the first to travel in his own jet aircraft, which was a modified Boeing 707, according to the site.
The current plane was first used in 1990 during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.
The aircraft, which is longer than the length of a hockey rink, has 4,000 square feet of floor space stretched across three levels. The plane includes a large suite for the president that includes an office, bathroom and conference room. It also provides sleeping quarters for the president.
The plane has two food preparation galleys that can feed 100 people at a time and a medical suite that can be used as an operating room, according to the site.
While the plane does have its luxuries, plenty of the extras are devoted to security.
Air Force One can refuel in midair, has unlimited range and has electronics “hardened to protect against an electromagnetic pulse,” according to the White House site.
In the event of an attack on the country, the plane, equipped with advanced and secure electronic communications equipment, can become the president’s mobile command center.
“[The president] has the ability to run the country from Air Force One,” said Col. Mark Tillman, who flew the plane for former President Bush during the last eight years, including after September 11, 2001, and into Baghdad, Iraq. “So he has everything that’s available to him at the White House available to him at 45,000 feet.”
On occasion, press briefings take place aboard the aircraft.”