The VC-25A, best known as Air Force One, is in fact a big presidential taxi. The United States Of America uses two Boeing 747-200's especially modified for this task. Throughout the years many different aircraft were used as AF 1, aircraft like the DC-6 and Boeing 707. We look into the latest airframe, the Boeing 747 (military designated as VC-25A.)
In 1958, presidential travel took a giant leap forward when the Air Force introduced two Boeing 707 jets into the fleet. The Air Force began using the radio call designation "Air Force One" during Eisenhower's administration, and the public took it up after Kennedy took office.
|Nickname:||"Air Force One"|
The current presidential fleet consists of two specifically-configured Boeing 747-200B series aircraft with Air Force designation VC-25A. The aircraft were introduced in 1990 when they replaced the Boeing 707's as presidential carrier. When the President is aboard either craft, or any other Air Force aircraft, the radio call sign is "Air Force One."
Besides reduced passenger seating and a substantially modified internal configuration, the two aircraft in service are fitted with advanced electronics and communications. The aircraft are also equipped with countermeasures to defend it in case of a missile attack. The aircraft are fitted with front and aft stairs, a self-contained baggage loader and an in-flight refueling receptacle, placed on the nose.
The interior features a stateroom and office for the president; a conference/dining room; and separate accommodations for senior staff, guests, the Secret Service, security personnel and the press.
Both VC-25A's are assigned to the AMC's 89th , but in reality flown by dedicated presidential air crews and a separate maintenance branch.
Specifications listed for the VC-25A variant:
|Measurements:||Length: 70.66m (231 ft 10 in), Wingspan: 59.64m (195 ft 8 in), Height: 19.33m (63 ft 5 in).|
|Powerplant:||4 General Electric CF6-80C2B1 turbofans, each rated at 252.21 kN (56.700 lb).|
|Fuel and load:||164142 Kg (361.875 lb) fuel, 377840 Kg (833.000 lb) max. takeoff weight.|
|Speed:||972 km/h (525 kts).|
|Range:||12594 km (6.800 nm).|
|Crew and equipment:||26 crew members. Advanced electronics and communication systems. Also equipment with unknown countermeasure systems.|
"Air Force One" 92-9000 and support VC-25A 82-8000 are seen during a visit by president George W. Bush to the Netherlands to participated in a ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.
The only operator of this type is de US Air Force. They own 2 VC-25A aircraft, all assigned to the 89th AW based at Andrews AFB, Maryland. Serials are: 92-8000 and 92-9000