Air Force One is ultimately a code name for whichever aircraft that’s currently responsible for transporting the President of the United States, and today that is namely one of the two Boeing 747-200B jumbo jets that are under care of the of the US military. The jets themselves have some incredible technical capacities (obviously), and the protocol involved regarding the president can get pretty fancy too. Here are 5 mind blowing things you didn’t know about Air Force One.
1. It’s Almost Impervious to an Attack
To start, the body of the plane is designed to withstand a nuclear detonation from the ground. You could probably end there, but the impressive Air Force One Boeing can do so much more. There are flares hidden in the wings to confuse any attack missiles and it’s equipped with an electronic defense system that will block enemy radar. It also has armored windows, two retractable staircases in case one is destroyed, and a fully equipped doctor on board.
2. There is an Operating Room on Board
Along with a permanent on-board doctor, Air Force One comes complete with a functioning operation room (or “medical suite”) in case anything happens to the president or his associates during flight. Apparently, there is even an extra vial of the president’s blood type kept on board, as well as a vast array of pharmaceuticals and medical tools.
3. It Has to Function as a Command Center
The current Air Force One comes complete with its own Oval Office, fashioned with separate phone lines, an adjacent conference room, offices, and equipped with top of line electronics which are hardened to withstand electrical pulses. The interior of the plane is 4000 square feet, over 3 levels, and has separate sleeping chambers for the president and living quarters for the senior advisers. The plane can hold up to 70 guests plus operational staff.
4. Donald Trump’s Staff Hate Going on Air Force One
Once upon a time, staff would clamour for the chance to ride with the president in the Air Force One jet, but that’s all changed with the Trump administration. Staff has described the experience as like “being held captive” with Trump requiring near-constant council (or rather, people to complain to) during long flights and meetings sometimes lasting up to 20 hours. There is also no place for his staffers to sleep even if they were to get the chance; that luxury is reserved for the insomniac president and his most trusted officials.
5. Presidents are Not Allowed to Replace Air Force One Jets in Their First Term
Because the Air Force One jets are extremely expensive and every flight is considered a military operation complete with entourage, the cost of a trip on one of the Boeing jets can be in the hundreds of thousands (even millions) of dollars. One would assume as to not misallocate funds, a president is not allowed to commission a new plane during his first term in office. This is so that the current president will not actually ever ride on the new Air Force vehicle, only his successor
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