7 secrets of Air Force One.This is the real air fortress of the US President!

Imagine the White House, the Pentagon and the Capitol aboard one machine. Air Force One is the US President’s plane, which has earned the nickname “air fortress” for a reason. It can stay in the skies for up to several days and is safer than many a bunker – it’s a flying command center. Learn the 7 secrets of Air Force One!

The presidential aircraft Air Force One is one of the most important symbols of American political power. The blue and white machine adorned with the words “United States of America” is as recognizable as the Pentagon, the White House or the Oval Office housed in it.

It might seem that the head of the United States on board becomes an easy target. After all, her safety depends on a machine that is more than 30 years old. In addition, the president of a country so vital to global interests has a myriad of duties to attend to in his office in Washington. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Air Force One aircraft is a real air fortress – a flying command center. After all, there’s a reason it’s said that the US president is safer on board it than on the ground. Learn the 7 secrets of this remarkable machine!

Air Force One can refuel in flight

Air Force One, or the Boeing VC-25 (a militarily modified 747 Jumbo Jet), in theory has an unlimited single-flight range. This is due to its in-flight refueling capability. The U.S. president can thus reach any remote point on Earth without having to make stopovers.

The maximum range of travel on a single refueling is about 13,000 kilometers.

According to experts, however, there has probably never been an attempt to refuel with the president on board.

U.S. president’s plane has exceptional technical parameters

Air Force One is an extremely high-tech aircraft that is an expanded version of the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet. The VC-25 measures 70.7 meters in length and 19.3 meters in height.

Its maximum takeoff weight is nearly 378 tons. This includes a full tank capable of holding about 200,000 liters of jet fuel. Its cruising speed is about 1,030 km/h.

The machine also impresses with its protection systems against any attack. Air Force One is equipped with special flares against missiles, safeguards to combat electromagnetic pulses, top-quality radars and encrypted communications systems.

Thus, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the US president’s plane is the safest aircraft in the entire world.

Air Force One is a code name, not the name of an aircraft

The Boeing VC-25 officially does not include the famous term “Air Force One” in its name. It’s a codename given to the airplane only when the US president is on board. As of 2021, the position has been held by Joe Biden. More than 10. other US leaders have flown the machine in the past.

Elected US presidents who have flown Air Force One:

  • Donald Trump,
  • Barack Obama,
  • George W. Bush,
  • Bill Clinton,
  • Ronald Reagan,
  • Richard Nixon,
  • John F. Kennedy,
  • Dwight Eisenhower.


It was during the latter’s tenure that the famous codename was first used in 1953. The purpose was to avoid confusion with a civilian flight with a similar designation – Air Force 8610.

Interestingly, the presidential plane changed its designation once in the air. When the famous “Watergate” scandal involving Richard Nixon came to light, he stepped down and flew away from Andrews Air Force Base. Meanwhile, Gerald Ford was sworn in as his successor. The machine’s pilot then asked the flight controller to change the call sign to Sierra Alpha Mike 27000.

Air Force One aircraft provides excellent connectivity regardless of altitude or location

Air Force One is supposed to provide the president with the same good communications he would have while in his Oval Office in the White House. How important it is to provide top-notch communications on the machine was particularly evident during the attacks of September 11, 2001.

At the time, President George W. Bush spent several hours in the air, thinking about making key decisions for the events. Seamless communications are essential in such a situation.

The Boeing VC-25 was equipped with multi-frequency radios for communication with the ground and other objects in the air. There are 19 televisions on board, as well as 87 telephones that allow conversations on three networks, including top secret. In addition, the president has the ability to make a direct address to citizens while in the skies.

Presidential Air Force One aircraft is flying White House

It’s not without reason that the deck of Air Force One is said to resemble the presidential residence in Washington. With a floor space of nearly 400 square meters, the plane consists of a conference room and the headquarters of the president and first lady. It also houses office space for the rest of the staff, as well as for journalists.

However, the interior of the machine is not only workspaces. The comfort and well-being of passengers is taken care of by chefs who prepare meals in two kitchens. The food is, of course, eaten in a dedicated dining room.

There are also relaxation rooms on board. Guests and the president can find some respite there.

And what if someone feels worse during the flight? One of the offices has been adapted for immediate transformation into a medical facility. The health of each passenger is taken care of by experienced medical staff.

Interestingly, former first lady Nancy Reagan is responsible for the interior design in two US-owned Boeing VC-25s. Ronald Reagan’s wife wanted to decorate the rooms in a style that expressed the culture of the US Southwest.

The swearing-in of the president took place aboard Air Force One

When the U.S. president was killed on the streets of Dallas on November 22, 1963, the world’s greatest economic power was without its leader for two hours. The assassination of John F. Kennedy shocked all of America, including White House officials. It was necessary to immediately anoint a successor to the tragically deceased politician.

128 minutes after the fatal shots, Lyndon B. Johnson. His swearing-in took place aboard Air Force One, accompanied, among others, by Jackie Kennedy – the widow of the assassinated leader. After the ceremony, the machine departed for Andrews base near Washington.

Air Force One will be replaced in the coming years

The U.S. Air Force has been working for several years to replace the Boeing VC-25s currently in use. The two government-owned planes have been in service since 1990, and the first President to fly them was George H. W. Bush. According to preliminary projections, the service life of the new machines will also be about 30 years.

The airplane replacement program was started by Barack Obama, but the final decisions were made by his successor, Donald Trump. According to the agreement signed with Boeing, the corporation will receive about $4 billion from the United States. In return, two new VC-25B models will be delivered to the air force base in Andrews, whose manual is expected to be as long as… 100,000 pages.

The designs will be based on versions of the B747-8l. Originally, the Russian carrier Transaero was to become their owner. The machines will be larger, more technically advanced, and also… more comfortable.

The new Air Force One will be equipped with four GEnx engines, which will allow redundancy in times of failure. The craft will still be able to defend against land and air attacks, but will lose one of its recognizable features. We’re talking about mid-air refueling.

Air Force One – the aircraft of the President of the United States – FAQ

This is the real air fortress of the President of the United States. Want to know even more of its secrets? Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions!

1.    What is the price of Air Force One aircraft?

The US Air Force will pay Boeing about $4 billion to upgrade two B747-8l models. None of the decommissioned models can currently be purchased for in-house use. The potential price of building a new AF1 is also unknown.

2.    What is Air Force One?

Air Force One is the code name for the US president’s plane. Currently, the role of this machine is performed by a modified Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet (VC-25), which has been in use since 1990. At the moment it belongs to Joe Biden.

3.    Who flies Air Force One?

Air Force One is the aircraft of the US president. It is currently flown by the 46th head of state Joe Biden. In the past, those who traveled aboard the machine included Donald Trump, Barack Obama. Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy.

4.    Can Air Force One refuel while in flight?

The ability to refuel in-flight is one of the most unique features of the Air Force One presidential aircraft. This means that, in theory, the machine has an unlimited range for a single flight. According to experts, however, there has never been an in-flight refueling attempt with the president on board.

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