Inside Air Force One, US President Donald Trump's official aircraft
United States President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit India on February 24 and 25. He will be accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump for the two-day trip, which includes stops in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Agra. The trip will start at Ahmedabad, where Trump will land in his official beast of an aircraft, Air Force One. Here's what makes this aircraft so special.
Technically, 'Air Force One' can be used to describe any aircraft carrying the President of the United States, however, commonly it is used for an aircraft equipped to transport the POTUS. Hence, in practice, the name particularly refers to two Boeing 747-200B series aircraft with tail codes 28000 and 29000. The aircraft is also known as the "flying Oval Office."
The Air Force One has an interior floor space of 4,000 square feet across its three levels. It houses an extensive suite for the President, which includes an office and a conference room. It also has a medical suite that doubles as an operating room and has a doctor present at all times. Two galleys on the plane can feed up to 100 people.
The aircraft is designed to transport the POTUS anywhere in a moment's notice. Hence, it is also said to have an "unlimited range," i.e., it can travel anywhere. The plane can also be refueled mid-air, unlike a regular Boeing passenger aircraft. The Air Force One can also function as a command center for the US President in the event of an attack.
The Air Force One also has quarters for anyone flying with the President, including Secret Service officers, senior advisors, traveling press, and other guests. Typically, several cargo planes also fly ahead of the Air Force One for extra services when flying to remote locations.
The first aircraft built specifically for the POTUS was a modified Boeing 707 for President John F Kennedy in 1962. Since then, several different aircraft have been used. The first of the current aircraft was delivered in 1990 under George HW Bush's administration. The Air Force One is maintained and operated by the Presidential Airlift Group, part of the White House Military Office.
The existing two Boeing 747-200s will, however, soon be replaced. They will be replaced by a Boeing 747-8 aircraft. The new red, blue, and white 747-8 jet will be procured under the VC-25B Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program and cost the Pentagon $800.9 million. The new paint job will also replace the existing light blue and white color scheme.