Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. Ok, wait, it’s just a plane and not Superman. But as far as planes are concerned, this one is the Superman of all the jets in the world.
This plane lets the President roll in style, too. For his safety and comfort, the U.S. government spares no expense either. It makes sense that this would happen though. Just think about it: how would it work if they were to go to some other country for peace talks in some 1991 Mazda Miata? How could the Secret Service keep the leader of the free world safe if they had to charter a plane like a traveler during the Thanksgiving holiday? The short answer is they wouldn’t.
So, in order to impress the other parts of the world and to help keep a scud missile out of the President’s face, he flies around the globe in Air Force One. Just so there’s no confusion, this isn’t the same Air Force Ones rappers wear. This one was the original.
Enjoy the 10 things you didn’t know about Air Force One.
10 It Can Fly Indefinitely
No, the President of the United States has not yet harnessed the power of magic that keeps the plane in the air. Even if the President did, Congress would have a collective heart attack and try to impeach him for pushing his socialist magic agenda.
It’s actually a little more simple than that. The President’s plane can fly indefinitely because it can be refueled while it’s still in the air. This is just another example that the President is just not regular people. Unlike the rest of the world, he doesn’t have to wait and see a sad, underpaid airport employee try to fuel up the plane while they wait for their flight back home to their disappointed parents. On Air Force One, the President can continue to visit foreign countries all while the refueling is done at 30,000 feet in the air.
It’s good to be the man.
9 On-board Hospital
In the movies, when someone on a plane starts choking on a fishbone, the first thing they do is call for a doctor. Most doctors probably just lift their SkyMall magazine up a bit higher to avoid getting into whatever mess someone created, but Air Force One doesn't exactly give their doctors a choice.
On board the plane, the doctor is not only on call for every single flight, there is an entire hospital, along with an operating room and pharmacy, to help the President in the event he needs some Vicodin or some terrorist gets extremely ballsy and goes for broke trying to kill the President.
For the really long flights, the hospital even has the President’s blood type on board. There’s no evidence on whether the President pays a co-pay. He probably doesn't because he has Obamacare.
8 The Beast Comes With the Plane
For those who don’t know what “The Beast” is, just ask any aspiring rapper what their fantasy vehicle would be, minus the diamonds, and The Beast is what will result.
In reality, The Beast is the Presidential limo - decked out fully for the protection and convenience of the President. On Air Force One, The Beast gets a front row seat and is rolled out each time the plane touches the ground.
It begs the question of how the President will ever deal with traveling like a regular person again in the future. If his limo comes with him on trips now, how would he survive when an American Airlines flight attendant loses his luggage, looks him in the eye, and tells him to go to hell? Hope he enjoys this time while it lasts.
7 There is Extreme Space
Most people have had at least one terrible experience with space on a plane. The 5-hour flight from San Diego to Miami becomes a lot less comfortable when someone the size of The Undertaker hogs all of the arm space in the chairs. The guy who snores like a weed whacker makes it difficult for his fellow passengers to get some sleep. Then, there’s always the passenger in the next seat who is absolutely going to tell her neighbor about how adorable her cats are. The reason for all of this is because space is limited on most planes.
The President need not worry about any of that. With 4,000 square feet of space on Air Force One, the President can not only stretch out, he can shower, sleep in a large bed, or just walk about like it’s his own apartment in the sky. He even has a treadmill that is brought up so he can work out when he feels like it. Definitely no cat stories for him.
6 It’s A Bomb Shelter
The President of the United States is one of the most targeted people in the country and he is at his most vulnerable when he's in the air. Understandably, the U.S. government hasn’t released the details of how secure the plane really is in order to keep him safe.
The reasons for this are clear. As uniquely charismatic and diplomatic as the President is, there isn’t a single President that's shown the ability to fly if he gets shot out of the air. Despite what Terminator claims, cyborgs can't rule the world yet.
Until then, the government has to build an airplane that can withstand a nuclear attack, throw off flare to distract heat seeking missiles, and, in case a bad movie plot becomes a reality, it can protect against electromagnetic surges.
Cyborg President, huh? Maybe one day...
5 It Offers Fancy Cuisine In The Air
Most people understand how difficult a flight attendant's job is. They have to deal with drunk fools, handsy passengers, and people who are surprisingly demanding for having paid $50 for their plane ticket. This is all on top of usually having limited food options to keep everyone happy. A lot of passengers are too cheap to spring for any actual food on long flights and will stretch a bag of peanuts and a can of soda as far as they can.
The President may have 99 problems, but food service isn’t one. There are multiple kitchens on Air Force One and they can serve any kind of cuisine. The kitchen can feed up to 100 people nearly whatever they want and if they complain, the President can legally throw them out of the plane, onto the ground. Maybe that last part isn’t true.
4 There Are Two Air Force Ones
Remember, the President of the United States isn’t some college student. He doesn’t work at a bar and doesn’t pray every day that his most reliable mode of transportation doesn’t break down on him. He's so powerful that if one of his planes breaks down, he'll just fire up the other one.
That's right, the President has not one, but two Air Force Ones on hand at any point. They don’t call the second one Air Force Two - that’s reserved for the Vice President to cry silently when he's in the air. They are both called Air Force One and they usually roll the second one out when the first one is in for repairs.
3 Anything Can Be Called Air Force One
The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the United States military. This means that he can make executive decisions, with the advice of multiple people, without the approval of any other branch of the government. This is way different than working with Congress where he has to fight with them about everything. It gets so bad that he probably has to fight with them about bathroom breaks for staffers.
In the air, the Commander-in-Chief is flying in the most important aircraft the military has to offer so they naturally call it Air Force One when it is in air space. This not only goes for Air Force One as it's normally recognized, but for any aircraft in which the President is on board. This means that if he's aboard an American Airlines flight to Cancun for a bachelor party, they still call it Air Force One. If the President is throwing a party, he calls it Drunk Force One as a joke.
2 Air Force One Costs A Fortune
If there was a plane that had three levels, 4,000 square feet of space, a Situation Room, showers, two full-sized kitchens, and 85 telephones, it would undoubtedly cost a fortune to operate. Air Force One of course is that plane that costs a fortune to operate. According to a Department of Justice report, the plane costs more than $200,000 an hour to operate.
President Obama has also traveled more than any other President which helps explain the cost. There are only three states he has not visited (which probably includes Hawaii and Alaska - the freaky states) and he has no problem traveling across the world in it too.
It’s also unconfirmed, but if they decided to switch their Netflix plan to the cheaper option, they could probably save some money on their operating expenses.
1 It’s Fast
Consider how big the plane is: it’s 196 feet long, weighs several hundred tons, carries the Presidential limo on board, and can accommodate hundreds of people in addition to the President. It can protect the President from nuclear blasts and every single part of the plane is armored.
Basically, the plane itself is a monster, so common sense would say that it would lumber in the air slowly. But that would be a totally wrong assumption. The plane is so fast that it reaches top speeds usually reserved for supersonic planes. Air Force One can get up to 600 miles per hour - faster than the fighter jets that usually escort it across the world.
In the end, Air Force One can do virtually anything - except become a Transformer. The plans for that are still in the works.