More than just a mode of transport for the U.S. president and his staff, Air Force One -- which first took flight in 1959 -- is an entity unto itself. In this list, we'll uncover some of the most interesting and surprising facts about the aircraft, including everything from its supreme technological advancements to its reputation in Hollywood.
No Escape Pod
The escape-pod myth grew after the 1981 film "escape from New York" and the 1997 film Air Force One, in which Harrison Ford's character, President James Marshall, had the option of using an escape pod to evade Russian hijackers. Unfortunately, unless the president's name is Harrison Ford, he won't have this luxury in real life.
The Aircraft Boasts Extensive Electronics
Air Force One is the Best Buy of airplanes. The bountiful collection of onboard electronics, which includes 19 televisions and 85 telephones, consists of 238 miles of wiring, twice the amount found in a typical 747 aircraft. The aircraft's electronics are also equipped to withstand the electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear blast.
Every Flight Is Classified as a Military Operation
Every Air Force One flight is classified as a military operation, which necessitates the following procedure: The Marine One Helicopter transports the president from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland; the Air Force specially inspects the runway and aircraft, then transports the president's motorcade to his super plane. If only military operations were cheaper.
Two Air Force Ones
As if one wasn't enough, the U.S. government decided to add a second Boeing 747-200B jet to the Air Force One fleet in 1990. In 2017, the fleet will welcome a third member, only to be used in those instances where the president grows bored with his other two toys.
The President and His Companions Enjoy 4,000 Square Feet on Three Levels
Word on the street is that Air Force One is larger than Rhode Island. OK, that's an exaggeration, but the aircraft does boast 4,000 feet of floor space extending over three levels. This provides more than enough room for onboard living quarters, expansive food-preparation spaces, and a fully equipped medical suite with an on-site doctor.
Air Force One Can Comfortably Carry 70 Passengers and 26 Crew Members
Riding on Air Force One is akin to riding in first class -- except 50 times better. The aircraft comfortably fits 70 passengers and 26 crew members of military background. Compare that with a 450-passenger 747 aircraft, and one can easily see that riding on Air Force One is quite a treat.
Faster, Higher, and Stronger Than Any Jumbo Jet
In a single fueling, Air Force One can reach a top speed of 650 miles per hour, fly at 45,000 feet, and reach a maximum distance of 7,800 miles. Basically, it's a spaceship..Because of its symbol it is a powerful tool for a sitting President and I think Obama has flown more on it than any other President.