Air Force One is the most important aircraft in the world, as this heavily modified airliner is used to carry the US President and his friends. The ultra high-tech jet can transport the Commander-In-Chief to any airport in the world in luxury and safety, and has some startling and unique features. Here are 10 astonishing facts you didn’t know about Air Force One.
10. The aircraft is able to communicate with nuclear submarines. The communication pipe is over 120 miles long and is trailed from the aircraft’s main door. One end goes to the President’s chair, the other through the snorkel and onto the command deck of every Ohio Class Submarine.
9. Like all airliners, sickbags are provided. In AF1 they are made from the flags of vanquished enemies.
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8. The aircraft is equipped with over 500 miles of Scalextric track.
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7. On a hostile radar the aircraft appears as a mighty eagle holding lightning in its claws.
6. Legally the interior of the Air Force One is considered the interior of the President’s mind, therefore US law and dreams are in force there, wherever the aeroplane is. The President’s nightmares are filtered out by a series of state-of-the-art ‘dreamcatchers’ developed by engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.
5. Over two litres of the President’s sperm is stored in a refrigerated unit in the rear fuselage. In the case of nuclear war, this will aid repopulation efforts.
4. The skull of President Nixon is given its own seat on all flights. This tradition was started by George W Bush, and has been continued by subsequent Presidents. It is said by the famously superstitious pilots that Washington will fall if Nixon’s skull is not carried aboard.
3. In 2006 AF1 (then occupied by George W Bush) met Putin’s equivalent aircraft (the Ilyushin IL-96-300-PU) in the sky above Tokyo. Both leaders being competitive men, insisted that their own aircraft should reach Narita International Airport first. The details of the ad hoc drag-race that ensued were until recently a state secret. During the 20 minute race, AF1 reached an astonishing speed of twice the speed of sound (aided by two escorting F-22 Raptors pushing it). Though AF1 reached the airport perimeter first, Bush was despondent to seeing the Russian leader landing ahead of him…by parachute!
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2. There is a strict ‘no political chat’ rule on AF1; the President has designated it an official chill-out zone.
1. The President’s overhead luggage bin, is a whopping 10% bigger than a regular one. He is also allowed to bring on a generous two items of hand luggage.
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