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  • As a frequent flyer, the President of the United States

  • doesn't have time for a typical travel nuisances,

  • like baggage fees and shoe removal and security lines.

  • But Air Force One makes all that moot.

  • Technically, Air Force One is a call sign given to whatever

  • plane the president is flying on, but it usually refers

  • to one of two highly customized Boeing 747-200 B's.

  • But the way the commander in chief gets to travel by air

  • is especially different from your average Joe.

  • Today, we're going to take a look

  • at all of the weirdest features of Air Force One.

  • But before we get started, be sure I subscribe to the Weird

  • History Channel and let us know in the comments

  • below what other aspect of presidential life

  • you would like to hear about.

  • OK, if at the bottom of your screen for this helpful Air

  • Force One in-flight video.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • Imagine you have to fly somewhere

  • for a big business meeting, but a nuclear war breaks out.

  • Curse you, Spirit Airlines.

  • Well, if you were an average citizen,

  • you'd be pretty much screwed.

  • But if you were the President of the United States,

  • you might be able to proceed as planned.

  • How so?

  • Well, Air Force One is more than just a plane.

  • It's also a flying nuclear bunker.

  • The aircraft actually has such heavily reinforced armor

  • that it's theoretically capable of withstanding

  • a nuclear blast.

  • And just to add some other protections,

  • the windows are bulletproof, and its defense system

  • can jam enemy radar, as well as deflect missiles

  • and electromagnetic pulses.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • As one of the most powerful leaders in the world,

  • the president is constantly subject to threats on his life.

  • As such, the designers of Air Force One

  • paid special attention to security risks

  • created by the plane's interaction

  • with airport equipment that isn't under federal government

  • control.

  • For example, getting off most jets

  • means climbing down a set of stairs or ramp

  • that's attached to the plane from the outside.

  • But to mitigate any security risks with airport staircases,

  • Air Force One is equipped with a uniquely retractable set

  • of stairs that extends outward from the body of the plane.

  • For the same reasons, the plane is

  • also equipped with its own baggage loader that

  • allows staff to closely monitor what goes

  • in and out of the cargo hold.

  • These precautions make trying to topple the president by placing

  • a bomb in a set of airport stairs

  • or sneaking one into the baggage loader a non-issue.

  • Anyone who has seen the 1997 film Air Force One

  • knows that the president's plane needs

  • to be prepared for anything, including

  • a midair terrorist attack by Gary Oldman that results

  • in fistfights and shootouts.

  • When is America going to stand up to Gary Oldman?

  • Should something like that or a less fantastical

  • medical situation occur on the president's plane,

  • they'll be prepared to deal with it.

  • That's because Air Force One is equipped with far more

  • than just a first aid kit.

  • The plane has a medical annex that

  • includes a pharmacy and operating

  • table with surgical lights along with equipment

  • like a defibrillator, IV pumps, and suction devices.

  • Moreover, a nurse is also on board

  • to handle any potential health emergencies.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • On your average commercial jetliner,

  • running out of gas mid-flight would be a fairly significant

  • problem.

  • But on most planes that have been called Air Force

  • One, running out of gas wasn't really a concern at all,

  • why not?

  • Well, as with military combat aircraft,

  • the president's ride in the sky was traditionally

  • designed to be able to keep flying

  • in the event of an emergency or if unsafe conditions exist

  • on the ground.

  • That being the case, these planes

  • had the capability to refuel while in midair.

  • The procedure for midair refueling wasn't exactly easy,

  • but it wasn't terribly complicated either.

  • The way it worked was that a fuel plane would

  • fly into the proximity of Air Force One, match its speed,

  • then connect to provide enough fuel to top off its tanks.

  • While the procedure was well tested,

  • it wasn't completely risk free, so it was only

  • meant to be used in truly dire situations.

  • Why the past tense here?

  • Well, in a move that stunned politicians from both parties

  • on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump

  • had the new Air Force Ones designed

  • without this capability.

  • Why?

  • Well, it was part of an effort to cut millions of dollars

  • from the multibillion dollar budget that

  • pays for the planes.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • Everyone loves talking on the phone and watching television.

  • And the President of the United States is no exception.

  • That's why the designers of the Commander in Chief's plane

  • spared no expense in making sure the phone lines never

  • go down on Air Force One.

  • OK, that's not exactly true.

  • In fact, the reason they did it is because the plane doubles

  • as a mobile command center.

  • And at any time, it could be required

  • to help the president run operations all over the world.

  • To this end, Air Force One features nearly 240 miles

  • of electronic wiring with 85 phones and dozens

  • of TV screens installed.

  • Sure, sure, it's a command center, and a sweet spot

  • to watch Sunday football.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • For most people eating while in flight usually boils down

  • to a choice between the regular or kosher meals,

  • that is assuming they're even offered a meal.

  • Frequent flyers will attest that often the menu

  • is limited to a bag of pretzels and a bottle of water,

  • if anything at all.

  • But the Air Force One kitchen is operating

  • at a whole other level.

  • It actually has two food preparation galleys

  • stocked with stoves, ovens, microwaves, and refrigerators.

  • And each flight is capable of feeding over 100 people.

  • On top of that, the chefs who work on Air Force One

  • can make nearly anything the president requests,

  • whether or not it's on the prepared menu.

  • And while most of us eat our airplane food

  • off a plastic tray, the president

  • gets his meals served on China adorned

  • with the presidential seal.

  • Ever wonder if that person standing in line behind you

  • at the grocery store is actually a top secret government

  • chef surreptitiously buying ingredients

  • for the president's meals?

  • No.

  • Well, they might be.

  • Yeah, for security reasons the Air Force One chefs

  • who prepare on-board meals do in fact

  • go undercover to local grocery stores to purchase ingredients.

  • As an added safety step, they visit stores randomly.

  • Staff also do not purchase any food from overseas.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • For reasons of security and safety and possibly also

  • for bragging rights, the president's plane is capable

  • of doing some things that most similar jets simply cannot pull

  • off.

  • For example, while commercial airlines typically

  • fly at around 30,000 feet, Air Force One

  • is capable of getting all the way up to 45,100 feet.

  • Along with its ability to reach great heights,

  • Air Force One is also incredibly fast,

  • even for essentially a passenger plane.

  • In fact, it's able to go more than 600 miles an hour,

  • almost the speed of sound.

  • With 4,000 square feet of space on three levels

  • at its disposal, Air Force One provides a lot

  • more than just a luxury ride in the sky.

  • As previously mentioned, the plane

  • doubles as mobile command center with state

  • of the art electronics capable of communicating

  • with military operations around the world.

  • In the event of an emergency, the president

  • can issue commands as needed all from the safety of this flying

  • fortress.

  • But even with all of that, there is a ton of space left over.

  • The plane can also carry the president's entire staff,

  • his guests, and various members of the White House press pool

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • Getting any plane off the ground is an intricate operation.

  • But getting the president's plane off the ground

  • is a full fledged military operation.

  • The process for getting Air Force One airborne

  • is literally carried out with military precision.

  • This is to ensure that everything

  • is prepared for the commander in chief to board.

  • How does it work?

  • Well, first the president is transported via helicopter

  • from the White House to Maryland's Andrews Air Force

  • base.

  • Next, the plane and runway are inspected by members of the Air

  • Force to ensure their safety.

  • Finally, the Air Force transports the president's

  • motorcade to the waiting plane.

  • It's a lot to go through.

  • But when your passenger is the most powerful politician

  • in the world, the precautions are all necessary.

  • When flying, the president never flies alone.

  • In fact Air Force One has a hefty wingman

  • with a Super bad ass name, the Doomsday Plane.

  • The president's ride is typically

  • accompanied by a Boeing E4B that can stay in the air for days

  • and remains on constant alert in case of a nuclear threat

  • or national emergency.

  • Staffed by military analysts and strategists,

  • the Doomsday Plane is a flying strategy room

  • where military analysts and strategists

  • can execute orders and coordinate actions

  • on the ground.

  • According to the Air Force, the E4B,

  • known as the National airborne operations center,

  • is protected against the effects of electromagnetic pulse

  • and includes nuclear and thermal effect shielding.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • So you might be wondering, hey, if I could manage

  • to get a ride on Air Force One, would I

  • be able to snag a seat next to the president?

  • No, you can't, you definitely can't, Air Force One

  • has assigned seating for everyone aboard.

  • To ensure the safety of the president,

  • it's understandably best to know who's who

  • and where they are at all times.

  • In fact, along with the president's staff,

  • nearly half the seats on board are already

  • reserved for Secret Service agents

  • and members of the press.

  • Guests of the president do get to sit-in a VIP area close

  • to the front of the plane.

  • But for security reasons, others can't walk forward

  • beyond their own seat.

  • As you might imagine, a flight on Air Force One

  • is not a budget travel experience, not even close.

  • According to some estimates it costs at least $206,000 an hour

  • to operate the plane.

  • What does all that money pay for?

  • Well, expenses include fuel, state of the air communications

  • equipment, maintenance and upkeep, gourmet food,

  • and salaries, not only for on board staff and pilots

  • but also wages for Secret Service members

  • and other presidential employees who are on the clock while

  • aboard.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • In truth, Air Force One isn't a plane.

  • It's actually two planes.

  • This is because all modes of transportation

  • go out of commission sometimes for maintenance or repairs.

  • And one of the most important vehicles in the entire country

  • is no exception.

  • So when Air Force One is down for repairs,

  • its twin is always available to get the president

  • where he needs to go.

  • The president is unlikely to notice the difference, though,

  • as both Air Force One planes, which are housed at Andrews Air

  • Force base in Maryland, are equipped

  • with the exact same features.

  • So what do you think?

  • What's the most impressive Air Force One feature?

  • Let us know in the comments below.

  • And while you're at it, check out some of these other videos