Air Force One
The USA’s fleet of 2 “VC-25″ 747-200 derivatives is unique in several respects. It’s more popularly known as the latest incarnation of the “Air Force One” fleet that transports the President of the United States around the world, though the planes themselves only acquire the “Air Force One” call sign when the President is on board. The VC-25 can also serve as a secondary command post, thanks to a suite of advanced communications and electronics gear that’s both highly encrypted, and protected from the Electro-Magnetic Pulse effects of nuclear detonations. The 89th Airlift Wing operates them from Andrews AFB, MD.
During the Cold War, if humanity’s time on earth had been cut short, at least one of the orders would almost certainly have come from a 707-based “VC-137″ predecessor. The 747-based VC-25s were ordered in 1985, and added to the fleet in 1990, where they continue to serve in the same roles, flying an average of nearly 200,000 miles per year. Of course, maintenance and upgrades are still required, such as the 2002/2003 upgrades that let the President address the nation from on board, new defensive systems, etc…
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