Build your own Air Force One

The Nat-Geo channel is launching a series on Air Force One today (Sunday, Jan. 25).

In their site you can check out how to build your own Air Force One.

Choose from two versions: paper model (requires glue) or a simple one-sheet-fold-your-own-plane.


Obama tours Air Force One

From the Washington Post:

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Now making the rounds comes this segment from a forthcoming National Geographic TV series “On Board Air Force One,” set to begin airing on Jan. 25, in which then-President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 4 boards one of the planes that will serve as Air Force One once he is sworn in as president.

The episode shows Obama greeting Col. Scott Turner of the Air Force at the start of his “first official flight as the new pilot,” according to the narrator, who also notes that Air Force One gets new pilots when presidents change. The trip took Obama to the District from Chicago.

“Good to see you. You’re the pilot of Air Force One?” Obama greets him.

“Yes sir, it will be my privilege to serve you,” says Turner.

“You know, I’ve got to say, you’re out of central casting. You’re exactly what I want the pilot of Air Force One to look like. You look like you know how to fly. You look like Sam Shepard in The Right, ‘The Right Stuff’,” Obama says.

Technically speaking, both National Geographic and Obama play loose with presidential terminology on the show. Air Force One is the moniker for any of the Boeing 747s that carry U.S. presidents. But since Obama had not been sworn in at the time of the flight, it was likely given a “special air mission” label for the occasion. Now that Obama is president, however, the term will apply to any of the Air Force jetliners he travels on.

The show jumps from his entry to Obama ordering his first meal on what will become one of his presidential planes. “I’ll see how you guys do a burger,” he tells chief flight attendant Reggie Dickson, ordering it cooked “medium-well,” with cheddar cheese, dijon mustard, lettuce and tomato. And he asks, “If you have, like, salad or some vegetables or something.” When the Dickson asks, “No fries or anything like that?” Obama replies, “Oh, I’ll still take the fries.”

“Yes, sir,” says Dickson, then laughs.

What is Air Force One

An intro to the Presidential Plane, from WhiteHouse.Gov:


No matter where in the world the President travels, if he flies in an Air Force jet, the plane is called Air Force One. Technically, Air Force One is the call sign of any Air Force aircraft carrying the President. In practice, however, Air Force One is used to refer to one of two highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft, which carry the tail codes 28000 and 29000. The Air Force designation for the aircraft is VC-25A.

Air Force One is one of the most recognizable symbols of the presidency, spawning countless references not just in American culture but across the world. Emblazoned with the words “United States of America,” the American flag, and the Seal of the President of the United States, it is an undeniable presence wherever it flies or docks.

Capable of refueling midair, Air Force One has unlimited range and can carry the President wherever he needs to travel. The onboard electronics are hardened to protect against an electromagnetic pulse, and Air Force One is equipped with advanced secure communications equipment, allowing the aircraft to function as a mobile command center in the event of an attack on the United States.

Inside, the President and his travel companions enjoy 4,000 square feet of floor space on three levels, including an extensive suite for the President that features a large office, lavatory, and conference room. Air Force One includes a medical suite that can function as an operating room, and a doctor is permanently on board. The plane’s two food preparation galleys can feed 100 people at a time.

Air Force One also has quarters for those who accompany the President, including senior advisors, Secret Service officers, traveling press, and other guests. Several cargo planes typically fly ahead of Air Force One to provide the President with services needed in remote locations.

Air Force One is maintained and operated by the Presidential Airlift Group, part of the White House Military Office. The Airlift Group was founded in 1944 as the Presidential Pilot Office at the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. For the next 20 years, various propeller driven aircraft served the President. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy became the first President to fly in his own jet aircraft, a modified Boeing 707. Over the years, several other jet aircraft have been used, with the first of the current aircraft being delivered in 1990 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. 


The most powerful people in the world (2) – Answers


You tried ’em, you guessed’em, and one of you got it right first!

Young lawyer Marcelo Sarsur, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, named first and correctly all 12 people depicted in our earlier post, and he gets a first-class ticket to Air Force Obama! Congrats =)

Here’s what he told us:

Gates, Chu, Rice, Gibbs, Jones, Obama, Clinton, Holder, Geithner, LaHood, Emanuel and Napolitano. There!

 Comment by Marcelo Sarsur | 11 11UTC January 11UTC 2009 |

A few minutes later, Vinicius Tavares, also from Belo Horizonte, tried, but he got one wrong:

1- Robert Gates
2- Steven Chu
3- Susan Rice
4- Robert Gibbs
5- James L. Jones
6- Barack Obama
7- Hillary Clinton
8- Eric Holder
9- Tom Daschle
10- Ray LaHood
11- Rahm Emanuel
12- Janet Napolitano

Number 9 (first in the third row) is not Daschle. It’s Timothy Geithner, soon-to-be Treasury Secretary (that’s a lot of “y”s in a same sentence, I bet mineiros like that).

Even the President-elect couldn’t manage the task!

Holy Christ! Only one missing!

 Comment by Nogueira | 11 11UTC January 11UTC 2009 |

That’s a comment by Pedro Nogueira, who will play the title role.

As for me, well… I can’t stop thinking James L. Jones is an awfully similar name to James Earl Jones

Imagine having Darth Vader for National Security Advisor!

Reuters: Bush takes last Air Force One flight to honor dad

From Reuters:

By Tabassum Zakaria 

NORFOLK, Va., Jan 10 (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush took his last official Air Force One flight on Saturday to Virginia for a ceremony to place a warship named after his father into active duty. 

Bush, who leaves office on Jan. 20 when President-elect Barack Obama enters the White House, attended the commissioning of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, with close family members and senior officials. 

Bush, a wartime president who hands over conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to his successor, called the Nimitz-class carrier “an awesome ship” that honored “an awesome man.” 

The president’s helicopter, Marine One, landed on the flight deck and Bush emerged with his father, the former president, who was walking with a cane. Their wives followed. 

They walked to a golf cart and the president sat behind the wheel, smiling and joking as if he was about to drive off. But the cart was sitting on the flight deck elevator, which carried the first family to a lower deck. 

Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were among the high-level officials who joined the Bushes aboard the carrier. 

Speaking to about 10,000 guests and sailors, Bush said the carrier had already seen some rough times during its short history, including the shipyard closing during construction due to a hurricane. 

“I brought along an equally strong force of nature, my mother,” he said. 


Bush spoke about how his mother knitted socks for his father while he was overseas during World War Two and how his father collected seashells for her from Pacific atolls before they were married. 

Bush paid homage to his father, saying he had “the deep love of his family, the admiration of his friends and the thanks of a grateful nation.” 

“So what do you give a guy who has been blessed and has just about everything he has ever needed?” the president joked. “Well, an aircraft carrier.” 

His sister, Dorothy Bush Koch, put the ship into service with the traditional proclamation “Man our ship and bring her to life.” On that signal, sailors ran up planks and took up positions around the ship. 

Bush’s father told the sailors that “the freedom we seek and the peace we desire can only be found in the countless sacrifices you will make in everyday tasks you will perform.” 

Navy ships based in Norfolk are typically deployed to the region covered by Central Command that is overseeing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and includes the Mediterranean and the Gulf, a Navy spokesman said. 

The USS George H.W. Bush still has to go through sea trials before it will be deployed. 

The ceremony included a flyover by four fighter jets followed by an Avenger torpedo bomber, similar to the one the former president flew in World War Two. 

For Bush, it was a day of his final flight on Air Force One, the presidential jet. He will fly to Texas after Obama’s inauguration most likely on the same jet but it will no longer be designated as Air Force One, which is reserved for a plane carrying the president. (Editing by John O’Callaghan)