Plans are underway for a Royal Air Force pilot to report to 89th Airlift Wing, Andrews Air Force Base for conversion training in order to fly the Boeing VC-25.
The Daily Express quoted an anonymous source as saying that the “Wing Commander chosen for this job has previously served a number of years in the U.S. as an so is well acquainted with how the US Air Force operates”.
RAF pilots have previously flown, co-piloted and crewed US aircraft including the F-117, U2 and B2 Spirit stealth bomber.
The Boeing VC-25 is a military version of the Boeing 747 airliner, modified for presidential transport and operated by the United States Air Force as Air Force One, it should however be noted that the call sign of any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States is ‘Air Force One’.
“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. Although ‘Air Force One’ can describe any Air Force aircraft carrying the President, it is now standard practice to use the term to refer to specific planes equipped to transport the Commander-in-Chief.”
The U.S. Air Force recently announced that it will replace the two 747-200s that serve as the presidential Air Force One fleet with two new 747-8s.