February 15, 2009

President Obama Loves Air Force One

This article is a bit of fluff. Does anyone really expect to hear comments that are critical in nature about Air Force One.

Anyway, I never get tired of reading about the history, specs and capabilities of the plane.

"The aircraft is maintained and operated by the Presidential Airlift Group, which falls under the White House Military Office.

It was founded at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 and originally called the Presidential Pilot Office, according to the White House Web site.

During the next two decades, different propeller planes served as the main transportation for the president. That was until President Kennedy became the first to travel in his own jet aircraft, which was a modified Boeing 707, according to the site.

The current plane was first used in 1990 during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.

The aircraft, which is longer than the length of a hockey rink, has 4,000 square feet of floor space stretched across three levels. The plane includes a large suite for the president that includes an office, bathroom and conference room. It also provides sleeping quarters for the president.

The plane has two food preparation galleys that can feed 100 people at a time and a medical suite that can be used as an operating room, according to the site.

While the plane does have its luxuries, plenty of the extras are devoted to security.
Air Force One can refuel in midair, has unlimited range and has electronics "hardened to protect against an electromagnetic pulse," according to the White House site.

In the event of an attack on the country, the plane, equipped with advanced and secure electronic communications equipment, can become the president's mobile command center.

"[The president] has the ability to run the country from Air Force One," said Col. Mark Tillman, who flew the plane for former President Bush during the last eight years, including after September 11, 2001, and into Baghdad, Iraq. "So he has everything that's available to him at the White House available to him at 45,000 feet."

On occasion, press briefings take place aboard the aircraft."


Anonymous said...

Does President Obama "Get It?"

Congress chastised and make mockery of the automotive executives for flying to Washington in their corporate jets that cost $2,000 per hour.

Our economy is in a death spiral. The global climate is at a tipping point. Food Banks are turning away people due to lack of funds. We're losing 20,000 jobs per day. Two thousand homes are being foreclosed per day. Americans are fearful, disappointed, and have less faith in government.

I applaude President Obama's hard work. He deserves a break. He's been on the job for about a month. I would think that any employer would reward a new employee with a four day, all expense, paid vacation. Especially since his last two week vacation in Hawaii was less than 60 days prior.

His desire to see some friends, play a little basketball, and take his wife out to dinner will probably cost the government close to million dollars, if not more.

Should non-government, domestic travel be on the world's largest private jet? It consumes 22,000 lbs. of fuel per hour and has a direct operating cost of $30,000 per hour while dumping tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Air Force One 747 does not fly alone. Three C5A super-giant cargo planes ferry the president's limo, helicopters and other assorted vehicles when the President takes a trip. The C5 Galaxy is the largest cargo plane in the world. It has a payload of 260,000 pounds. It is the most fuel consuming aircraft in the world and the most polluting.

Yes, Mr. President, Air Force One is "Spiffy", but is it possible that you could choose a less expensive mode of transportation for your weekend jaunts? Maybe you can ship your vehicles by truck or rail instead of on Air Force planes. Maybe you could reserve the 747 for international flights and make due with a 727 or A320 for domestic flights. Or maybe, even better, think twice about taking non-essential trips.

Your trip could have kept ? homes out of foreclosure. How many of the newly homeless families could you have provided food and shelter for? How many college educations would your trip have financed? How many jobs could have been created?

Are you "Getting it"? Mr. President.

George Vreeland Hill said...

The government does not get it.
The government does not care either.
Think about that.

Jack said...

Air Force One doesn't bother me. POTUS should come with certain perks.