Air Force One Up Close

And now for something completely different. Today, we’re going to forget about commercial aviation and talk about Air Force One. I had the chance to see it up close yesterday, and I’ve got plenty of pics.

Some of you may know that I volunteer at my home airport, Long Beach Airport. On Wednesday night, I received a note saying that volunteers had been invited to go see Air Force One the following morning since it was using Long Beach for the President’s visit to California this week. It took me about 3 seconds to respond that I’d be there. And here it is:

From Afar

Ok, so technically it wasn’t Air Force One because the President wasn’t onboard. When the President isn’t on the plane, it’s just a VC-25A (military-speak for the 747-200s assigned to this duty) with the registration 28000. But that didn’t make it any less cool.

It’s a beautiful bird, isn’t it? If you haven’t seen it, the National Geographic Channel did an hour long special on the plane that’s worth watching.

Entry Door

It’s a bummer that the marine layer was out in full force yesterday morning, but it didn’t ruin the experience at all. Just seeing that big flag on the tail makes you proud to be an American.

Kudos to the Long Beach Airport for actively getting several people out to see the plane and to President Obama’s team for allowing people to actually get this close.

See the rest of my pictures of Air Force One including one video.

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19 Comments on "Air Force One Up Close"

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TR1
Guest

Very cool. I am surprised no one was around the plane when you took your pictures. I will have to take a look at your video, but is it as gleamy as often said? I understand the maintenance team spends a lot of time on presentation (waxing, buffing).

Nick Barnard
Member

CF – What do you do as a volunteer at Long Beach Airport?

Vidiot
Guest

Such a beautiful bird. Here’s 28000 with Bush #43 on board, about to land at JFK last September.

And yeah, I’m curious about what you do as a volunteer at the airport.

Dave
Guest

Awesome pics Cranks! How does it compare with the old Air Force 1 over at Boeing field in Seattle? I saw that one and the Concorde a few years ago. BTW, very useful info on being an airport volunteer. Why didn’t I think of that?! I gotta check that out the DC area airports.

davidwhotz
Member

It’s interesting when Secret Service lets you take pictures and when they don’t. I was in Quantico once and saw Marine One. They didn’t let me take pictures of it, but they will of Air Force One and Air Force Two.

Eric
Guest

Great share Cranky! Thanks much for posting.

David: when I lived in DC and had a few ‘up close and personal’ moments with Marine One…it was my understanding that it is equipted with some external bells and whistles that the Secret Service does not want shared…that is why pics were forbidden. Even the media is restricted, during photo ops, of taking pictures of M1 from certain angles

winter travel
Guest

I must say that was a pretty good catch for your blog.. Not everybody get to see the Air Force One up close like that..

I wouldn’t mind a tour inside that plane..

Btw: What do they do with the old Air Force Ones? Are they in a museum?

Nick Barnard
Member

The US Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio also has some planes that served as Air Force One previously..

Dave
Guest

Here’s the link the (pretty old) Air Force 1 in Seattle. About the only thing I remember is the rotary dial phone. I guess that was pretty advanced to have that on a plane back in 1959! There was even more plexiglass inside the Concorde, such that you could walk down the aisle but not touch anything.

http://www.museumofflight.org/aircraft/boeing-vc-137b-707-120sam-970-air-force-one

Tim
Guest

Did they make any mention of why LGB was chosen? I’d think that security might be easier at LAX….or perhaps the Los Al base down the 405.

Tim
Guest
My wife works near LGB, and on her way home, she noticed that a lot of parents had brought their children to see the President take off. I would have loved to have seen that as a kid. And as far as Los Al, I guess it doesn’t help that our mayor was forced to resign last month for sending some “joke” emails involving Obama. You’re right about LAX though, my dad worked for what seemed like half a year on preparations for the Queen flying on Air New Zealand into LAX. And that was just a layover. Thanks again… Read more »
Doug Swalen
Guest

You sure it was the primary AF1 and not the backup? There’s two and supposedly the backup follows/shadows the primary around the country/world.

Champ
Guest
I am an employee of JetBlue at LGB. It definitely was AF1. We listened for it on our air to ground radios, an heard the Capt call out AF1 during his transmissions. The reason it landed at LGB was due to runway maintenance at Los Al. We had a complete ground stop on the terminal ramp. We weren’t even allowed to offload or upload our a/c because that would require us to move and operate ground equipment. The ground stop was in effect 15 before arrival and for about 20 minutes after. I watched the arrival from the DeVry lot,… Read more »
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