Streaks of red and blue painted across the majestic ‘Air Force One’ is a symbol that represents the US Presidency and Government. Technically, Air Force One is an air traffic control call sign used by the Presidential aircraft of the United States. An aircraft that is specifically built and designed to transport the US President, Air Force One is carried by an air of power and superiority.
Just last year, under President Donald Trump’s rule, the Air Force signed a $3.9 billion contract with Boeing to provide the government with 2 next-generation aircraft for Air Force One. CEO of Boeing, Dennis Muilenberg, sealed the deal and is set to begin the work by 2021. The new versions of the aircraft are expected to have advanced security, warfare, and sensory features.
However, the current version of Air Force One is just as daunting and fearful as it should be! With POTUS Donald Trump arriving in India on February 24th, 2020, the aircraft looks just as intimidating as a military aircraft. What makes it so scary?
7 technologies that make ‘Air Force One’ the most feared non-military aircraft in the world:
#1 It Can Survive A Nuclear Blast!
The aircraft designed with the purpose of war kept in mind which lets it survive a nuclear blast. If there was an incident to survive a blast, the US President inside the aircraft would be untouched. He can give orders and strategies to manage war from inside. The body of the aircraft is designed to survive any kind of blast with:
A wired mesh on the windows to prevent radiation
Hardened equipment and wiring to be undeterred by electromagnetic pulse
Thermal and nuclear shielding and measures to counter fire
#2 The Aircraft Refuels Mid-Air
One of the finest features of the Air Force One is its ability to refuel mid-air. While the new version may not have this feature, it is a rather important one. To refuel mid-air, the aircraft has to manage to acquire fuel from another aircraft with a tanker in between. A boom operator manages this transfer with a pilot actively monitoring the autopilot and the other offloading. The boom operator disconnects once the fueling is complete. In an unfortunate scenario of aircraft going off track, there is an automatic disconnect.
By refueling mid-air, the aircraft saves time by not having to land and refuel.
#3 Retractable Stairway and Own Baggage Loader
Being a presidential aircraft, there cannot be any compromise on the resources used in the making and functioning. The Air Force One has a retractable stairway so it doesn’t need to rely on the airport’s stairway to come off-board. This ensures that the stairway has not been meddled with. For the same reason, the aircraft also has its own baggage loader so there is no chance of any unwanted or suspicious luggage being put in.
#4 Distinctive Security Measures- Ejects Flares!
Since it was designed keeping War in mind and the safe transportation of the President, there are a variety of security measures built-in. The body of the aircraft has electronic countermeasures that will jam any enemy radar when identified. The aircraft also has self-defense measures of ejecting flares onto missiles that are seeking heat to throw them off.
#5 Encryption and Scrambling Devices
Communication is an easy target and also the most commonly used one for attacks. To ensure the highest level of security when having air to ground communication, the Air Force One has encryption and scrambling devices. The encrypted GPS signals help understand the authenticity of the information being relayed.
#6 A Communication Suite
The Air Force One aircraft has an entire communication suite set up for the President which allows him to available for communication even when mid-air. Calls, Video Calls, Video Conferencing, Addressing Public, etc everything can be done when the President is in flight. Since the aircraft can refuel mid-air, in cases of long term conflict the President can operate from the flight.
#7 Onboard Medical Facility
While there are so many measures taken with regard to preventing any unfortunate incident, the aftermath has also been considered. The aircraft has a full-fledged medical facility that uses the latest med-tech to be prepared for any medical issue. There is also a doctor that is on board to look after the President and Ministers. With a medical plan in place and contingencies kept in mind, Air Force One really becomes unbeatable!
#8 Features That Can’t Be Seen By The Untrained Eye
‘We don’t fear the dark, we fear the unknown.’ A popular quote that explains the intricacies of the human mind so well. There are some features and technologies used in the Air Force One that can’t be noticed by an untrained eye. There is so much to the aircraft which a common person will never know anything about. It will be extremely difficult for even military agents to identify these features and that’s what makes Air Force One the most feared non-military aircraft!
The United States makes quite an impression with the Air Force One cutting through clouds and bringing the president to different countries. As many people say, it is an air-borne White House since it has an oval office, conference room and a set of ministers traveling along. If analyzed correctly, the real essence of the aircraft lies in the advanced technologies used to build it.
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