HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

VC-25 - Air Force One

MINNEAPOLIS  --  Air Force One lifts off from here April 26th.  Principal differences between the VC-25A and the standard Boeing 747, other than the number of passengers carried, are the electronic and communications equipment aboard Air Force One, its interior configuration and furnishings, self-contained baggage loader, front and aft air-stairs, and the capability for in-flight refueling. These aircraft are flown by the presidential aircrew, maintained by the presidential maintenance branch, and are assigned to Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeremy Mashek)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Air Force One lifts off from here April 26th. Principal differences between the VC-25A and the standard Boeing 747, other than the number of passengers carried, are the electronic and communications equipment aboard Air Force One, its interior configuration and furnishings, self-contained baggage loader, front and aft air-stairs, and the capability for in-flight refueling. These aircraft are flown by the presidential aircrew, maintained by the presidential maintenance branch, and are assigned to Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeremy Mashek)

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Air Force One lands here on May 4. The mission of the VC-25 aircraft -- Air Force One -- is to provide air transport for the president of the United States. The presidential air transport fleet consists of two specially configured Boeing 747-200B's -- tail numbers 28000 and 29000 -- with the Air Force designation VC-25. When the president is aboard either aircraft, or any Air Force aircraft, the radio call sign is "Air Force One." (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Slater)

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Air Force One lands here on May 4. The mission of the VC-25 aircraft -- Air Force One -- is to provide air transport for the president of the United States. The presidential air transport fleet consists of two specially configured Boeing 747-200B's -- tail numbers 28000 and 29000 -- with the Air Force designation VC-25. When the president is aboard either aircraft, or any Air Force aircraft, the radio call sign is "Air Force One." (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Slater)

FILE PHOTO -- Air Force One flies over Mount Rushmore. Principal differences between the VC-25A and the standard Boeing 747, other than the number of passengers carried, are the electronic and communications equipment aboard Air Force One, its interior configuration and furnishings, self-contained baggage loader, front and aft air-stairs, and the capability for in-flight refueling. These aircraft are flown by the presidential aircrew, maintained by the presidential maintenance branch, and are assigned to Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (U.S. Air Force photo)

FILE PHOTO -- Air Force One flies over Mount Rushmore. Principal differences between the VC-25A and the standard Boeing 747, other than the number of passengers carried, are the electronic and communications equipment aboard Air Force One, its interior configuration and furnishings, self-contained baggage loader, front and aft air-stairs, and the capability for in-flight refueling. These aircraft are flown by the presidential aircrew, maintained by the presidential maintenance branch, and are assigned to Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Mission
The mission of the VC-25 aircraft -- Air Force One -- is to provide air transport for the president of the United States.

Features
The presidential air transport fleet consists of two specially configured Boeing 747-200B's -- tail numbers 28000 and 29000 -- with the Air Force designation VC-25. When the president is aboard either aircraft, or any Air Force aircraft, the radio call sign is "Air Force One."

Principal differences between the VC-25 and the standard Boeing 747, other than the number of passengers carried, are the electronic and communications equipment, self-contained baggage loader, front and aft air-stairs, and the capability for in-flight refueling.

Accommodations for the president include an executive suite consisting of a stateroom (with dressing room, lavatory and shower) and the president's office. A conference/dining room is also available for the president, his family and staff. Other separate accommodations are provided for guests, senior staff, Secret Service and security personnel and the news media.

Two galleys provide up to 100 meals at one sitting. Six passenger lavatories, including disabled access facilities, are provided as well as a rest area and mini-galley for the aircrew. The VC-25 also has a compartment outfitted with medical equipment and supplies for minor medical emergencies. 

Background
Presidential air transport began in 1944 when a VC-54, nicknamed the "Sacred Cow," was put into service for Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt’s successor, President Harry S. Truman, used the aircraft extensively during the first 27 months of his administration. On July 26, 1947, President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 on board the Sacred Cow. This act established the US Air Force as an independent service, making the Sacred Cow the “birthplace” of the US Air Force. Then came a VC-118, nicknamed the "Independence,” which transported President Harry S. Truman during the period 1947 to 1953. It was nicknamed “Independence” after President Truman’s hometown, Independence, Missouri. President Dwight D. Eisenhower traveled aboard a VC-121A and VC-121E, both nicknamed "Columbine II" and "Columbine III", from 1953 to 1961. These two aircraft were named after the official state flower of Colorado in honor of Mrs. Eisenhower’s home state. While the call sign "Air Force One" was first used in the 50s, President Kennedy's VC-137 was the first aircraft to be popularly known as "Air Force One." 

In 1962, a VC-137C specifically purchased for use as Air Force One, entered into service with the tail number 26000. It is perhaps the most widely known and most historically significant presidential aircraft. Tail number 26000 is the aircraft that carried President Kennedy to Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963, and returned the body to Washington, D.C., following his assassination. Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn into office as the 36th president on board the aircraft at Love Field in Dallas. In 1972 President Richard M. Nixon made historic visits aboard 26000 to the People's Republic of China and to the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 

Tail number 27000 replaced 26000 and carved its own history when it was used to fly Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter to Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 19, 1981, to represent the United States at the funeral of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. 

The first VC-25A -- tail number 28000 -- flew as "Air Force One" on Sept. 6, 1990, when it transported President George Bush to Kansas, Florida and back to Washington, D.C. A second VC-25A, tail number 29000 transported Presidents Clinton, Carter and Bush to Israel for the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Tail number 29000 also carved its name in history on September 11, 2001, when President George W. Bush was interrupted as he attended an event at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, after the attack on the World Trade Center South Tower in New York City. The aircrew safely returned the President and staff members back to Washington, D.C. despite increased threats. 

On March 23, 2016, tail number 28000 had the honor of transporting President Barrack H. Obama on a historic trip to Cuba. It was the first visit by a sitting U.S. president since President Calvin Coolidge in 1928.  

Today, these aircraft are operated and maintained by the Presidential Airlift Group, and are assigned to Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing located at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.  The VC-25A continues the unique mission of presidential travel, upholding the proud tradition and distinction of being known as "Air Force One."

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Presidential air transport
Contractor: Boeing Airplane Co.
Power Plant: Four General Electric CF6-80C2B1 jet engines
Thrust: 56,700 pounds, each engine
Length: 231 feet, 10 inches (70.7 meters)
Height: 63 feet, 5 inches (19.3 meters)
Wingspan: 195 feet, 8 inches (59.6 meters)
Speed: 630 miles per hour (Mach 0.92)
Ceiling: 45,100 feet (13,746 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 833,000 pounds (374,850 kilograms)
Range: 7,800 statute miles (6,800 nautical miles) (12,550 kilometers)
Crew: 30
Passengers: 71  
Introduction Date: Dec. 8, 1990 (No. 28000); Dec. 23, 1990 (No. 29000)
Date Deployed: Sept. 6, 1990 (No. 28000); Mar. 26, 1991 (No. 29000)
Inventory: Active force, 2; ANG, 0; Reserve, 0

(Current as of June 2016)

Engage

Facebook Twitter
Mark your calendars; the @AFThunderbirds 2019 season dates are here. https://t.co/sVcgLXzxEA https://t.co/jlsJwPMZMd
Mathematician and #GPS innovator, Gladys West, is inducted into Space and Missiles Pioneers Hall of Fame. @AFSpacehttps://t.co/ZGs8CFfMkS
Military training instructors can get just about anyone ready for duty! This #FlashbackFriday takes #Santa through… https://t.co/5M7iHhU21m
RT @SecAFOfficial: To increase readiness & use money wisely, we have recommended basing the next three squadrons of F-35s at Tyndall. With…
#CMSAF Kaleth Wright advocates for #Airmen to arm themselves with knowledge as the #BlendedRetirementSystem opt-in… https://t.co/HRmZIda6aM
A day the U.S. will never forget. At 7:55 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, a Japanese force of 183 airplanes attacked… https://t.co/hzE55jRp23
Congratulations are in order @LukeAFB as the 308th Fighter Squadron reactivates, training the world’s greatest figh… https://t.co/XRHrTSUYTj
RT @EielsonAirForce: @CMTTop20 visited the Iceman team last week. Here’s a sneak peek of their visit to the Arctic Survival School. @PACAF
#AirForce Installation and Mission Support Center Resources Directorate's first on-site responder since… https://t.co/pJKTWqXOjw
‘Conflict Anywhere Will Be Conflict Everywhere' is the motto for Multi-Domain Command & Control. #MDC2 aims to figu… https://t.co/nFzxBUHRoS
VCSAF Gen. Stephen Wilson meets #AirForce cadets @ the 10th Annual National Security Scholars Conf in Pittsburg, PA… https://t.co/akLCM7RBaA
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: “We’ve got to be able to deliver capabilities from the lab bench to the warfighter faster...if you’ve got an idea that…
Watching the skies...@Norad_Northcom provides a potent military response capability, protecting Canada and the U.S.… https://t.co/jtHVHBmK6o
RT @TAMU: “Special Airlift Mission 41” performing a tribute flight over Texas A&M and the @Bush41Library to honor President George H.W. Bus…
#Remembering41: @Andrews_JBA’s 89th Airlift Wing will conduct a #VC25A tribute flight IHO former President George H… https://t.co/kmlLLo5650
RT @DeptofDefense: MT @MDW_USARMY: #ServiceMembers standby as the casket of former #PresidentHWBush arrives during a ceremony at Ellington…