If you find yourself traveling on Air Force One, then you’ll have a privilege most of us don’t have when it comes to flying – no terminals. Waiting in long lines at check-in counters, customs, and gates can be a real drag. Plus, you have to arrive hours before your flight – especially if you’re flying internationally. However, Air Force One passengers don’t have this problem because the president and crew never need to pass through a terminal.
As the plane comes with its own retractable staircase, the president can simply leave the plane and get into his wheels, which is an armored limo. We’re pretty sure that some of the passengers join the procession of vehicles making up the motorcade.
Having the 36th US president onboard wasn’t exactly smooth sailing – or rather, smooth flying – for everyone. A permanent thorn in the crew’s side was Johnson’s complaints over the temperature. Either it was too cold or too hot. The crew installed a fake thermostat, allowing LBJ to manipulate the controls without changing the internal temperature. It worked.
The 36th US president had no more complaints as long as he could “control” the temperature. But Johnson’s quirks were not quite done. LBJ loved his beagles. Whenever he went, they went too, including flights. The dogs used to get restless when LBJ was in the plane’s conference room, so doggy flaps were fitted into the doors so the hounds could move around freely – even at 42,000 ft (12 800m).
The Legacy of the Name
Thanks to movies like “Air Force One,” pretty much everyone knows that this name refers to the airliner carrying the president. However, Air Force One hasn’t always been the name. Back in 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower was aboard his aircraft, which was called Air Force 8610.
Flying at the same time, a plane belonging to Eastern Air Lines with flight number 8610 bore exactly the same name, Air Force 8610. The world of aviation soon learned that the plane transporting the president would need a more unique name to avoid any air confusion. And since 1953, Air Force One has stuck. And now, with films starring Harrison Ford, it’s unlikely that this mishap will take place again.
When it comes to anything big, rich, and extravagant, one name that comes to mind is businessman Donald Trump. The 45th President’s portfolio of assets is extensive. He owns golf courses, properties, and big stakes in hotels. It’s unsurprising that Trump also has his own private jet, a Boeing 757.
Even though the jet boasts a private bedroom, gold-plated seatbelts, family crests tailored on leather sofas, and other luxurious finishings, it simply doesn’t compete with Air Force One. Trump might have all the fancy finishings, but Air Force One airliners are larger, can travel longer, and can be refueled mid-flight. Little wonder Trump couldn’t wait to hop onto the presidential plane during his tenure.
It’s Really Loud
Though planes are a common enough phenomenon, their sound can be penetrating and can catch us off guard. Now, can you imagine the amount of noise Air Force One makes when it touches down? It’s an incredibly big plane and makes a cacophony of noise. It’s like parking a flying hotel. Some people who don’t need to imagine how loud the plane gets are residents of Westchester, New York.
In 2000, when Air Force One first touched down at Westchester County Airport to return the Clintons to their suburban home, 14 complaints about the level of noise were submitted by residents. While there are plenty of perks of having a president in your neighborhood, there is decidedly one very big downside.