22 January 2009

Obama on Air Force One

As an aviation junkie and an Obama fanboy, this is too cool, and I'm going to have to set the TiVO (Sunday 25 Jan at 8PM).

Ok, don't get picky with me -- it wasn't AFO at that time, just SAM 28000, as Obama was still only President-elect. It is only Air Force One when POTUS is on board.

I remember when I took my checkride for the private pilot's license, and we were coming back to land on the long runway at our home airport. The tower instructed us to wait for wake turbulance for a large military aircraft that had just landed, and after that, we were cleared for landing. As I flared over the numbers, the otherwise un-rufflable FAA examiner blurted out, "Holy Crap! That's Air Force One!" And indeed there was SAM 28000 coming back down the taxiway. We stared at it and I was totally distracted and muffed the landing, bouncing three or four times down the runway. The examiner just laughed and said, "That only counts for one landing!" Of course, the President was not on board at the time -- they close the airport when AFO is active. Still, it was cool landing immediately after that jet.

I heard that they're looking to replace it, and that the Airbus A380 is going to be in the running, since it's so much bigger. Boeing is going to counterbid with the (as yet nonexistent) 747-8. Boy, it would suck if Airbus got the contract, not just for national pride and all that, but because the A380 is such a hideously malformed beast of an airplane. The 747's silhouette is so noble and elegant in comparison. And Air Force One is just supposed to be a 747 -- it's the natural way! Either way, the new planes won't be acquired and operational until 2015 at the earliest.

Update: this is cool: Air Force One (Nat' Geo) has a twitter feed. Trivia questions and Q&A with the pilot of Force One tomorrow.


  1. I saw it once in flight, but from close up, as it flew through/over a canyon next to my office. If W was looking out the window he could have seen me well enough to recognize me (if he knew me). Pretty plane--pretty cool.

  2. Interesting post. With regard to the Air Force One twitter feed, I'm not sure if the personification of a Boeing 747 is necessarily appropriate, but it definitely makes for a very interesting read!

    PS: I completely agree that the Airbus A380 is one of the most ugliest planes to fly the skies, and far less pleasing than the 747. However, if Air Force One must be changed, I'd suggest the Antonov AN-225, which is quite impressive!

  3. Shadow, wasn't their a post yesterday with a great satellite pic of the inaugural crowd? Did you have to remove it for copyright? do you have a link to where it can be viewed I couldn't Google up the exact image...


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