Chariots of the Sky: Presidential Aircraft in the US and Elsewhere

Like the Shadow, the Phantom, the Black Panther, and even President of the United States, Air Force One is not just one thing. It is a mantle passed down from one generation to the other. Although the designation was first used during Eisenhower’s administration, the United States has a long history of Presidents and planes.

Image of air force one on the tarmac

If you want to get around the world quickly, you’re going to need a plane. And if you just so happen to be a government figure, you better make sure that your aircraft is stylish in addition to being ultra safe. For the most extreme circumstances, you’ll want to make sure that your plane is equipped with radiation pulse shields

Here’s a look at some chariots of the sky┬áused by heads of state across the world.

Note: I plan to add more photos in the future. Added ­čÖé

Australia

Aircraft: Two 737 Boeing Business Jets and Three Challenger 604s

Fun Fact: The Australian Special Purposes Fleet is used by the Prime Minister, Governor General, Foreign Minister, and even the British Royal Family (when visiting).

737 Boeing Business Jet

737 Boeing Business Jet

Canada

Aircraft: Five Airbus A310-300s (CC-150 Poloaris) and Four Bombardier Challenger 604 Business Jets

Fun Fact: Out of the Five CC-150 Polaris craft, only one of them is operated for carrying VIPs. This one is dubbed No. 001 or Royal Flight when carrying royalty.

CC-150 Poloaris

CC-150 Poloaris

China

Aircraft: Eight Boeing 737-300s and Two 737-700s

Fun Fact: In 2000, China ordered a 767-300ER from Delta Airlines. Soon later, after the plane had been refitted in San Antonio, Chinese authorities claimed that they found 27 bugs onboard the craft.

Boeing 737-300

Boeing 737-300

India

Aircraft: Four Boeing 747-437B

Fun Fact: The official call sign of any aircraft carrying the President of India or Prime Minister of Inida is Air India One.

Boeing 747-437B

Boeing 747-437B

Japan

Aircraft: Two Boeing 747-400

Fun Fact: These crafts have two different types of call signs. Japanese Air Force One and Two for official business, and Cygnus One and Two for operations outside of official business.

Boeing 747-400

Boeing 747-400

Russia

Aircraft: Ilyushin Il-96-300PU

Fun Fact: It is rumored that this plane has gold plated walls an escape pod, much like the one featured in Air Force One.

Ilyushin Il-96-300PU

Ilyushin Il-96-300PU

The UK

Aircraft: Voyager A330, Agusta A109, and BAE-146 airliners

Fun Fact: For domestic flights, the Queen often uses a Sikorsky S-76C++ as part of The Queen’s Helicopter Flight.

Voyager A330

Voyager A330

United States

Aircraft: Two Customized Boeing 747-200B Jetliners

Fun fact: “One” is used as the call sign for┬áthe call sign of any craft containing the President. So just like “Air Force One”, you could also have “Army One”, “Marine One”, etc. This just depends on which branch the craft corresponds to. Any craft carrying the VP ┬áhas a “Two” at the end of it.

Boeing 747-200B

Boeing 747-200B

 

Belal El-Atari