The current “Air Force One” fleet consists of two Boeing 747’s: SAM 28000 and SAM
Fully fueled, the current Air Force One can fly halfway around the world.
A plane can only use the call sign “Air Force One” if it is a military aircraft
attached to the 89th Air Lift Wing AND only when the President of the United States
is on board.
On August 8, 1974, President and Mrs. Nixon were returning to California after the
President had announced his resignation from office. The Nixons were about halfway
home when, at noon in Washington, D.C., Gerald R. Ford took the oath of office as
the 38th President of the United States. The pilot, Col. Ralph Albertazzie, immediately
radioed Kansas City Air Traffic Control to report that “Air Force One” was now “SAM
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to fly on official business. He flew
aboard a Boeing 314 Dixie Clipper seaplane in 1943 to meet secretly with Winston
Churchill in Casablanca, Morocco.
President Kennedy was the first president to use the call sign “Air Force One” publicly.
Air Force One was the Secret Service code name for the aircraft and Kennedy liked
it so well that he told his staff and the White House press corps to make the reference
known to the public.
The Air Force One color scheme of white, silver, gold, and several shades of blue,
was selected by former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
For every official trip, a C 141 Starlifter cargo plan flies ahead of Air Force
One, transporting the President’s official motorcade (armored limousines) for use
at his destination.
An aide who travels with the President is responsible for maintaining custody of
“the football”—the secure briefcase that contains the nuclear launch codes. When
the President is in the air, an Air Force officer guards the case. When the President
is on the ground, an Army officer guards the case.
President Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office on Air Force One, November 22,
1963, after the assassination of President Kennedy