In October 1910, Theodore Roosevelt was the first U.S. president to fly in a plane, but it was his distant cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt who was the first president to fly in a plane while in office. It was also FDR who in 1944 directed that a Presidential Pilot Office be established to provide air transportation for the commander in chief. Over the course of the next 20 years, various propeller-driven aircraft handled the job of flying the president where he needed to go. In 1962, the first jet--a Boeing 707--was purchased for this purpose, and became the first Air Force One.
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The Flying White House
Because of its incredible array of amenities--from first-class food to high-speed internet and video-conferencing--incredible comfort and top-notch security, Air Force One is known as the "Flying White House." The Air Force One team makes sure that the president--"Passenger Number One"--is not only safe and comfortable, but fully able to meet the demands of the office at any altitude.
Today's Air Force One
Model: A VC-25 jet, a military version of the Boeing 747-200B Entered service: 1990
Home base: Andrews Air Force Base, Suitland, Maryland (about 11 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.)
Commander: Colonel Mark Tillman, Presidential Airlift Group, U.S. Air Force
Size: Six stories high, 231 feet, 10 inches long
Wing span: 195 feet, 8 inches
Speed: 630 miles per hour (near supersonic speed, much more powerful than a typical 747)
Interior floor space: 4,000 square feet
Range: About 14 hours in the air; 7,800 statute miles
Defenses: Infrared-missile and radar-jamming technology, along with a host of other top-secret aerial defenses and electronic countermeasures
Amenities: Executive suite for the president; two fully functional kitchens with a full-scale electric range that can churn out 100 meals at a time; workstations; fax and copy machines; broadband internet access; satellite video, dozens of secure phone lines, soundproof-able conference room
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