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President Elect's Aircraft?  
User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7862 times:

While a fleet of big, shiny, aircraft await President-Elect Obama early next year, how does the government handle his transportation during the transition period? Military transports (C-32As, USAF Gulfstreams), government aircraft (several branches have non-military executive jets), or civil charter?

Of course, if anyone sees him on a United flight from O'hare to Dulles, be sure to let us know!  Wink


CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7862 times:

What has he flown on or in while a Senator? Makes sense that's what he'll travel on until he gets the privilege of flying the SAM fleet planes.


Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7862 times:



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 2):
What has he flown on or in while a Senator? Makes sense that's what he'll travel on until he gets the privilege of flying the SAM fleet planes.



I believe that for the most part senators have to fly commercial like the rest of us. Unless of course it has something to do with official government business. For example a fact finding mission to Afghanistan.


User currently offlineMoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2402 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7862 times:



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 2):
What has he flown on or in while a Senator? Makes sense that's what he'll travel on until he gets the privilege of flying the SAM fleet planes.

As a senator, he would typically fly commercial for regular trips back home, etc., except on official business, as LMP737 pointed out. But he is no longer "just" a senator, he is now President-Elect. There is a whole different level of security that goes along with that. He's no longer using the North American 757 of the campaign, but I'm not sure what he will be using for the next couple of months.



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4952 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7807 times:

I think this will do nicely for the time being.....

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Photo © Josh May




"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7807 times:



Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 4):
I think this will do nicely for the time being.....

Nice airplane, saw one of them doing touch and go's at OGG back in 2005.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8478 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7807 times:

That BBJ looks ideal for the interim period and also for those times after Jan 20th when he wants to take a short hop to Midway. It might need so additional communication equipment, but it's cost effective.

I believe that the public would also see the benefit for using the BBK for short flights within the US - say anything under 2 hours. Saves money and allows for avoiding some of the heavily congested airports (going to Midway and not ORD).

The one exception I would see in the near future is that it would be a very nice gesture on Bush's part to provide one of the 747's when Obama & Family go to Hawaii for his grandmother's memorial service. Not only would it put Bush in a nice guy light, but it would also keep the Secret Service very happy.

I believe it was President Nixon who started a tradition of "special courtesies". After the JFK/LBJ inauguration Nixon, then the outgoing VP, had to fly home commercial. When he was inaugurated President he remembered how he felt back then and ensured Humphrey was flown home on a AF exec jet.

For Obama I believe Bush will accept the Secret Services requests. I wouldn't expect to see Obama flying commercial until after his Presidency is over.


User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1725 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7807 times:

I was under the impression that he will have one of these at his disposal until January.


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WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1725 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7807 times:



Quoting SkyyKat (Reply 9):
Is that not Cheney's current ride?

It is, although the USAF owns four C-32 aircraft. I doubt VP Cheney needs all of them.



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineSkyyKat From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7807 times:



Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 10):
t is, although the USAF owns four C-32 aircraft. I doubt VP Cheney needs all of them.

Ah!, Thanks for that.... I thought there was only one...  Wink


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7807 times:



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
I believe that the public would also see the benefit for using the BBK for short flights within the US - say anything under 2 hours. Saves money and allows for avoiding some of the heavily congested airports (going to Midway and not ORD).

Both the C-40B and C-32A have extended range tanks. IIRC, both of them have a range in excess of 6,000 nm.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
The one exception I would see in the near future is that it would be a very nice gesture on Bush's part to provide one of the 747's when Obama & Family go to Hawaii for his grandmother's memorial service. Not only would it put Bush in a nice guy light, but it would also keep the Secret Service very happy.

This may very well happen, as he provided former First Lady Betty Ford a VC-25A for round trips from and to California after President Ford died in 2007.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8769 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7428 times:



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
It might need so additional communication equipment, but it's cost effective.

The 737s are not presidential aircraft AFAIK. To modify them with presidential equipment might cost millions. The fuel burn difference of the 757 vs 737 is really very small, we are talking a couple hundred extra dollars per departure. For a commercial aircraft it matters but for a low hours VIP jet it's nothing. Barack would ride the 757s or bigger and probably is already doing that. Secret Service has their game stepped up to the maximum for Barack.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
This may very well happen, as he provided former First Lady Betty Ford a VC-25A for round trips from and to California after President Ford died in 2007.

That would be classy and Bush understands that sort of thing. He is a romantic idealist too, just the other kind.  Smile


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 7106 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
Both the C-40B and C-32A have extended range tanks.



Quoting Flighty (Reply 11):
The 737s are not presidential aircraft AFAIK. To modify them with presidential equipment might cost millions.

Actually, the C-40Bs are not that much different than the C-32A/Bs, as far as communications equipment goes. The C-40Bs are mostly used by senior military commanders, Sec. of Defense, and the Sec. of the different services who need to keep in touch with their troops, and to monitor ground activities. The C-32A is the VPOTUS airplane, and a full back up for the POTUS. The C-32B is mostly the Sec. of State airplane. President Elect Obama does not need the extensive communications capability at the moment, that the VC-25A, or E-4B provides.

The C-32A/B, C-37A, and C-40B are all capable to act as AF-1, if needed.

Obama could be provided with the C-25, C-32, C-37, or C-40 and they will all fit what he needs right now. His staff could be hauled around in the C-40C.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8769 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6967 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
The C-32A/B, C-37A, and C-40B are all capable to act as AF-1, if needed.

Thanks, did not know that. Could you add the E4-B to that as well? Considering the $2B refurbishment contract recently given for the E4-B i would have to think the government has serious plans to use those aircraft as well.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12964 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6857 times:



Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 7):
I was under the impression that he will have one of these at his disposal until January.

Nah, he has a great number of supporters from Hollywood, so till January he'll have exclusive use of this plane:



 Smile  Smile  Smile



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineHangarRat From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 633 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6820 times:

Personally, I'd like to see Obama make a move to the VC-40 for trips within North America.

It seems wasteful on a number of levels for the prez to fly in a VC-25 everywhere he goes. For example, the times Bush has visited Philadelphia, he has traveled in the -25 from Andrews AFB to PHL. I can't imagine the aircraft has all seats full for a trip like that. Furthermore, the VC-25 is based on a 743, IIRC. Is it powered by JT-9Ds or RB-211s ? Those aren't the most fuel efficient powerplants available.

I realize the VC-25 is a necessity for longer trips, but for a US president who is planning to take the lead on addressing global warming, it would be a significant symbolic measure for him to limit his carbon footprint. And when the president travels, the carbon footprint is huge -- two VC-25s at the destination, at least one C-5 for the motorcade. And then, there's the cost of fuel, which is footed by the US taxpayers.

Would it be possible to re-engine the current VC-25s to 748i standards?



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User currently offlineGsosbee From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6729 times:



Quoting HangarRat (Reply 15):
It seems wasteful on a number of levels for the prez to fly in a VC-25 everywhere he goes. For example, the times Bush has visited Philadelphia, he has traveled in the -25 from Andrews AFB to PHL. I can't imagine the aircraft has all seats full for a trip like that. Furthermore, the VC-25 is based on a 743, IIRC. Is it powered by JT-9Ds or RB-211s ? Those aren't the most fuel efficient powerplants available.

That is how the new Marine 1 was to be used, and the reason for all of the communication equipment on it. The issue for any non-VC-25 aircraft is the communications issue. The way things are wired, the President requires 24/7/365 personal access to certain communications equipment.


User currently offlineFlybulldog From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6650 times:

I was surprised to see Obama flying in a chartered AA MD80 to Washington. It seems that he had a nicer plane during the campaign. I wonder who pays for the trip to Washington? Does he get federal money during the transition for stuff like that?

User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8769 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6632 times:



Quoting HangarRat (Reply 15):
Those aren't the most fuel efficient powerplants available.

The VC-25 has 744-standard GE engines. CF6-80C2B1. So yes they are pretty efficient. Since the aircraft flies so little, fuel burn does not matter anyway, except for range.

Quoting HangarRat (Reply 15):
It seems wasteful on a number of levels for the prez to fly in a VC-25 everywhere he goes. For example, the times Bush has visited Philadelphia, he has traveled in the -25 from Andrews AFB to PHL. I can't imagine the aircraft has all seats full for a trip like that.

Ordinarily I would agree a 747 going 200 miles is wasteful. But this is the POTUS we are talking about. He controls a government so big we cannot imagine it. After 9/11 they operated the VC-25 because it added some kind of "security" to the president. Overall we can say the Secret Service protection has increased. While the 747 is the most visible element of presidential trips, the other aircraft and preparations are so extensive that they dwarf the 747.

When deciding which airplane to use, consider this. The VC-25 are already owned and exist for that purpose. Pilots are paid regardless. Why not fly the VC-25... just put gas in the tank; it is always ready and waiting. But again the move was made for security purposes.

Still waiting on the E4-B question... my guess is nobody will be willing to answer it.  Smile


User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1725 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6569 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 18):
But this is the POTUS we are talking about. He controls a government so big we cannot imagine it.

That sounds like a status symbol to me. I would like to see the president use a smaller aircraft when possible if it would actually save money without compromising security and support capability.

I don't know if that's possible, and either does anyone else here because presidential security criteria and C3 requirements are highly classified.

It also might be a distinction without a difference. If the president used a smaller aircraft, would that mean additional support aircraft might be required to carry staff/security? I suppose that could actually end up costing more even if the appearance was thrifty.

If the situation calls for the VC-25, go for it. If real savings can be had using something smaller, do that as much as possible.



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6520 times:

Today the president elects aircraft was an AA MD-80 A/C 480.

User currently offlineGsosbee From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6499 times:

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 19):

Once again, the issue is communications (not only day-to-day but nuke release procedures). The VC-25 has them, no other possible substitute has the communications suite.

[Edited 2008-11-10 15:56:59]

User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8769 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6431 times:



Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 19):
That sounds like a status symbol to me.

It is a status reality. POTUS and his minions are the most powerful people in the world. People used to say the president is not that powerful. Today, no one doubts it.

Obama will have not only the US military at his command, but economic control of a $15 trillion economy. Apparently anything is possible for the presidency. Bush has claimed unlimited power for the office. Sure a 747 is a big jet, but if there is somebody who needs such a craft it is POTUS. I am not trying to be political but many scholars say the presidency has never been as strong as it is today. The economic "fixes" are another breathtaking exercise of that power.


User currently offlineNycbjr From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6201 times:

I believe Clinton flew into Syracuse on a C-9, my dad was the base commander at the time, and I vaguely recall this being the case. Even though SYR could handle the VC-25, I think he was heading off to elmira or some other small airport after his visit to SYR.

so it seems sometimes the POTUS will use a smaller aircraft.


User currently offlineHangarRat From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 633 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6163 times:



Quoting Nycbjr (Reply 23):
so it seems sometimes the POTUS will use a smaller aircraft.

There was an article in the July edition of Air & Space magazine about a Convair C-131 that was Gerald Ford's transport as VP. It also carried Nixon on at least one occasion. Now it's a water bomber, according to the article.

Quote:

Ford had mixed feelings about his little Air Force Two. In 1976, he inscribed a photo of the two of us chatting aboard his Boeing 707 Air Force One: “Sure does beat Air Force #2.” Twenty years later, in another of our interviews, he jokingly called the Convair “that horrible airplane.” Yet the Convair fit Ford’s distinctly un-imperial style. He liked its lack of ostentation and the fact that it wasn’t a gas-guzzler, like the big jets in the VIP fleet.

http://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/Things_It_Carried.html



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