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deltadawg
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A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 3:31 am

I know some have speculated about this but does anybody have any real evidence of any countries considering the A380 as an official air transport for their Heads of State?

I would not put it past China right now to order one for their PM in the next several years but what about Russia, France, maybe India? I know the U.S. would not but any insights would be great. Also, if some would order it would they install the level of sophistiation on theirs as is on USAF-1?

As a similar sidenote what are some of the offical a/c of your country or interesting a/c or liveries of some Head of State a/c?

Thanks
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timboflier215
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 3:38 am

I think it may be possible. But I think that some country's tax payers and voters may balk at the idea - it would be a very ostentatious a/c to have, compared to, say, a 777 or an A350/A330. Not sure if the cost would be justified tbh. But don't rule it out for some....
 
boeingfanyyz
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 3:48 am

You have to ask yourself which ruler would require a plane initally built for 555!!!

George W wouldnt go for that as America's government and military aircraft are generally Boeing-loyal.

Canada wouldnt really benefit from the 380 seeing as our leader (Mr. Harper) does not travel extensivel (mostly domestic travel)

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777STL
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 3:53 am

An oil rich, Middle East country's head of state maybe.
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Stitch
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 3:56 am

Britain and France didn't buy Concordes for their Heads of State and Heads of Government to use, even though it was the most prestigious air transport available, so I tend to think they won't buy A380s for that reason.  

The same could apply to China and India, as well, since they didn't want the 747 and it was a status symbol, in itself.

The US went to the 747 more for the space needs then the "wow" factor, since the 747 had been in military service since the mid-1970's (the E4 NEACP) and they could have ordered the VC-25 then.

As for sophistication, it's all about the electronics, and Europe knows their stuff there. It may not be to the raw sophistication of some of the DoD's stuff, but it would still be "state of the art".

This is not to say some of the rumored A380CJ customers will not be Heads of State of Arabic shiekdoms, caliphs, emirates, and kingdoms, of course. And they'll probably have the best commercial equipment money can buy.  

That being said, I would not be surprised if Heads of State and Heads of Government of nations whom have flag carriers who operate the A380 would not mind using them on occasion.

[Edited 2006-05-26 21:07:12]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 3:56 am

I'm not sure any A-380s would be sold as a head of state aircraft. But, I wouldn't put it past some Middle East Sultans, Kings, etc. to buy one for their personal travel. Would that qualify as a head of state airplane? Doesn't an Emire somewhere have an A-340-200 somewhere? And some others have B-747-400/-SP, etc?
 
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ptrjong
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 3:59 am

Russia is not going to buy a foreign aircraft for this for the same reason as the USA.

The French President used to fly on an Air France Concorde sometimes. I don't know what he travels on now, but I don't think ordering such a ridiculously large aircraft for VIP transport would be acceptable in France or most other countries, including India (pun against Air Force One intended).

I think you might expect VIP A380s to be orderd by some oil-rich dictatorships though.

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Answering your other question for my country, it uses this indigenous product as a VIP aircraft for both the government and the Royal House. This is named the House of Orange, hence the colour scheme.


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Can't resist plugging this, sorry - added to the database minutes ago. Just one member of the Saudi fleet of VIP widebodies.

Peter

[Edited 2006-05-26 21:05:02]

[Edited 2006-05-26 21:05:51]
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katekebo
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 4:04 am

France and its megalomaniac president, Mr. Chirac, are probably the only candidates in the short term.

Once the A380 starts regular service with Lufthansa and, if they ever buy it, British Airways, it is likely that the German and British Heads of State will fly on them.
 
baron95
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 4:24 am

Most heads of state are going the other extreme with the BBJ and ACJ (6000 mile range, small interior). Clearly what they want is the non-stop range - it is complicated for heads of state to have to make intermediate tech stops.

I think currently the ultimate head of state plane would be the 772LR, since you can get almost anywhere non-stop. It would be too small perhaps only for the US with the large SS and press contingent - perhaps a 773ER with an additional fuel tank special order there would be the ticket.

A380 is too much metal not enough range and my guess is it would present an easier target for shoulder-fired AA missiles (but I am just speculating, it could be more survivable to those also).
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timboflier215
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 4:26 am

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 7):
Once the A380 starts regular service with Lufthansa and, if they ever buy it, British Airways, it is likely that the German and British Heads of State will fly on them.

Well, BA has plenty of 744s, but Blair usually uses a 777 (though a 744 has been used on occasion). So I guess it all depends. It is possible though. There has been talk of a dedicated a/c for the British head of state, although I really doubt that IF it did come about they would use an A380.
 
pelican
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 4:52 am

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 7):
Once the A380 starts regular service with Lufthansa and, if they ever buy it, British Airways, it is likely that the German and British Heads of State will fly on them.

Why should a German Chancellor or president use a Lufthansa A380 when she/he can use the VIP Luftwaffe A310? And I'm sure nobody in their right mind in Germany would want to replace the A310 with something so big.

pelican
 
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deltadawg
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 5:22 am

Quoting Stitch:

Quote:
Britain and France didn't buy Concordes for their Heads of State and Heads of Government to use, even though it was the most prestigious air transport available, so I tend to think they won't buy A380s for that reason.

The same could apply to China and India, as well, since they didn't want the 747 and it was a status symbol, in itself.

Unfortunately, at the time the Concorde was coming out the governemnts of France and Britain could not afford much of anything let alone a Concorde, besides it would have been much too impractical as an official transport a/c.

But my original thought on the subject was China, a government that wants to show to the world that it is indeed an international player and is demanding more and more respect. That being said, it also is a government that still dictates much of the Chinese peoples lives and from my experience most Chinese people feel that the government has let them flourish. Thus, I personally do not think the people of China would mind the purchase of an A380 but would rather see it as a prestigious and monumental step toward being respected as a world power.

As far as England, France, & Germany - the assumption that the people would be up in arms about it - yeah, probably right. India - maybe, but unlikely. I really feel like we may see China order one in the next 5-8 years.
Just my .02¢
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SLCUT2777
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 5:38 am

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 8):
I think currently the ultimate head of state plane would be the 772LR, since you can get almost anywhere non-stop. It would be too small perhaps only for the US with the large SS and press contingent - perhaps a 773ER with an additional fuel tank special order there would be the ticket.

I think the current 742s used as Air Force 1 may have space for the press corp, but lack the ability to land at some airports. Aerial refueling helps extend the range, but that said a 777-300ER with an extra tank giving it 772LR range and aerial refueling capability would be the best possible successor to the 742s currently being used now since 1989 for the President of the United States.
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Pope
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 5:41 am

An A380 based head of state aircraft would only be able to go to a relatively few number of airports because of it's size. If the Australian's a complaining that AF1 cracked their runway last year, can you imagine what would happen if the 380 came to town?
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
FLY2LIM
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 5:43 am

Quoting DeltaDAWG (Thread starter):
As a similar sidenote what are some of the offical a/c of your country or interesting a/c or liveries of some Head of State a/c?

This is an interesting story about a head of state. In the 90s, Alberto Fujimori, then president of Peru, ordered a 737 direct from Boeing because he felt that the head of a country should travel safely in modern aircraft. The peruvian air force has a depleting fleet of old aircraft.
Ironically, when he abandoned power, he went on a tour of asian countries and, after landing in Japan as an official visitor on official business, he never left.

FLY2LIM

[Edited 2006-05-26 22:43:59]
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A380CGN
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 5:52 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 4):
This is not to say some of the rumored A380CJ customers will not be Heads of State of Arabic shiekdoms, caliphs, emirates, and kingdoms, of course. And they'll probably have the best commercial equipment money can buy.

I heard rumors somewhere that (at least) one of Emirates' 43 A380 shall be taken aside and used for their sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. I think that could be possible and it would explain that, to my eyes, strange number of 43 orders.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
I'm not sure any A-380s would be sold as a head of state aircraft. But, I wouldn't put it past some Middle East Sultans, Kings, etc. to buy one for their personal travel. Would that qualify as a head of state airplane? Doesn't an Emire somewhere have an A-340-200 somewhere? And some others have B-747-400/-SP, etc?


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Those A340 belong to the sultan of Brunei's family.
BTW a guy at Lufthansa Technik in HAM told us during a guide through the hangars that the white one belongs to the sultan's son. The sultan had given it to his son for his 18th birthday, he said, but he did not use it and so this big bird is standing there unused and they have to lift it up and turn the wheels once in a while...
 
ZRH
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 5:53 am

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 7):
France and its megalomaniac president, Mr. Chirac, are probably the only candidates in the short term.

Fortunately he won't be long enough president to get a A 380.
 
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Stitch
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 6:06 am

Quoting DeltaDAWG (Reply 11):
But my original thought on the subject was China, a government that wants to show to the world that it is indeed an international player and is demanding more and more respect...Thus, I personally do not think the people of China would mind the purchase of an A380 but would rather see it as a prestigious and monumental step toward being respected as a world power.

Yet they never bought a 747, which also would have been a "prestigious and monumental step" in the 1970s through 1990s. So while I could see the President using one of China Southern's A380s, I don't see a true PRC-branded A388 being purchased.

Quoting Pope (Reply 13):
An A380 based head of state aircraft would only be able to go to a relatively few number of airports because of it's size. If the Australian's a complaining that AF1 cracked their runway last year, can you imagine what would happen if the 380 came to town?

I imagine a Head of State has access to their hosting country's military airfields, which should be plenty capable of landing, parking, and dispatching an A380. Plus, in the interests of security, a military airfield might be the preferred location to use.
 
nudelhirsch
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 6:15 am

Quoting Pope (Reply 13):
An A380 based head of state aircraft would only be able to go to a relatively few number of airports because of it's size. If the Australian's a complaining that AF1 cracked their runway last year, can you imagine what would happen if the 380 came to town?

Weight is not the issue, especially as a government delegation would not travel with 555 people and all their overweight bags.
Also, it has been known for a while that any 747-capable airporta can handle the 380 too. The question of an airport being ready or not for commercial service with the 380 is about baggage and pax handling, catering capabilities and the likes. The footprint (weight per wheel) is, afaik, even lower than on the 747 as the weight is distributed to more wheels. Runway length is no issue if the 747 can land and especially take off. Taxiways per se are not a problem either, some turns might be too tight though...

If indeed the 747 cracked the runway, then the 380 should not land there, but the 747 shouldn't either.
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787engineer
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 6:26 am

Quoting Boeingfanyyz (Reply 2):
George W wouldnt go for that as America's government and military aircraft are generally Boeing-loyal.

Boeing-loyal, not to mention who knows what kind of bugs or other devices might be planted on the plane. Probably why the US and Russia would never buy foreign built airplanes for their presidents. I doubt any western countries would use a A380 for their head of state simply because of the limited number of airports that the plane can land. I think one of the middle eastern countries or China might do it since 1) they probably won't mind flying with the plane half full (I mean seriously, other the US president, how members of the press do you expect to travel with the president, and the more press the longer it takes to have them all go through security) 2) they're willing to spend the extra $$ for an A380 since they value their "status symbols" and 3) they're probably willing to buy two planes for the head of state in the case they need to travel to smaller airports.
 
ltbewr
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 6:40 am

I doubt an A-380 will be a 'head of state' aircraft for any one except as leased from a national airline. The huge size may limit it's use at some important airports and it wouldn't look good to the people. As to China, why should they operate something other than Boeings as big a/c as they already have many of them, and one of the biggest customers of 747's.
I also doubt that the top Air Force 1 aircraft will be a 777, due to the security and safety edge from 4 engines. Yes, I know 757's are sometimes used by the President for access to some cities due to limited airport space.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 9:13 am

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 20):
I also doubt that the top Air Force 1 aircraft will be a 777, due to the security and safety edge from 4 engines. Yes, I know 757's are sometimes used by the President for access to some cities due to limited airport space.

ETOPS makes needing 4 engines moot, even for a Presidential aircraft. They often send AF1 on more secure routes when going around the globe anyhow, and rarely anywhere they can't land within three hours as I understand it. The 777 is just as secure as the 742s currently in use.
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mptpa
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 10:15 am

I think the ONLY countries who will go for a VIP A380 are kingdoms, and emirates etc. Other democratic head of states will not want to put them such a political disadvantage. Us is an exception as it is handled by the secret service, and the bulk needed (secure comms, defensive/offensive electronics, press corps, etc).

Having said that, B777 would be such an ideal candidate as opposed to B747.

It would be great for Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer (and they can afford from their own purse strings) to buy it, and use it as a flying demo lab for the MS products, SAP integration (with Duet) and other cool and nifty things. Besides, they can write it off as a business expense!!!!!!
 
american762
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 1:16 pm

Your best bet would be in the Middle East obviously. It all depends on if flag carriers of specific countries are flying the A380. If the countries Flag Carrier(s) are not flying it, it would be highly unlikely that the country would pay the extra fees to support only one or two of the type. A country that has ordered significant numbers of the 380 such as with Singapore and Emirates, it is feasible.
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NAV20
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 4:38 pm

Quoting Nudelhirsch (Reply 18):
If indeed the 747 cracked the runway

No 'if' about it - the bill was $A28.5M.  Smile

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...ory/0,20867,19238503-23349,00.html

Security could be an important consideration. VIPs are much safer in the air than on the ground - therefore it's important that, when they travel, they land as close as possible to their destination. Therefore neither A380s nor 747s are ideal VIP transport, something smaller and handier would reduce the overall risk.
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Joni
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 4:59 pm

I doubt any democratic government would dare even propose that an A380 would be bought as VVIP transport.

For most countries, a Dassault Falcon or A320 would be sufficient. I think the 747 was chosen for the US for prestige reasons during the Cold War, and perhaps the communications equipment of the time was so bulky that it wouldn't have fit into a smaller plane.

Germany has some A310s and some Arab countries have 777s or A340s, but generally heads of state have either dedicated narrowbodies or they fly a premium class on their flag carrier.
 
grimey
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 9:34 pm

Bertie should get an A380  Big grin

He can have a bar on the lower deck that only serves Bass and on the upper deck he can store all his cosmetics  Smile

Sure if he gets one he could just say it was part of the Transport 21 Plan, I think only the Irish people would know what I'm talking about.

Grimey
 
manni
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 9:57 pm

Just to add to the list of countrys that have their dedicated 747's for VIP transport. Japan has 2 744's. It is most likely not going to happen, but apart from the oil rich nations in the Middle East and Brunei, Japan could be a candidate.

Quoting DeltaDAWG (Thread starter):
As a similar sidenote what are some of the offical a/c of your country or interesting a/c or liveries of some Head of State a/c?

Belgium, yes I'm Belgian, has 2 A310's that are often used by His Majesty King Albert 2, aswell as Prime Minister Verhofstadt.
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NoUFO
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 10:15 pm

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 7):
France and its megalomaniac president, Mr. Chirac, are probably the only candidates in the short term.

The French government flies A310 and A319s, if one government is keen on "representative" aircraft, it is certainly not the French.

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 7):
Once the A380 starts regular service with Lufthansa and, if they ever buy it, British Airways, it is likely that the German and British Heads of State will fly on them.

Nonsense.
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Devilfish
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 10:20 pm

Quoting DeltaDAWG (Reply 11):

But my original thought on the subject was China, a government that wants to show to the world that it is indeed an international player and is demanding more and more respect. That being said, it also is a government that still dictates much of the Chinese peoples lives and from my experience most Chinese people feel that the government has let them flourish. Thus, I personally do not think the people of China would mind the purchase of an A380 but would rather see it as a prestigious and monumental step toward being respected as a world power.

As China still has the much publicized 767 and also uses 747 airliner from Air China regularly ( recent trips to U.S. and Middle East), it is unlikely they will buy a dedicated VVIP A380. Having said that, IF they indeed wish to impress upon the world their new status, it is doubtful whether the Chinese people would have much say in it.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
TomTurner
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 10:43 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 28):
The French government flies A310 and A319s, if one government is keen on "representative" aircraft, it is certainly not the French.

Isn't The French Govt upgrading to an A340?

Tom
 
klmcedric
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sat May 27, 2006 11:48 pm

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 7):
France and its megalomaniac president, Mr. Chirac

Very particular choice of words there? Care too enlighten us with arguments and thoughts about this statement, or is that just something you felt like saying for no other reason then flamebaiting this thread, mr. manager!?

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 8):
A380 is too much metal not enough range and my guess is it would present an easier target for shoulder-fired AA missiles (but I am just speculating, it could be more survivable to those also).

Although I agree the A380 is over the top as a head of state aircraft, I don't
agree with you're "too much metal too less range argument". A VIP A380
could be equipped (lot's of space for it) with auxiliary tanks to give it a huge
range!
 
knoxibus
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sun May 28, 2006 12:27 am

State of Qatar, that's why they only bough two of them, but since their A330 and A340-500 got quite delayed, I guess that's hy they pushed the delivery back.
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
 
vv701
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sun May 28, 2006 12:40 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 3):
An oil rich, Middle East country's head of state maybe.

Yes. Along with Brunei. With the current oil price they could all afford several! They could shuttle the Sheiks and all their wives on shopping expeditions to London, Milan and Paris. That would get some of those petrodollars back into circulation. The large freight hold would really come into their own on the return flights.
 
HBJZA
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RE: A380 As Head Of State Aircraft

Sun May 28, 2006 3:00 am

The only thing I know is that GVA will make the necessary changes to welcome the A380. And as everybody knows, GVA management is totally aware that the A380 will not come to GVA for schedule Pax service !! Maybe they do know something we don't ?