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kitplane01
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Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:15 pm

--Obama is on the ground in Israel for a total of six hours. He is scheduled to land back in Bangor, Maine, for refueling at 6:50 p.m., and at Andrews at 9:15 p.m.


Air Force One cannot fly direct from Israel to Washington DC????
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:17 pm

Not sure, but I'd bet it can. If not, I believe it is set up for air-to-air refuelling.
 
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GE9X
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:19 pm

The range is probably in excess of 6,500 nautical miles, which is the standard range for the 742. Technically, Air Force One has unlimited range due to its air refueling capabilities, but these are only used in case of emergency due to the inherent risks introduced by air refueling ops. One explanation for the refueling stop could be that they need to do a high performance takeoff out of Tel Aviv for security reasons. Less fuel = less weight = way better climb.
 
usairways85
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:30 pm

Do they really publicize exactly when AF1 will be on the ground somewhere? As opposed to a general timeframe like the President is expected to arrive in Tel Aviv on Thursday or he is flying into Chicago Monday morning.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:43 pm

GSPSPOT wrote:
Not sure, but I'd bet it can. If not, I believe it is set up for air-to-air refuelling.


I'd be stunned if Air Force One has *ever* done air-air refueling while the president is on board.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:45 pm

usairways85 wrote:
Do they really publicize exactly when AF1 will be on the ground somewhere? As opposed to a general timeframe like the President is expected to arrive in Tel Aviv on Thursday or he is flying into Chicago Monday morning.


Often he will be met by hundreds of reporters, and a head of state, and lots of other people. It could not be kept secret.

There have been secret missions (Bush had a surprise visit to Afghanistan for example) but that's very rare.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:47 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
GSPSPOT wrote:
Not sure, but I'd bet it can. If not, I believe it is set up for air-to-air refuelling.


I'd be stunned if Air Force One has *ever* done air-air refueling while the president is on board.


It has not. I don't think it's ever performed such a task other than during flight testing. The flight crews practice the maneuver on the E-4B.
 
avi
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:43 pm

GE9X wrote:
One explanation for the refueling stop could be that they need to do a high performance takeoff out of Tel Aviv for security reasons. Less fuel = less weight = way better climb.


I saw it for few seconds after departure and it did look like it was climbing faster than an El Al B747 on its way to JFK but I thought it was because it didn't carry about 400 people (although it does carry lots of electrical equipment on the other hand).

Yet, I don't think it was because of security. It landed on runway 21. If it did an ILS approach not only it crossed into the West Bank, it also flew (relative low) around Qalqilya (it also could have been an RNAV approach which prevent that). If there wasn't any risk here, there wasn't any on the takeoff.
 
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Moose135
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:33 pm

usairways85 wrote:
Do they really publicize exactly when AF1 will be on the ground somewhere? As opposed to a general timeframe like the President is expected to arrive in Tel Aviv on Thursday or he is flying into Chicago Monday morning.

Domestically in the US, the FAA publishes TFR information (Temporary Flight Restrictions) with a block of time. While they don't specify POTUS travel, they will include the type as "VIP Travel" and you can tell from the news if it is the President or Vice President. If he is going to be on the ground for a long duration - several hours - they will usually have two time blocks, one for his arrival, the other for his departure. The blocks are usually about an hour, so you generally have a good idea of when he is coming and going. If there is only one long block, expect him to arrive sometime in the first 30 minutes and depart in the final 30 minutes, give or take.

Spotters looking to catch Air Force 1 will generally have this link saved (as I do!)

http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr_map_ims/html/
 
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Florianopolis
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:35 pm

Don't forget that "empty" on AF1 is probably something like 100,000 lbs of gas. If you landed somewhere with the president, and had to immediately leave, you don't want to be waiting for fuel trucks.

Think about the contingencies they have to be ready for. If you're flying around the US, you don't have to worry very hard about finding a friendly place to land. But in the middle east...you're gonna need more contingency fuel to fly somewhere you're sure is safe (or time to loiter around for a tanker to come to you).
 
mmo
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:14 pm

AF-1, the VC-25, is an aircraft that is substantially heaver than a run of the mill 200. The empty weight is probable 60,000 lbs heavier than a commercial version. The aircraft is hardened for EMP which is a substantial amount of additional weight, it has 2 APUs, a significant amount of extra comm gear and a fairly substantial fly away kit for maintenance issues. As a result, the VC-25 has less range than a comparable 747-200.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:20 pm

I've read one of the practical limits for aircraft that can refuel in air is oil capacity, and that the VC-25A has enlarged oil reservoirs to give it significantly more theoretical endurance. I'd doubt the USAF has published a nominal endurance with refueling, but wouldn't be surprised if it's in the ballpark of a week.

I haven't heard anything about whether the VC-25 has additional fuel tanks compared to the 742. It probably has a higher OEW.

Stopping in Bangor doesn't save much distance, but if you have to stop, I guess it doesn't matter. From GCMap:
Tel Aviv to Bangor: 5308nm
Tel Aviv to Andrews AFB: 5885nm

avi wrote:
Yet, I don't think it was because of security. It landed on runway 21. If it did an ILS approach not only it crossed into the West Bank, it also flew (relative low) around Qalqilya (it also could have been an RNAV approach which prevent that). If there wasn't any risk here, there wasn't any on the takeoff.


Takeoff risk is not necessary the same as landing risk.

I think when the president has visited my local area, they've announced the arrival time to within an hour or two. Some may be given a more exact time, but I don't think the public timeline has been specific. I work near the airport. We usually know when to go out and watch - because AF1 is really a gorgeous plane to see in person - based on how active the helicopters are, but there's no reason the security detail can't try a little harder to be ambiguous in their activities if they have concerns. If they're being clever, you won't know until about 2 minutes before touchdown.

I would also not assume it was either on ILS or RNAV. They've got the best trained transport pilots in the world, with the possible exception of some of the Air Force Special Operations Command pilots (MC-130's, etc). There should be no qualms about choosing whatever approach trajectory and method they feel is worthwhile.

Takeoff is harder to hide. The plane is sitting on the ground, visible when it starts taxiing, and it's easy to tell which runway it's going to use.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Air Force One Range

Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:46 am

Obama is on the ground in Israel for a total of six hours. He is scheduled to land back in Bangor, Maine, for refueling at 6:50 p.m., and at Andrews at 9:15 p.m.


iamlucky13 wrote:
Stopping in Bangor doesn't save much distance, but if you have to stop, I guess it doesn't matter. From GCMap:
Tel Aviv to Bangor: 5308nm
Tel Aviv to Andrews AFB: 5885nm


So either AF1 can go 5,300nm but not 5,900nm, or I'm just confused. Wikipedia lists the VC-25 with a 6800nm range. It's going into the wind, but even so ...
 
SCAT15F
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Re: Air Force One Range

Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:03 pm

One thing that helps with range versus the run of the mill 747-200 is having 747-400 engines (CF6-80's vs JT9D/CF6-50) I believe they are something like 5-10% more fuel efficient...
 
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747classic
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Re: Air Force One Range

Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:28 pm

According Jane's all the worlds aircraft, issue 1988/89, page 357.

747-200 with GE CF6-80C2B1 engines (as installed at AF1) with 833.000 lbs MTOW, highest weight possible and certified with "classic wingplatform"

Still air Range, incl typical international reserves of 5% tripfuel , 200NM alternate, 30 minutes hold at 1500 ft, with 366 pax and bagage = 6900 Nm

However IMHO the scheduled arrival fuel of AF1 (with POTUS on board) will always be substantial more (30.000 kgs + ) than the legal required minimum, to cater for a possible emergency situation at the destination airport.

AF1 must always be able to a make a go-around and be airborne for a few hours to reach a (political acceptable and/or security safe) alternate or has sufficient air time left before a tanker can be flown into position for an air refuelling.
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: Air Force One Range

Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:38 pm

Stitch wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
GSPSPOT wrote:
Not sure, but I'd bet it can. If not, I believe it is set up for air-to-air refuelling.


I'd be stunned if Air Force One has *ever* done air-air refueling while the president is on board.


It has not. I don't think it's ever performed such a task other than during flight testing. The flight crews practice the maneuver on the E-4B.


President Carter is the only POTUS to have been aboard AF-1 when it was air refueled. The AF-1 plane was an E-4A and the tanker was a KC-135A. This was way before the VC-25s were even thought of.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Air Force One Range

Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:14 pm

kc135topboom wrote:
President Carter is the only POTUS to have been aboard AF-1 when it was air refueled. The AF-1 plane was an E-4A and the tanker was a KC-135A. This was way before the VC-25s were even thought of.


Asked solely out of interest - when was this and what was the situation? I am guessing during some world event that needed the President aboard the NAACP?

I know both Carter and Reagan have been aboard it, but was unsure if it was for simulation purposes (as in an exercise / drill) and I would not expect them to refuel the plane during such an exercise.
 
tjh8402
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Re: Air Force One Range

Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:08 am

I remember watching a special on AF1 (I think either on NatGeo or History) and they mentioned that it normally lands heavy on fuel so that it can be ready to evacuate the President in a hurry if necessary. I would imagine the exact reserves are classified. Someone else may remember it. I believe it was discussed in the context of a Bush trip to Africa.
 
HaveBlue
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Re: Air Force One Range

Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:20 am

GE9X wrote:
The range is probably in excess of 6,500 nautical miles, which is the standard range for the 742. Technically, Air Force One has unlimited range due to its air refueling capabilities, but these are only used in case of emergency due to the inherent risks introduced by air refueling ops. One explanation for the refueling stop could be that they need to do a high performance takeoff out of Tel Aviv for security reasons. Less fuel = less weight = way better climb.


I know people often say this, but really how dangerous is it? Air refueling is done all times of day and night, in combat and peace, by regular combat pilots and trainees a like and yet there have been (thankfully) very few catastrophes and fatalities during them. How much more unlikely would it be then for the best of the best, the guy hand picked to fly the President, and an equally skilled tanker crew to have an incident? With all of the myriad variables possible and inherent dangers in landing I would wager to say that the in flight refueling between two well groomed and superior crews would be 'less' dangerous than the option of landing, especially abroad.

I've never heard this said but it has always been my contention and I see no reason it isn't valid.

Thoughts?
 
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Moose135
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Re: Air Force One Range

Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:22 am

HaveBlue wrote:
I know people often say this, but really how dangerous is it? Air refueling is done all times of day and night, in combat and peace, by regular combat pilots and trainees a like and yet there have been (thankfully) very few catastrophes and fatalities during them.

From my old KC-135 Air Refueling Manual:

Image

Yes, in flight refueling is done every day, and yes, it is rare to have a serious accident, but stuff does happen, and when you are talking about the President, you don't take unnecessary chances. During an emergency or crisis, sure, air refuel if that's your only option, but for day-to-day operations, there's no need to.
 
FrmrKSEngr
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Re: Air Force One Range

Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:25 am

kc135topboom wrote:
Stitch wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:

President Carter is the only POTUS to have been aboard AF-1 when it was air refueled. The AF-1 plane was an E-4A and the tanker was a KC-135A. This was way before the VC-25s were even thought of.


I would have to have been an E-4B, the E-4A did not have the refueling capability. The first "B" came on line in 1979 (Tail 125), with IR capability out of the box. The three original A's were then upgraded to B configuration including IR capability.

Another reason IR is not practiced on VC-25 is that it beats the hell out of the paint on the receptacle. Scratches are bad on VC-25.
 
Joelatbsl
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:53 am

As for the NOTAM question, AF1 has stopped en-route from/to the US from/to the Middle East at Ramstein AB in Germany on many occasions. A NOTAM giving away the restrictions on ground ops usually gives a pretty sharp indication about when the plane is going to be around. On the other hand, these NOTAMs have also been issued on occasions when the plane actually did not require the stop. So despite reliable information, you can still be left hanging by AF1 ...
 
Calder
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:20 pm

Indeed. I work at an airport to the north of BGR, and a couple flights had to stick around my airport a bit longer due to the TFR and the pilots reluctance to just go around the damn thing.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Air Force One Range

Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:37 am

Stitch wrote:
I am guessing during some world event that needed the President aboard the NAACP?


NEACP (now, NAOC)
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Air Force One Range

Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:38 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
--Obama is on the ground in Israel for a total of six hours. He is scheduled to land back in Bangor, Maine, for refueling at 6:50 p.m., and at Andrews at 9:15 p.m.


Air Force One cannot fly direct from Israel to Washington DC????


Trump should put some winglets on The VC-25's to make them cool like his private 757.

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