# Tag Info

56

The pilot in command has final authority over Air Force One Air Force Instruction 11-202, Volume 3 says the following in Chapter 1, part 1.1.1 (as in, the very first thing in the document): 1.1.1. Pilot in Command Authority. The Pilot in Command (PIC), regardless of rank, is responsible for, and is the final authority for the operation of the aircraft. ...

53

The 747-200 derivatives used for transporting the President of the United States are VC-25's operated and maintained by the United States Air Force. The US Air Force tends to keep planes for a long time, as they still operate 707 and B-52 aircraft twice as old as these 747's. The E-4 aircraft, also based on the 747-200, have been in service for 40 years. The ...

44

The aircraft is the Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post 'Nightwatch', which serves as the survivable mobile command post for the US National Command Authority. The aircraft are based on the same Boeing 747s as the VC-25s used by US President. There are four identical aircraft performing this function in the US. The "bulge" on the top is a ...

42

Commercial aircraft are designed for a service life of about 25 to 30 years. The 747-200 is no exception. The VC-25A entered into service in 1990, so it has operated now for almost 25 year. The number of flights will be low compared to aircraft in commercial service, so the aircraft is not worn out at all. Replacing it with a new aircraft as soon as a new ...

40

Based on the unique 6x pusher-prop configuration, this looks like a derivative of the Convair B-36 Peacemaker. Looking up the Wikipedia article for the B-36 and scrolling down to the variants section, this seems like an XC-99 (or, more aptly, the XC-99): Public domain image via United States Air Force - USAF photo via, Joaobsen, Wagner, Greer (1980), B-36 ...

40

While the Air Force (or other military unit) does not design their own jets, they do release specifications and have contests (e.g. the ATF that selected the F-22). This is basically the way it works (and not just for fighter procurement): A design specification is released, these include things like range, mission, weapons. A "paper" design is ...

38

Short answer, yes. However, it is important to note that the WSO is not a pilot. The WSO is trained to operate the weapons systems, not fly the aircraft, but does have basic flight controls including throttle, stick, rudder pedals, compass, HSI, etc. He does not have good forward visibility and would likely have to be talked in on final approach by the ...

32

According to the Washington Post, Air Force One never refueled in mid-air with the president on board. If it needs to refuel, it usually does so at one of the U.S. military bases across the world. The retrofitted Boeing 747 that usually serves as the presidential jet can indeed refuel in flight — but it has never done so with the president on board, ...

27

It's most likely a Boeing B-29 Superfortress. It was a strategic bomber used by the US in the Pacific theater of World War II. The lower row of four windows and then another further aft matches pictures of the B-29. The "U.S. AIR FORCE" markings are a post-WWII style. Source It's also possible that it's a B-50 Superfortress. This was an upgraded version of ...

26

Yes. They can fly the aircraft if required. The F-15E is developed from F-15D , which is used for aircrew training, with the instructing pilot in the rear seat. There is atleast one documented case where the WSO controlled the aircraft, albeit briefly. On March 2012, a F-15E crashed, killing the pilot. During the accident, as a result of pilot actions, the ...

25

There are two factors reducing the volume of a sound when travelling through the air: The pressure wave expands as the surface of a sphere, which will reduce pressure as a function of distance $r$: $$p(r) \sim \frac{1}{r^2}$$ Since human hearing is logarithmic, we typically use Decibels (dB) as a unit for volume, rather than pressure directly:  L_p = ...

23

I can't confirm whether either VC-25 has refueled in flight while acting as AF1 but the aircraft is so equipped for the job. I do know refueling on the ground depends on where the jet is and the quantity and quality of fuel available onsite. The USAF insists on using fuel that it supplies for security reasons. For operations in Western Europe the fuel is ...

22

It is indeed a C-130A. The large tail numbers indicate it's from the late 50's or early 60's. In the late 60's, the USAF went with smaller numbers forward of the passenger door. Here's a similar a/c image from C-130.net Further searching of the C-130 Aircraft Database shows the only "014" to be be s/n 55-0014. The history shows it was assigned to the 40th ...

19

Possible and Plausible are two different things. Is it possible to fly a fighter jet between a missile and another aircraft, and either (a) confuse that missile so it follows the fighter instead) or (b) have the fighter be hit by the missile instead of the original target aircraft? Yes. Modern fighters are capable of maneuvering in the manner shown: they ...

18

The WSO can do everything from the back seat, but there is one thing he cannot do. He can lower the landing gear, but he cannot raise it. As far as ejecting, the WSO has the option of ejecting himself or both.

18

Can it be? Sure. Let's take a look at what it would be replacing. The A-10 was designed from the ground up to be a platform for moving the GAU-8 into range of the target. It has good low speed flight characteristics. The engines are mounted high and to the rear to protect them from FOD (both debris kicked up by the GAU-8 and hostile weapons fire). The ...

18

The answer to your question largely depends on your definition of "design", as well as the specifics of the procurement program. In general, the Department of Defense (DOD) does not have engineering authority over the equipment it procures. That is, Pentagon employees do not produce and sign engineering drawings for hardware built by contractors. ...

17

To become an Air Force pilot, you have to be a commissioned officer, there are few ways you can do that. First you can go through the Air Force Academy, which is probably the most common. Another way is to be in an ROTC program through your college of choice. The last way I know of is to graduate college and join the Air Force through the officer candidate ...

17

A white scarf air force is one that values aircraft above all else (space-, cyber-, missile-warfare, etc.), i.e., an air force that is unwilling to evolve beyond flying planes. Similarly for not embracing RPVs (remotely piloted vehicles). Dealing with RPV pilots will probably be a little more difficult. The conventional wisdom is that pilots don’t like RPVs ...

14

Several reasons can be found for its early retirement: the aircraft was instantly obsolete after one was shot down over Yugoslavia by a 30 year old SAM system Maintenance was pretty expensive and difficult (and according to some involved large quantities of highly toxic chemicals that are still causing health problems for the people involved) Few military ...

13

A lot of work went into configuring a 747-200 model into an airplane which can be called "Air Force One" (remember it is just a call sign): a cabin with a kitchen and sound-proof conference rooms Secure communication to satellites and military controls Flares and air-refueling probes etc. In short, it is just a massive amount of work. It is not like you ...

13

That is not simply an E4, but a "B" variant. The hump houses a SHF antenna. (Source) December 1979 a fourth aircraft (75-0125) was added. This aircraft was fitted with the distinctive “Hump” on the back of the upper deck, housing the SHF antenna. It also offered upgraded accommodations, additional shielding, upgraded electronics and new CF-6-50E2 engines. ...

13

They fly straight through, as part of their mission to collect meteorological data about the storm, used for forecasting (NOAA's G-IV fleet flies the periphery of storms to collect data used to help predict the path of hurricanes). A typical path: We'd begin by making a "figure 4," with the vertical and the horizontal legs crossing at the center of the ...

12

I can't directly tell you what's "optimal" because I don't know what that means, but the US Air Force does provide some basic demographic information so we can indirectly see what they consider to be a good age mix for fighter pilots. I used their report tool to get data on fighter pilots1 and it shows this breakdown: 17-24 : 43 25-34 : 1,341 35-44 : ...

12

In short, the US didn't need one. The main reason for the development of Tu-95 was the rather unique situation existing after WWII, when the Soviet Union needed a heavy bomber to carry the (then very heavy) nuclear weapons. Due to the lack of bases anywhere near contiguous United States, the Soviets were at a significant disadvantage when it came to nuking ...

12

That is the Douglas DC-6 / C-118/R6D Liftmaster. This specific plane was built in June 1947 with modifications for presidential use. It is well known for flying US President Truman. It was the first presidential aircraft that received a distinctive exterior. It actively served USAF until 1965 when it was transfered to an USAF museum. It is now on display ...

11

First off the pilot of Air Force One may or may not not be a commercial pilot (in the FAA sense) on account of the plane is operated by the military. For example the previous pilot of AFO Colonel Mark W. Tillman has no listing in the FAA database for pilot certificates so he does not cary any civilian privileges of flight although some might. Being in the ...

11

F-100, F-15, and F-4. There is no F-22. The thing that looks like a brown nose cone on the F-100 appears to actually be the long, nose-mounted pitot boom, painted a light color, with its shadow visible just above it in the photo, all blurred together to give the impression of a much wider object. It's clear from the shadow of the fuselage that the fuselage ...

10

The V-22 is not without its strong points as a support aircraft. However, CAS is a specialized role for which it will never truly be ideal. That's not to say it wouldn't be feasible to deliver weapons with one, once modified appropriately. The good news is that you could likely bring it up to roughly attack-helicopter levels of armament. I estimate you'd ...

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