Air Force One arriving at King County International Airport on October 9, 2015 -Photo: Francis Zera | Airline Reporter
There are few aircraft as readily identifiable as the 747-200B/VC-25 known as Air Force One (even though there are actually two of them; more on that in a bit). The aircraft is designed to ferryÂ the President of the United States, other elected and government officials, VIPs, and the White House press corps, anywhere in the world and in high style.
Any U.S. Air Force aircraft in which the president is flying carries the call sign Air Force One. But it’s the two VC-25s that are the flagship aircraft most of the world will immediately recognize as being the primary mode of transport for the current US president.
President Obama arriving in Seattle via Air Force One – Photo: Francis Zera | Airline Reporter
Suffice it to say that, wherever Air Force One shows up, interest (and security) are high. For the recent Seattle visit, on October 9th, local AvGeek interest was strong, and at least one of the sanctioned airport viewing areas was keptÂ open for public viewing.
Speaking of security, there are two identical VC-25s, one with tail number 28000 and the other 29000. Whenever the president is travelingÂ on one of them, the other is usually stationed somewhere in the region nearby as a backup. There are duplicate sets of presidential motorcade vehicles as well.
Below is a series of images from the president’s recent three-hour fundraising visit to Seattle.
President Obama in front of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner inside the Boeing Factory. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
President Barack Obama toured and spoke at the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington mid-day on Friday. An audience of Boeing workers and local politicians waited for President Obama to take the stage with three Dreamliners and a banner with the slogan â€œAn America Built to Lastâ€ as a backdrop.
Air Force One arrived at Boeing Field at around 11am, which was an event in itself for local planespotters. A motorcade brought President Obama, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, and Boeing escorts onto the vast 787 factory floor. The President toured two of three Dreamliners before exiting the second 787 (already outfitted in a make-shift United Airlines livery) onto a red carpet down the stairs and to the podium. In his speech, Obama made sure to give â€œpropsâ€ to United since they are based out of his hometown of Chicago.
Boeing employees listen to Obama speak inside the Boeing Factory. United's 787 showed off their livery. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
After thanking Boeing for the â€œsmooth rideâ€ he has in Air Force One, the 747 which was built at the Boeing Everett plant in 1986, President Obama admired the 787 Dreamliner in front of the Boeing audience,â€œThis is the first commercial airplane to be made with 50% composite materials. Itâ€™s lighter, itâ€™s faster, itâ€™s more fuel-efficient than any airplane in its class. And it looks cool.â€
Later, Obama stated that business was â€œboomingâ€ for Boeing, citing a 50% increase in orders for commercial aircraft last year, and 13,000 new Boeing employees hired across the country. Obama praised Boeing as a company that keeps jobs in America in a global economy where many manufacturing jobs are moving overseas. Boeing employees cheered as Obama skewered foreign competition, â€œCompanies like Boeing are finding out that even when we canâ€™t make things faster or cheaper than China, we can make them better.â€ In what will inevitably be an election year issue, Obama continued by laying out his hopes to change the tax code to favor companies who keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and more heavily tax companies who outsource.
Notice how event though this Boeing 787 has the United globe on the tail, it has not actually been painted yet. You can see Obama exiting the aircraft. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
From the 25-year employee and the 787 Quality Inspector who got to introduce Jim Albaugh (President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes) and President Obama, respectively, to Obamaâ€™s personal acknowledgement of machinist and engineering union leaders in the audience, workers were clearly meant to be at the forefront of the event. â€œIf we have a level playing field, America will always win, because we have the best workers.â€
President Obama speaks to Boeing workers and media. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
The praise of Americaâ€™s workforce was particularly well-timed with the payroll tax bill that passed through Congress with bipartisan support Friday morning. President Obama took a couple of minutes in Everett to celebrate the bill that will delay a payroll tax hike for working Americans and will renew jobless benefits for others. In one of his only mentions of bitterly divided political parties, Obama lauded the bill as â€œwhat happens when Congress focuses on doing the right thing instead of just playing politics.â€
Air Force One (well Obama is not on it, so technically, that is not it's name right now) sitting at Paine Field. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
After leaving the Everett facility, President Obama visited elsewhere in the Seattle-area via helicopter, but shortly returned to Paine Field and departed in Air Force One at about 6pm local time.
Story written by Amy Franklin for AirlineReporter.com and photos taken by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren with NYCAviation.com.