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Air Force One

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush board Air Force One after attending a memorial service for the crew of the U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia at NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2003.

In 1944 President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the creation of the Presidential Pilot Office to provide air transportation to the President and his staff.

For most of the next 20 years, various four-engine propeller-driven aircraft were used for presidential air travel.

In 1962, the first jet aircraft, a Boeing 707, was purchased for use as Air Force One.

Air Force One Today

The current presidential fleet consists of two specifically-configured Boeing 747-200B series aircraft – tail numbers 28000 and 29000 – with Air Force designation VC-25A. When the President is aboard either craft, or any other Air Force aircraft, the radio call sign is "Air Force One."

While on the aircraft, the President and staff have access to a full range of services, including communications systems, secure and non-secure voice, fax and data communications, along with access to photocopying, printing, and word processing.

These aircraft are maintained and operated by the Presidential Airlift Group, part of Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, based at Andrews Air Force Base, Suitland, Maryland. The VC-25A is capable of flying half way around the world without refueling and can accommodate more than 70 passengers.

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