Presidential aircraft are impressive machines, loaded with top-secret technology, surveillance equipment, and space to accommodate a large staff.
It’s no wonder then that world leaders fly in the best aircraft in the world.
But what makes these planes so incredible? Keep reading to find out just how high these presidents are flying.
Air Force One (USA)
When it comes to presidential planes, none are as famous as the United States President’s Air Force One.
Technically speaking, Air Force One is the USAF codename used for any aircraft carrying the President. However, there is a specific plane dedicated to this purpose.
The current Air Force One is a heavily modified Boeing VC-25. It has nearly 4,000 square feet of space across three decks, including a unique suite for the president. It’s also outfitted to seat 96 people.
Air Force One has a top speed of over 600mph and can be refueled in flight to allow for nonstop, global travel. It has several special security features that enable it to function as a mobile command center.
Estimates vary, but it’s reported that this plane cost between $1 and $4 billion. Two more planes are in the works that cost even more.
The Doomsday Plane (USA)
While Air Force One is the most famous aircraft at the U.S. President’s disposal, it’s not the only one.
In the event of a catastrophe, a fortified Boeing E-4B is standing by nicknamed The Doomsday Plane.
The Doomsday Plane is outfitted with thermo-radiation shields to survive a nuclear attack. It has an oversized fuel tank that allows it to fly over 25 days between refueling.
The Doomsday Plane is also outfitted with a radome: an array of dozens of antennas and satellite dishes that allow clear communication with whatever military craft might fighting for survival.
Unlike the lavish AirForce One, the Doomsday Plane only cost around $220 million.
Ilyushin IL-96-300 (Russia)
Even after the fall of the Cold War, it seems like there’s still a rivalry between the United States and Russia. It’s hard not to think of the space race when you see the Ilyushin IL-96-300 that carries the Russian president.
The near-300-ton plane is built like a fortress, complete with low-visibility coating, radar jamming technology, and anti-aircraft defense system.
However, the interior is more like a palace than a bunker. Russian artist Ivan Glazunov designed the inside of the plane, which is lushly decorated. It also includes a gym for the president to use while in flight.
Typical of Russian secrecy, not much is known about the other security systems and intelligence capabilities of the craft. But knowing Putin, it’s safe to assume it’s top of the line.
While the exact price is under wraps, it’s thought to have cost Russia half a billion dollars.
Airbus A330 (United Kingdom)
The Airbus A330 is one of the most popular airliners in the world, so it makes sense that it would be used by world leaders. However, the Airbus 330 used by Britain’s Prime Minister is much more humble than most presidents’.
Painted military grey, the PM’s plane has room for 158 passengers, 58 of which are business-class seats. Its top speed barely breaks 400mph.
However, there is also a VIP area: a small living room-like arrangement separated from the rest of the passengers with a curtain.
The plane cost the United Kingdom $250 million.
Airbus A330-200 (France)
While the French president also uses an Airbus A330, theirs has a little bit more Je ne sais quois. Unlike the grey livery of the British plane, France’s Airbus 330 is decked out in a stylish paint job based on the colors of the French flag.
The furnishings are also much less modest. The French president enjoys a large private suite, including a private bedroom, kitchen, and full bathroom. There is also a conference room that can seat as many as 60 individuals.
This plane also has a command center allowing for fully encrypted communications through the super-powered WiFi connection.
The aircraft is estimated to have cost around $270 million.
Konrad Adenauer (Germany)
Named for the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Konrad Adenauer is a modified Airbus A340-313X VIP.
Typical of German efficiency, the Konrad Adenauer has extra fuel tanks that allow it to fly over 8,000 miles before refueling—that’s nearly the distance from Germany to Australia.
The Chancellor’s aircraft also features numerous offices, bedrooms, and a soundproof room for top-secret meetings.
But the Konrad Adenauer isn’t just suited for global diplomacy, however. In case of emergency, the 134-capacity aircraft can be modified into a flying hospital.
For all this customization, the purchase was quite frugal. The German government purchased the Airbus craft secondhand from Lufthansa, the country’s largest commercial airline. The plane and the customizations cost around $300 million.
Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Mexico)
Have you been following this story? We have, and if you ever wondered what spending other people’s money looks like, then look no further then the fleet for President Enrique Peno Nieto. We hear you can buy a raffle ticket to win a 787, one of 28 he reportedly purchased for his personal use.
Many Mexicans were upset when President Nieto spent $600 billion for a new presidential airliner.
Ethical questions aside, money is no object in this aircraft. The plane boasts incredible amenities and the best technology in the world, including a state of the art air filtration system, room for 250 passengers, and bedrooms that are said to rival five-star hotel rooms.
The main lounge of the aircraft includes luxury furniture and a computer-animated fireplace to make the flight as cozy as possible. It can also fly over 10,000 miles without refueling.
How Does Your Plane Rank to the Best Jets in the World?
Your plane may not boast the same amenities as these bureaucratic behemoths. Still, with more and more technology trickling over to civilian aircraft, it is possible to outfit yours almost as well!
Whether you’re selling an aircraft or window shopping for one of the best jets in the world, it pays to know the real value before you buy.
Contact us to see how we can help you get the most accurate appraisal for your aircraft.