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Official Presidential Transport

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Governments usually have their own means of ferrying their officials and personnel around, but there are often specially purposed or designed craft meant specifically for carrying the government's chief executive (president, prime minister, monarch, etc.). These craft will have many features intended to keep their special passenger safe and secure. Often they will also have functions that enable it to serve as a mobile command center. Should their capital and military command centers be destroyed, the government will still have its leader and a means for him to take command.

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Air Force One is the most recognizable such craft in Real Life, and so it unsurprisingly spawns a number of fictional imitators, usually by identifying it with the military or government name and ending with the designation "One", which will indicate the head-of-state (That tradition was started after an incident when the President was traveling and his plane was given the same flight number as a commercial airliner that arrived at the same airport at roughly the same time, resulting in some confusion as to which plane the air traffic controllers were trying to talk to. Afterwards it was decided that Presidential flights should always have the same, easily distinguishable identifier to prevent a repeat incident). At times the connection will be taken even further by having a blue and white color scheme.

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The type of transport is usually a Cool Plane or a Cool Starship if it's in space, with the occasional Cool Train thrown in. There are official ground vehicles as well, but those are more ubiquitous and shouldn't be mentioned here unless there is something that really makes it stand out.

Not to be confused with the actual Air Force One, or the film Air Force One.


Examples:

Air Fiction One

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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: The Klingon battlecruiser that carries Chancellor Gorkon to the rendezvous with the Enterprise is Quo'nos One, Quo'nos being the name of the Klingon homeworld.

    Literature 
  • Honor Harrington:
    • Haven One was a Havenite warship carrying the president, and appears to be a call sign.
    • The Protector of Grayson's personal yacht was the GNS Grayson One.
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    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: The Earth Alliance president travels aboard Earth Force One, a specially modified space liner, with a blue paint job and the Earth seal on the front. It is destroyed at the end of the first season, killing President Santiago. His successor, President Clark, is sworn in aboard a ship called Earth Force Two in a scene based on the inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Laura Roslin was aboard a ship called Colonial Heavy 798 when the Cylons attack. When it becomes clear she in the highest-ranking government official still alive, she is sworn in as president and the ship begins identifying itself as Colonial One. The paint job was specifically chosen to resemble Air Force One.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Death in Heaven," Boat One is an airliner set up as a mobile command center for the President of Earth, who only takes power in the event of a major alien incursion. The Doctor gets shanghaied aboard to become President.
  • In Stargate SG-1 a member of the Prometheus bridge crew addresses the first visit by the president with "Welcome to Air Force One."

    Video Games 

    Real Life 
  • Even in real-life, Air Force One has imitators, the most obvious being the Japanese Air Force One and Brazilian Air Force One.
  • In the Soviet Union, a train rather than a plane was usually used to transport General Secretaries such as Stalin, Khruschev and Brezhnev, which was called "Literny A" (Letter Train A) ("letter trains", as opposed to numbered ones, in general were supposed for transporting dignitaries). The same pattern, nevertheless, applies: the first letter signifies the head of state, not just any dignitary.
  • Early in World War II, Adolf Hitler commanded the Wehrmacht from a special train called the Führersonderzug. It had seventeen cars and needed two locomotives to pull it. In addition, many of the high-ranking Nazi officials and army command staffs had their own trains.
    • Hitler also had a personal air transport in the form of "Immelmann III", a modified Focke-Wulf Fw-200 bomber.
  • The modern Russian president's plane is called "Bort #1", which is a direct imitation of Air Force One, rather than using the native letter-using tradition. 'Bort' in this case refers to the big number painted on the side of many Russian military aircraft, although the Il-96-300-PU generally used doesn't have one; just a long stripe in the Russian flag colours and the word 'Rossiya' in big red Cyrillic letters.
  • Air India One is used by the Indian government to fly the president or prime minister.
  • Air Force One is, of course, only the callsign for Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. There is an entire array of other 'X' One callsigns based on the Air Force One concept and ready to be used, although the only one that sees regular use and has a dedicated airfleet for the task is Marine One (the Marine Corps has handled helicopter transportation for the President since 1976). A civilian aircraft carrying the President would be Executive One. There has only ever been one instance of a "Navy One"—that being an S-3 Viking that carried George W. Bush to his "Mission Accomplished" speech.
    • During President Lyndon B Johnson's time in office, "Air Force One Half" was a tongue-in-cheek nickname for a small corporate jet that carried President Johnson between San Antonio and his ranch in Fredericksburg (Air Force One being entirely too big to land there).

Other examples

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Phantom Menace: The unnamed royal cruiser that Queen Amidala uses to escape past the Trade Federation's blockade, which comes complete with a throne room for her.
  • In Duck Soup "His Excellency's Car" is a motorcycle with a sidecar. Twice the motorcycle takes off without the sidecar, which has President Firefly. The third time the President gets on the motorcycle and has his driver get in the sidecar, which then drives off without the motorcycle.
  • The film Air Force One is mostly set aboard the titular presidential transport, that terrorists hijack to force the release of a captured general.
  • Air Force One also plays a prominent role in Independence Day, helping evacuate several characters from Washington and serving as the command center for the first counterattack.
    • The sequel briefly features Air Force One using the same hybrid technology that was salvaged from the alien ships and used for next-gen fighters.

    Literature 
  • Star Wars Legends: The Hapan Queen Mothers travel aboard a 4000-year-old starship called Star Home, which is essentially a flying castle designed to show off Hapan splendor wherever it goes, though it hadn't been seen outside the Hapes Cluster for nearly 2000 years before its introduction in the New Republic era.
  • Honor Harrington: The royal yachts are the official ships of the Manticoran monarch, though the term yacht is a bit of a misnomer, as the most recent is a full warship, the battlecruiser HMS Duke of Cromarty. The use of a dedicated warship for the newest royal yacht probably had something to do with the previous one being destroyed by a surprise attack. The Queen wasn't aboard, but her Prime Minister, the Duke of Cromarty, was.
  • Ciaphas Cain: In Traitor's Gambit, the Planetary Governor of Deepwater travels in his official space yacht, the Wavecrest.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: During the Golden Age of the Narnian kingdom, under High King Peter, the rulers would travel aboard a galleon carved to resemble a giant swan, named the Splendor Hyaline.
  • The Jack Ryan series occasionally has scenes set aboard the real Air Force One. Being a techno-thriller series, Tom Clancy goes into more technical detail than most depictions of the aircraft.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • The Minbari Grey Council travels aboard a special warcruiser called the Valen'Tha, which is also where they have their meetings.
    • In The Lost Tales Sheridan is seen aboard a ship called the Valen as he is making an official visit to Babylon 5.
    • The Centauri emperor travels to Babylon 5 aboard a ship they call the royal liner. Similar ships are seen later which are identified as battlecruisers, but this one seems distinct from them for the emperor's use.
  • Air Crash Investigation: "Death of the President" deals with the crash of the Tu-154 carrying the president of Poland, as well as a former president and several other officials.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Classic Traveller adventure Double Adventure 6 Divine Intervention. The ruler of the planet Pavabid travels around in a giant palace supported by Artificial Gravity antigrav modules.

    Video Games 
  • TIE Fighter: One mission involves intercepting Zaarin's forces as they attempt to destroy the Emperor's personal liner, the Excalibur, as he's travelling to the second Death Star.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: President Deling travels to make his speech in Timber in a private and heavily secured railcar, which is intercepted by the Timber Owls in an effort to capture him. Unfortunately, it actually contained a decoy which was actually a monster.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog has a level in which the President is being transported in a getaway plane out of GUN headquarters. As Shadow you must either help him escape or cripple the craft.

    Western Animation 
  • The Incredible Crash Dummies has a sketch at the beginning where Bull and Sparetire test out a limo meant for the president. "It's supposed to be indestructible!" "Supposed to be?" While the limo passes the "getting smashed" test, the bomb test sends Sparetire flying, and Bull notes, "Guess we'll have to take out the sunroof..."

    Real Life 
  • Before the Air Force One callsign was created, there were several aircraft used to transport the US president. President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the first dedicated presidential aircraft, first a C-87 named Guess Where II, and later a C-54 Skymaster called the Sacred Cow, which was modified to lift him inside, wheelchair and all, without him having to get up.
  • The Ferdinand Magellan, also known as US Railcar No. 1. A specially modified armored observation car that served US presidents before air travel became the main means. It was also the car used in Truman's famous whistlestop campaign tour.
  • The Popemobile, a specially modified vehicle for transporting The Pope when he makes public appearances. The Pope sits in an elevated area, sometimes covered by bullet-proof glass, where those who come can easily see him.
  • The British royal family used to have a royal yacht called Britannia, which was retired in 1997 and is now a museum ship in Edinburgh - there have been frequent calls to create a new one. Her Majesty also has the Royal Train and Queen's Helicopter Flight.

Alternative Title(s): Presidential Cruiser, Royal Cruiser, Royal Transport, Air Fiction One

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