Part One – Head of State Transport

I previously talked about the origins of Air Force One and its connection to the Kennedy administration. However, the President of the United States is not alone in having a dedicated airborne ride.

This will be a multi-post effort to catalogue the VIP aircraft of many nations. Try and take a look and see if your country is included.

Canada

The Canadian government has one CC-150 Polaris (Airbus A310) and eight CC-144s (Challenger business jets) for use by the Governor-General, Prime Minister, Royal Family and other VIPs.  There was something of a political controversy when the larger Airbus was repainted a few months ago from an air force grey to a more colorful livery.

A CC-150 Polaris with its new livery (Photo: Sergeant Vaughan Lightowler, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)

A CC-150 Polaris sporting a new livery (Photo: Sergeant Vaughan Lightowler, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)

Rarely photographed bedroom on Canada's VIP CC-150 Polaris (Photo: Master Corporal Marc-Andre Gaudreault, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)

Rarely photographed bedroom on Canada’s VIP CC-150 Polaris (Photo: Master Corporal Marc-Andre Gaudreault, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)

The United Kingdom

The UK holds the distinction of being the only G8 nation without a dedicated, long-distance aircraft for government use. The Prime Minister and members of the Royal Family do have access to smaller aircraft like two BAe 146s and five Bae125s. On longer missions outside of Europe, the UK government generally charters a British Airways or Virgin Atlantic aircraft. Seats are taken out for more leg room on government charters.

Prime Minister Cameron visiting the US (Photo: U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

With the Voyager air tankers now being delivered, it is conceivable that they could be used for long-distance VIP work on occasion.

Germany

The German government has renewed their entire fleet of VIP aircraft in recent years to a very impressive standard. The Chancellor, President and other government officials have access to two Airbus A340s, two Airbus A319s, one Airbus A310 and four Bombardiers Global Express aircraft.

German government Airbus A340 (Photo: Kentaro Iemoto)

 

 

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