Air Force One is way more than just a private jet for the President of the United States of America. There are many secrets within it that not many people know, but some information has been leaked about Air Force One that is quite interesting. Read on to find out some of those secrets.
There Are 2 Huge Kitchens in The Plane
It is really interesting to know that Air Force One contains not just one kitchen, but two. These massive kitchens are always filled with food, and the president together with any guests can have any food they like. More so, the chefs are top-notch and every kitchen can accommodate a maximum of 100 people, which is pretty big.
The Plane Has a Small Hospital
This plane is fully fitted with all the things needed to carry out medical practice. If POTUS or any other passenger on Air Force One is injured or falls ill, a doctor is available, there’s an operating room and all other high quality medical tools and a pharmacy. More so, there is an extra reserve of blood in the refrigerator that matches the President’s blood type.
Triple-Decked And Plenty Of Floor Space
The Air Force One has 3 levels and 4,000 square feet of floor space. There is plenty of space for the President and his guests to stretch their legs while in the air. This triple-decked plane is impressive indeed!
Many TVs and Phones On Board
Air Force One has 85 phones, because it is the most secure place other than the White House that the leader of the United States can talk. The Airborne Executive Phone is very secure, it has a light on the back that turns red when the line is secure. There are other lines for the other passengers to use, which have less security. There are also 20 TVs in this massive plane.
The Wheel Wells Have Surveillance Cams
Former US President Eisenhower told the director of Central Intelligence at the time, in 1959, to put up spy cameras in the wheel wells of the Air Force One. Those cameras were so efficient that they could clearly read vehicle plates from the air. It is speculated that more cameras have been placed on the underbelly of the plane.
At times, it is accompanied by a doomsday plane
In case something drastic happens like a meteor strike or nuclear warfare, the Air Force One is backed up. There is a 747 doomsday plane that is always on alert. This aircraft can remain in the sky for days and has the ability to outspace nuclear explosions.
Top Speed of 600 Miles/Hour
Air Force One can be able to fly at a top speed of 600 miles per hour, which is near the speed of sound. Also, it can get to an altitude of 45,100 feet while in flight. This is impressive because normal commercial flights fly at an altitude of 30,000ft.
Refueled In The Sky
Another cool fact about Air Force One is the fact that it can be refueled while in the air. It does not have to touch the ground to be replenished. Moreover, this plane possesses a fuel tank capacity of 3,000 gallons.
Air Force One Is Actually 2 Planes
Air Force One usually sounds like just one plane, but in actual sense, the name “Air Force One” is the radio call name for any of the 2 planes that the President uses. It all started in 1953 after the ‘Eastern Air Lines flight 8610’ entered the same airspace as President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s aircraft, called ‘Air Force 8610’ back then. In the modern day, “Air Force One” is used to refer to one of 2 planes that are uniquely designed to carry POTUS and the passengers he travels with. Two planes means that there is always one to travel with in case there is an emergency.
The Air Force One is fully equipped to ensure that the President of the United States and his fellow passengers are fully protected. The plane’s body can withstand a ground nuclear explosion, and all the windows are armored. In addition to that, there are flares on board that can be ejected to confuse missiles. Both of the exits on the plane have retractable staircases, therefore the crew does not have to depend on airport staircases which may be sabotaged by enemies.
Always In Neat Condition
Air Force One has to always be in a near-perfect state in order to lessen the possibility of an accident. Teams of contractors inspect the fuel that is put in the tanks and also ensure the plane is always in great condition inside and outside. When the two planes are not in use, they are kept at the Andrews Air Force Base, which is outside Washington. They are heavily protected there by armed guards.
13 Media Members On Board
The President always travels with a large entourage on the Air Force One, which includes multiple aides, advisers on security matters, economic advisers, speechwriters and many more, depending on the circumstances of the trip. You will also want to know that there are 13 media members who travel with the President too. They are actually referred to as “protective press pool”, who are representatives of radio, TV, newspapers, wire services and news sites. These journalists travel at the expense of their media companies, and have to share the information they collect with other White House press members.
Air Force One Has Been In Existence For Decades
President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Presidential Pilot Office in 1944, which was later changed to Presidential Airlift Group. For the following fifteen years, a propeller-driven plane was used to transport the president. President Eisenhower traveled to Europe on the Boeing 707 Stratoliner back in 1959. 3 years later, President John F. Kennedy was the 1st US President to travel in a jet aircraft specially made for presidential use, which was a modified Boeing 707 plane. From that time, other jets have been use specifically by POTUS.
LBJ Sworn In As President After The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy – November 22, 1963 – Dallas, Texas
In one of the most famous pictures in American history, Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in on Air Force One as the 36th President of the United States of America. Dallas Judge Sarah Hughes is presiding along with Johnson’s wife Lady Bird and a visibly distraught Jackie Kennedy.
Air Force Personnel And Air Force One
Air Force personnel make up the cabin crew that flies Air Force One. These personnel are heavily screened before qualifying to be members of the crew.
Every Flight On Air Force One Is A Military Operation
Every time the President uses Air Force One, it’s considered a Military Operation by the Air Force. Whether it’s flying to a foreign country to meet an emissary or flying to Camp David, it’s still treated the same by the Air Force.
Air Force One Will Be Replaced In 2024
The current fleet of two Air Force One jets have been in operation since 1990 during President George H.W. Bush’s Presidency. They will be replaced by a new fleet of two jets by 2024 and Boeing will produce them to the tune of $3.8 Billion dollars.
Air Force One Costs Taxpayers With Every Flight
It’s estimated that for every hour that Air Force One is in the air, it costs Taxpayers $206,337. Between the fuel costs, the Military costs, and plane costs. That’s quite the bill to foot for every departure.
Air Force One Has A Lot Of Fuel
The amount of fuel that Air Force One carries is staggering at 53,000 gallons of fuel. The President can fly from Washington DC to Tokyo, Japan non-stop, an amazing 6,735 nautical miles!
The VP Has His Own Plane – Air Force Two
The Vice President flies in his own plane, Air Force Two. This separation of President and Vice President is due to security concerns, and also upholding the line of succession in case of assassination.
Terminals? We Don’t Need No Stinking Terminals
Air Force One has priority over any other airplane (commercial or otherwise) at commercial airports. The Presidential Flyer does not use terminals, instead it stays on the tarmac when the President disembarks. All other air traffic is halted while Air Force One is on the ground.
FDR Was The First President To Take Flight – January 14, 1943
President Franklin D. Roosevelt boarded a Boeing 314 Flying Boat (“The Dixie Clipper”) in Miami, Florida to meet with Winston Churchill in Casablanca, Morocco during the War. There were stops in the Caribbean and Brazil and Gambia in Africa for refuels and rest along the journey.
Ike Was The First President To Take Jet Flight – August 1959
President Dwight Eisenhower was the first President to use a jet plane for travel in 1959. A Boeing 707 Stratoliner was used to fly to Europe, jet airplanes have been used by the White House ever since.
President Ford Bootlegged Coors, Sort Of
During the Presidency of Gerald Ford, his staff would routinely stock up Air Force One with cases of Coors Beer on trips out west. At the time, Coors Beer was only available in 11 western States. President Ford was so fond of the beverage that he had the White House supplied with Coors due to the Air Force One “bootlegging”.
Speaking Of Beer, There Were Differences Between Air Forces One And Two
Air Force One was alcohol friendly with Bourbon and Wine stocked on-board. Air Force Two did NOT serve alcohol on-board.
Air Force One Was Once The House Of Jellybeans
During the 1980’s, President Ronald Reagan was so enamored with jellybeans as a snack that he kept a supply of them on Air Force One.
Broccoli Was Once Banished From Air Force One
During George H.W. Bush’s Presidency, he hated broccoli so much that he forbid it off of the meals served on Air Force One.
Jacqueline Kennedy Spruced The Interior Of Air Force One
During her husband’s term, Jackie Kennedy commissioned new interiors for Air Force One and was the brainchild of having a light blue color used in the process.
Miles Of Wire Run Through Air Force One
Nearly 240 miles of wire run through Air Force One due to 85 phone lines and the multitude of communications equipment housed on board.
Air Force One Can Defend Itself
Air Force One is fitted with defensive countermeasures in case of attack. Flares can be fired from under the wings to throw off heat-seeking missiles. The outer skin of the aircraft is fitted with electronic sensors that can jam enemy radar. Air Force One can also withstand the concussive blasts of a nuclear attack with no radioactive fallout getting inside the airplane.
Journalists Have Their Own Section Of The Plane
A team of 13 Journalists fly with Air Force One on every flight. Their access is only limited to one section of the aircraft as you would need certain security clearances and credentials to access the two other sections of the plane.
Presidential Limousine Also Flies Too
The Presidential Limousine flies ahead of Air Force One on a C-141 Starlifter Cargo Plane to land first. This allows the President to walk off of Air Force One to his waiting limo no matter where in the world he flies to.
There Were Two Predecessors To Air Force One
President Kennedy was the first President to fly on what was called “Air Force One” in the early 1960’s. Two previous Presidents also had their own personal airplanes for travel to and from the White House. In the 1940’s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had the “Sacred Cow”, a Douglas VC-54 C outfitted with an elevator lift for the President’s wheelchair. President Harry S. Truman had the “Independence”, a Douglas VC-118 named after his hometown in Missouri in the 1950’s.
The Champion Taco-Eating Pit Bull
My neighbor Jose had just adopted a special pit bull from the local rescue shelter. It had been the faithful companion for five years of Jose’s elderly friend who had passed away a few months earlier. Because pit bulls have a bad rap, nobody wanted the dog, so the shelter planned to put it to sleep. When my neighbor learned that his friend’s faithful companion was about to be killed, he immediately adopted the dog. I don’t know about cats having nine lives, but that dog definitely got a second life.
That dog went everywhere with Jose. The dog’s name was Lucky, but Jose made a point of calling him something like “Lu-key.” Jose even got that large pooch service-dog certified, which meant he could take that dog into the supermarkets and even into the county fair.
Last July, I was assigned to judge the taco eating contest. A few months later the county fair started. Somehow Jose managed to get Lucky into the fair on my judgment day. According to him, the ticket office at first refused to let Lucky the service dog go in, because of all the other animals there. So Jose was sent to the exhibitor’s entrance, where the fair’s president was. After the president argued with Jose a bit, he was left at the gate with Lucky while the fair officials argued about what to do. During that time, exhibitors with other dogs, cats, pigs, and birds of all kinds, came into the fair through that same gate. Lucky looked at those other animals but did not budge from Jose’s side. Not a sound came from him, though other animals sometimes made a racket. The president noticed that and then decided to let Jose and Lucky conditionally come in; Lucky was in no way to disturb the other animals, children, or people.
A local guy named Walt came to the taco eating contest as a participant, not letting his wife know. We had TV-like tables set up with fifteen Mama Juanita’s Taqueria soft-shelled chicken tacos on each one, the best tacos for hundreds of miles. The contestant who at them the fastest won the contest. It happened that Jose and Lucky were the closest to Walt’s table.
Well, no sooner had I blown the start whistle than Walt’s wife screamed out his name, “Walter Higgins! Get over here!” At that shout, he jumped up and bumped over his table filled with tacos, in front of Lucky. Walt then bolted away from that area as fast as a rooster with its tail feathers aflame. Well, Lucky apparently felt lucky, so he jumped the few feet needed to get at all those tacos on the ground in front of him and started gobbling them down. It wasn’t long before all the contest spectators were watching Lucky, some aiming their Instagram-linked iPhone cameras at him. It was only later we discovered that CNN also had a cameraman at that event. Not only did Lucky eat all the tacos, but he was also the first to finish them as well!
Since the top two human taco eating contest champions were state-level champs, it didn’t take the local folk much time to declare, over the protest of those two guys, Lucky the 2015 taco eating contest winner. CNN national news and its website showed scenes of Lucky gobbling up the last of the tacos. The fair’s Facebook page ended up with the greatest number of views in local history. The social media sensation Lucky would become the “picture boy” for the next state fair.
Bizarre Starfish Found in Palm Beach
A person visiting Palm Beach, Florida witnessed a huge starfish gliding across the sand after low tide. While dislodging itself out of the sand, the creature slowly crawled across the sand, almost looking like it was floating on the surface. The video’s unloader says that he was amazed to watch the bizarre-looking creature embarked on his journey.
The National Geographic notes that starfish are invertebrate and that they are part of the family that consists of sand dollars and sea urchins. The majority of starfish live in tidal pools and coral reefs.
Most starfish have spiny skin and consist of five arms. However, some species can grow to have as many as 50 arms. The one in the video that is going viral has nine arms. Underneath the arms, you can see small little suckers that are used to allow the animal to slowly creep along the ocean floor — in this case along the sand. On the ends of its arms are eye-spots that are light-sensitive and are used for hunting food. They attack prey by attaching themselves and spreading its stomach out through its mouth, essentially vomiting onto its prey, with enzymes breaking down the prey so that the starfish can digest it. While we usually have a pleasant mental image of a beautiful starfish, what’s underneath it is surprisingly terrifying
About The Starfish Species
While it is difficult to determine the type of species in the viral video, it is most likely a Luidia senegalensis. These starfish are known for their unique nine arm formation. Once fully grown, they’ll have a diameter of about 16 inches, with some specimen growing even larger. They could be found in depths of up to 130 feet around the coast of Florida.
Why Are Starfish Found At The Beach?
Most starfish are found in deep waters or in small pools along the beach called tidal pools. During low tide, the ocean pulls back from the beach, revealing small sea animals.
Sometimes starfish are found in beaches because of age or because they are dying. Thankfully the starfish in the viral video looks very robust and healthy, slowly dislodging itself from the sand and crawling to a safe spot in the water or a nearby tidal pool.
What To Do If You Find A Starfish
Joey did the right thing — he kept his distance, and did not disturb the starfish or its environment. Never harvest live starfish for several reasons — unless you can explicitly identify the starfish, you might be handling one that is venomous to human beings. While starfish do not attack humans, they can intentionally or accidentally inflict painful stings with a release of venom when they are handled.
Unfortunately, there’s also the chance of fatally damaging the starfish. Starfish not only sensitive, but they can only breathe while in the water. Some might instantly die when lifted out of the water or touched by a human.
The Day I Met a Baby Gray Whale
In addition to being one of the most curious and intelligent creatures in Earth’s oceans, due to their great size and the fact that they travel vast distances, gray whales are also host to a wealth of scientific data about the health of our oceans. Gray whales have a long history of unique interactions with humans. Most of the time they appear indifferent to us. Sometimes they behave in a friendly way. But during a few points in history, in a small number of locations, legends of gray whales flipping small boats and dragging men beneath the waves have cropped up.
But gray whales can even be dangerous when they do not mean to be. Weighing in at nearly 40 tons, with massive flippers and a huge, powerful tail, gray whales have downed many small boats either accidentally or otherwise. But these fascinating creatures still have a powerful draw for us. They are mysterious, massive, and have eyes which reflect a strangely familiar intelligence.
So when Cheryl and David Kipling set out in hopes of meetings these creatures face to face, it was no small task overcoming their trepidation. Cheryl and David are biologists and run a lab where they study the remains of whales that have been killed prematurely by the actions of humans.
Cheryl explained, “I’ve autopsied the brains of half a dozen gray whales and the one thing that stands out is the size and sophistication of their limbic brain.”
We asked for more clarification on why having a big limbic brain is such a big deal.
She replied, “The limbic brain, in mammals, is the part of the brain that renders emotions. It’s sandwiched between the fore-brain- which is big in humans, and the hindbrain- which controls all of our cravings and reflex instincts. The limbic brain motivates us with feelings. When you look at a puppy and say ‘ahh’ at his big brown eyes, or when you miss a loved one and want to see them, that’s the limbic brain. Judging by the size of their’s, these animals are deeply emotional. They are primarily emotional, in fact- whereas people might be said to be primarily intellect oriented. That’s why it’s such a crime to keep orcas in captivity, separate them from their pods- their families. They suffer intensely.”
Equipped with this new and strange knowledge, going out with Dave and Cheryl to meet the whales felt all the more momentous. Getting out on the water to the right spot where the whale sightings were happening took most of the day. But the weather was beautiful, the water was calm, and we would have been happy even if no whales had shown up. But they did.
The couple spotted a mother and calf breaching the surface some distance off. They were headed in our direction. For several minutes, wonder, anticipation, and- we’ll admit, a little bit of dread were palpable. All I could think about is what I would do if one of these animals accidentally flipped our boat.
But eventually, the mother and calf reached us. They were careening off to the south. But then the baby spotted us and approached our boat. It came right up to the boat and held its long snout out of the water right next to the boat. It just sort of “stood” there. Cheryl and David reached out and stroked the animal’s nose while the mother looked on.
The baby whale turned and looked us over with its oddly small eye, calmly, almost serenely as Cheryl and David stroked her. Then the whales passed as quietly as they came. I’ll never forget the lucidity and the depth of feeling in the eye of that baby whale.
World’s Smallest McDonald’s Restaurant Draws Attention to Important Issue
McDonald’s is one of the world’s leading fast food restaurant chains, with Statista noting that they had as many as 37,855 restaurants open across the globe as of the end of last year. Given the sheer number of McDonald’s restaurants currently operation, one would think that the opening of another one would barely register on an international level, but that was not the case.
That’s due in large part to this particular restaurant being dedicated to serving customers of a different species.
The Remarkable McHive
In partnership with the advertising agency NORD DDB, McDonald’s created a miniature replica of one of their restaurants. The small restaurant, known as the McHive, features many of the same elements that people will see if they visit one of the McDonald’s branches in their area.
There are drive-thru windows present on the McHive, large windows, and outdoor seating for guests who may prefer to dine in an open-air environment. One can even see some posters advertising the restaurant chain’s offerings plastered on the walls of the “World’s Smallest McDonald’s.”
Of course, it cannot be called a McDonald’s restaurant without those iconic golden arches serving as its crowning glory.
This restaurant isn’t designed for people to dine in though. Instead, the McHive, as its name already hints at, is meant to house bees.
The Meaning behind the McHive
The McHive is actually a nod to a movement initiated by branches of the fast food chain in Sweden. Some of the McDonald’s restaurants in the aforementioned country have started to house beehives on their rooftops.
Also of note, the McHive features beehives on top of its roof and inside of it as well.
Via AdWeek, McDonald’s Sweden marketing director Christoffer Rönnblad said that the restaurant chain is happy to spread the message of sustainability. McDonald’s has gotten behind the practice of hosting beehives on the rooftops of their restaurants.
Set designer Nicklas Nilsson was responsible for the creation of the McHive. Since the release of the video showing off the McHive, the gorgeous structure has been auctioned off and the proceeds from it have gone to Ronald McDonald House charities.
While McDonald’s efforts to promote sustainable and to help the bee population are laudable, they will need more help to succeed.
The Concerning Status of the Bee Population
According to a recent report from ABC News, the bee population is continuing to decrease at an alarming rate. Research notes that 37.7 percent of the managed bee population declined from Oct. 1, 2018 to April 1 of this year.
That’s a noticeable decline in the managed bee population and it represents the largest winter losses since surveys were first conducted back in 2006. Accounting for a larger of window of time that goes from April 1, 2018 to April 1, 2019, the reported losses in the managed bee population totaled 40.7 percent.
Scott McArt, the assistant professor of pollinator health at Cornell University, described the aforementioned losses in the managed bee population as “unsustainably high.” McArt also mentioned that the losses can be explained in part by the presence of the varroa mite parasite that has been known to carry and spread diseases inside beehives.
According to EarthDay.org, other factors contributing to the decline of the bee population include climate change, habitat fragmentation, and the use of certain pesticides.
The decline of the population is not something to be taken lightly. Bees play an important role in the world’s ecosystem as they are excellent pollinators. Plants pollinated by bees are said to make up 35 percent of the world’s food production.
Furthermore, the loss of bees could indirectly affect other animals that sustain themselves on the products that come about as a result of pollination.
Should the bee population continue to drop at an unsustainable rate, the effects on food production for all creatures that inhabit the Earth could be quite severe.
Looking Back at an Eventful Summer for Snowflake the Albino Alligator
The past few months have been quite eventful for one particular albino alligator.
In case you missed it, an albino alligator named Snowflake generated more than a few headlines in recent months.
Back in May, Snowflake was welcomed as a kind of guest of honor after arriving at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. It’s easy to see why Snowflake caused a stir when she first made her way to the Brookfield Zoo.
Due to her albinism, Snowflake can stand out easily even amongst a crowded congregation of alligators. She possesses noticeably white skin that can be likened very much to the look of ivory and her eyes also have a pinkish hue. Those characteristics are typical of an albino alligator.
It is worth noting that Snowflake is also significantly shorter than many of the other alligators that you may be able to see in zoos or swamps. Per ABC 7 Chicago, Snowflake measures about 7 feet long. An average adult female American alligator measures about 8.2 feet tall, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.
While Snowflake was enjoying the attention from visitors at the Brookfield Zoo, an important and exciting discovery was made back at her home.
Snowflake Is Going to be a Mother
In June, Wild Florida announced that the caretakers of Snowflake and another albino alligator named Blizzard found eggs at the pair’s shelter. A total of 19 eggs were found at Snowflake and Blizzard’s exhibit, WFTV 9 reported.
Upon spotting the eggs, the caretakers acted fast to collect and move them to a more secure location.
Wild Florida co-founder and co-owner Dan Munns explained that moving the eggs out of the shelter was a necessary step due to some of the difficulties that the pair of albino alligators may encounter as parents. Munns explained that while alligators typically make for great mothers, Snowflake may not be as capable as some of her counterparts because of the blindness brought about by her albinism.
By securing the eggs themselves, the caretakers can shield them from any predators that may come snooping around. The eggs are being kept in an incubator in order so that they can be cared for in a more controlled environment. The caretakers mentioned that keeping the eggs in an environment where the temperature can remain at a stable level is essential to successful hatching.
Additional Facts about Albino Alligators
The fact that the eggs came from parents exhibiting albinism could very well turn out to be good news for the albino alligator population. Typically, albino alligators are born as a result of two normal alligators who carry the recessive gene for albinism mating, according to Safari Ltd. Since both Snowflake and Blizzard are albino alligators, the chances for them producing offspring that feature the same physical traits could be higher.
The albino alligator population could certainly use a boost. At present, biologists estimate that only around 100 albino alligators could be alive across the entire world.
Albino alligators are rare not just because they are the offspring of parents carrying some uncommon genes. It is also difficult for albino alligators to survive precisely because of their unique appearance.
Unlike the alligators that feature a more common skin color, albino alligators find it incredibly difficult to disguise themselves. That makes them easy prey for predators especially when they are younger.
Because of those struggles they could potentially face in the wild, you will often find zoos and farms caring for albino alligators to ensure that they can live out long and happy lives. While it’s still unclear what kind of offspring Snowflake and Blizzard will produce, there is certainly a fair amount of optimism that they will bring more albino alligators into the world.
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