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Donald Trump, who bought his 757 from Paul Allen in 2010 refurbished it to include 24-karat gold-plated seat belts and bathroom fittings, as well as cream-coloured leather seats. Photo: Bloomberg
Donald Trump, who bought his 757 from Paul Allen in 2010 refurbished it to include 24-karat gold-plated seat belts and bathroom fittings, as well as cream-coloured leather seats. Photo: Bloomberg

How Donald Trump’s private plane compares to Air Force One

Air Force One's anti-missile defence system beats whatever Trump's plane has to offer

Unlike any previous president-elect, Donald Trump already has his own aerial fleet (a Boeing 757-200 airliner, a Cessna Citation X business jet and two Sikorsky S-76Bs), on which he has hosted pals Stephen Baldwin, Dennis Rodman and Gary Busey.

But he’ll be required as president to fly on one of two 747-200Bs at his disposal (Air Force One is a designation afforded to whatever aircraft the commander in chief is aboard); both are equipped with a top-secret encrypted communications system, including teleconferencing that can deliver a televised address from 40,000 feet. Air Force One also has an anti-missile defence system and radar-jamming capabilities. “A lot of this stuff is classified," says Air Force One historian Von Hardesty.

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The presidential planes outclass Trump’s. Each can carry more than 70 people and fly up to 12,150.55 kms at a top speed of 1128.15 kmph. Trump’s twin-engine 757 can carry 43 people 7,081.1 kms at up to 980.09 kmph. Stylewise, Air Force One is more subdued: Interior decoration for the planes, which entered service in 1990 and 1991, was directed by Nancy Reagan, who favoured Southwest-style earth tones. There is little glitz; amenities include a presidential suite with a treadmill and an operating room stocked with the president’s blood.

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Trump, who bought his 757 from Paul Allen in 2010 (Ron Burkle also has a 757, which the Clintons have used), refurbished it to include 24-karat gold-plated seat belts and bathroom fittings, as well as cream-coloured leather seats. The 57-inch high-definition TV screen is matched with “digital surround sound exactly like in a movie theater—it’s better than the one on Air Force One, no question," says Gregg Launer, the technician who installed the system. The plane also has a full galley, though Trump often dines on KFC or Burger King in flight.

Last year, the Air Force placed an order for two new Boeing 747-800 jets slated to become operational in 2024. If Trump scores a second term, he and Melania could be in charge of their fittings, and his big-league flair could grace the world’s airways for decades. Bloomberg

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