Air International 1999-11
R.Francillon - Fit For a King /Commercial aviation/
Before it was engulfed by civil war, the Republic of Liberia used two 707s as presidential transports: an ex-Northwest Orient 707-351B (SCD) between December 1989 and June 1990, and an ex-Pan American 707-321B between August 1995 and July 1996.
Over the years, wide-bodied VVIP aircraft in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have included an A340-213, a 747SP-86, a 747-3G1, two L-1011-500s (including HZ-HM5 with special ‘HM’ registration but seeking to hide its VVIP use under Saudia airline markings), and two MD-11s.
Boeing VC-25A, 82-8000, Air Force One, of the 89th Airlift Wing on approach to London Heathrow Airport in May 1997. This is one of two modified 747-200Bs assigned to the United States Presidential Pilot’s Office.
Boeing VC-25A
Boeing VC-25A
Although it was highly successful with the world's airlines, the Boeing 727 trijet did not do well in the government VVIP market. Originally owned and operated by Pacific Southwest Airlines, this 727-14 (XT-BBE, c/n 21091) was acquired by the Government of Burkina Fasso in July 1988.
Prominently bearing the tongue-twister name (to English or French-speakers, at least) of the Polish Republic on its forward fuselage, this Tupolev TU-154M Lux belongs to the 36 SPLT (Specjalny Pulk Lotniktwa Transportwego). It is typical of many ex-Soviet transports serving in the VVIP role with former Warsaw Pact members and former USSR republics.
Illustrating the point that aircraft used to fly 'heads-of-state' are not all dedicated to that exalted task is the pair of A310-304s of France’s ET 3/60 Esterel. Although normally used for more mundane logistic tasks, such as regularly scheduled flights to French Polynesia, these aircraft remain available for use by the President of France and the Prime Minister when they travel on official state visits.
Delivered in January 1995, this Airbus A300B4-620 is operated by the Abu Dhabi Royal Flight in the United Arab Emirates.
BAe 146 CC.2 2.E700 was the first of three Srs 100 examples delivered to the RAF in VVIP configuration for operation by the Queen’s Flight at RAF Benson, to which it was delivered on April 23, 1986. The unit was amalgamated into 32 Squadron at RAF Northolt on April 1, 1995, becoming 32 (The Royal) Squadron, and continues to operate the aircraft in the VVIP role transporting members of the UK Royal Family.
Until now, the Bombardier Challenger/Regional Jet/Global Express family (issued from the Lear and Canadair blood lines) has not fared well in the government VVIP market. OK-BYA, a CL-601 Challenger, is operated by Letka Vlady Ceske Republiki, the Government Squadron of the Ministry of the Interior in the Czech Republic.
The trijet configuration of some of the Dassault business jets has been an asset in the government VVIP market. Markings on this Falcon 50 identify it as an aircraft of the 93° Gruppo TS, 31° Stormo 'Carmelo Raiti,' of the Italian Air Force.
Transportation of VIPs in Indonesia is carried out by Skadron Udara 17 based at Halim-Perdanakusuma, where this Fokker F28 Series 3000 is seen departing during mid-July.
Developed by Fokker from its F28 which had seen use in the government VVIP role for a number of years, the Fokker 100 was acquired as a presidential aircraft by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire. Single Fokker 70 and 70ER (Extended Range), with shorter fuselages, were acquired for use in the VVIP role respectively by the Netherlands and Kenya (seen here) before Fokker closed its doors.