Military Review

Doomsday plane

This Boeing E-4B (serial number 50125 75-0125) is the US Air Command Point (AUC)
It was created on the basis of the Boeing-747-200 aircraft from the non-purchased one of the airlines of the order and, in fact, was converted into a large mobile "nuclear briefcase" that accompanies the American President and the top military leadership.

All these machines made four pieces in case of nuclear war and they were called "Doomsday planes."
E-4 can stay in the air for a whole week if it is refilled in a timely manner. All systems are protected from the effects of a nuclear explosion; I mean not so much a shock wave, as an electromagnetic pulse, which usually cuts down all electronics.
Given its ceiling in 12 km, it will survive the shock wave if it does not reach the epicenter itself.

When the president flies from the continent, E-4 always sits at the nearby airport as a command post in case of war.
In Hawaii for this, he sits down at the airport at 200 miles from Honolulu. All E-4 carry shelling protection.

The first E-4 began to be assembled in 1973, the engines were initially manufactured by Pratt & Whitney, then switched to General Electric.
This instance was built in 1979, a satellite dish was added to the 1985 aircraft and called E-4B, the other three are called E-4A.

Initially, it was planned to build six working sides and a seventh for research, the budget for this group of aircraft was initially 548 million dollars (1973), and the total cost of each cost 250 million dollars.
In 2005, the US government allocated another 2 billion for five years to improve these aircraft.

The avionics of the E-4B are still of those years, the cabin is analog, so it's a rather complicated aircraft to manage - like the first Boeing-747.

Since the aircraft is equipped with a device for refueling in the air, in theory it can be in the air for up to seven days.
In practice, the most long time he spent in the air without landing 35 hours.

Full refueling of the E-4B requires two KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft tankers, each of which carries tons of fuel from 86, that is, the E-4 refueling goes about 170 tons of kerosene.

E-4 is the most expensive to use in stories United States, each flight hour costs 155 thousand dollars, more than a B-2 or SR-71.
So count the cost to drive to the summit in Davos and back.

In Zurich, after an American aircraft landed around the perimeter, an armored car with a submachine gunner traveled, and all the spectators from the outside of the fence were soon pushed aside by the police.

"The owners of the world" were frightened spotters with cameras, the plane is something super-secret ...

The crew of the E-4 has 112 people (the minimum strength is 48). Due to the fact that people are flying less than in a regular passenger boeing, they need fewer emergency exits, and one of the exits is filled with equipment.

The flight crew consists of an ASF, a co-pilot, a navigator and an engineer.

The entrance to the plane is usually from its own ladder on the lower deck.

E-4 can stay in the air for a very long time, and the limitation is the supply of engine lubricants and the food-water supply for the crew.

E-4 has three decks.
The main working deck and lower in place of the cargo compartment of the commercial 747, there is an electronics and antenna for communication with submarines. The antenna is wound on a coil and in flight is unrolled behind the aircraft, its length is on the order of 8 km.

In the "hump" are places for sitting and resting the crew, there are 8 seats and 6 sleeping shelves.

On the main deck in the bow is the headquarters of the commander, followed by four places for security guards, then a kitchen with ovens and microwaves, where you can cook about a hundred hot dishes during long missions.

Next is the conference and press room, between the kitchen and the conference room, the old projection room, in which the person used to manually change the slides, and now everything is on the plasma, but the room remains. Next is the office, in which sits the so-called combat personnel - about 30 people. They are planners, officers responsible for launching missiles, communication, weather and support.

Here is the scheme for the topic:

Here is a detailed movie:

On the plane there were elements of a commercial aircraft: a spiral staircase to the upper deck, a chandelier and a red rope, like in nightclubs, blocking access to people who are not first class. On board the 12 phone lines, you can call and send a fax to absolutely any telephone number of the entire planet. It is terrible to submit their roaming bill)))

One E-4 always stands on the president’s home base at the Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and the two first VC-25 (Airforce One) boards are also located there.

On one E-4B, the US Secretary of Defense (secretary of Defense) often moves around the world, and this time the US delegation in Davos was headed by US Vice President Joe Biden.

E-4 is also used in the disaster area as the only decent source of communication. But in Katrina 2005 was not used for some reason ...

Full house at the Zurich Airport observation deck before the E-4B departure.

One E-4 is always ready to fly 24 hours a day with a full crew ready. Apparently, these pump iron, and suddenly "Hey, they drove!" :)

2006 decided to decommission E-2009 from 4 of the year, but 2007 canceled this decision.

The E-4 clock-landing resource will end in 2039, but plan to end service at 2020.

747, of course, beautiful, but our IL-80 is much more beautiful!


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  1. Anton Gavrilov
    Anton Gavrilov 28 January 2016 07: 13
    Very interesting...
  2. Vadim Zhivov
    Vadim Zhivov 28 January 2016 07: 16
    Thanks for the article ... Informative ... But your shirt is closer to the body ... Ours are better ... +++ hi
  3. Mera joota
    Mera joota 28 January 2016 07: 34
    "The owners of the world" were frightened spotters with cameras, the plane is something super-secret ...

    And how did the author define it? From the subsequent photos of the spotters? Or video filmed inside the plane? According to the above diagram? How does this compare with the term "super-secret"?
    1. WUA 518
      WUA 518 28 January 2016 10: 10
      Quote: Mera Joota
      From the subsequent photos of the spotters?
      Spotting is a hobby popular today that involves photographing aircraft and maintaining a kind of register of aircraft. Often, spotters are equipped with a radio station to listen to crew radio conversations. The legal status of such a hobby as spotting is not defined in any country, but in Russia, fans of planing spotting are traditionally tougher than in Western countries. Although, there is a known case when in 2001 the Greek police detained 14 spotters (12 British and two Dutch citizens) when they shot in the vicinity of the base of the Greek Air Force Kalamata. They were threatened with a term of 20 years on charges of espionage.

      After 6 weeks, they were charged differently - with illegal collection of information, they were released on bail of 9000 pounds. In April of the following year, confident of their innocence, they filed a lawsuit against Greece. The result was unexpected: eight were sentenced to three years in prison, the rest - to one year .. In November of that year, all charges were dropped from 11 Britons.
      Here is the application for official spotting in Vnukovo. Schedule for July 2, 2013:
      Time: 09.00 - 13.30.

      If you want to take part in it, please send the following information about yourself before 17:00 on June 25:
      1. Surname, name, patronymic.
      2. Scan of the passport (page with last name and page with registration), if you have not yet sent us or changed your passport / address.
      3. Contact numbers, preferably mobile.
      4. Links to your photographs, home page, profiles on air forums. This will be an important criterion in the selection of participants.
      5. The model of the camera and lenses.

      The application is sent to e-mail: [email protected] until 17:00 on June 25.
  4. 25ru
    25ru 28 January 2016 07: 48
    Informative. Only need to jerk less.
  5. Neo1982
    Neo1982 28 January 2016 08: 19
    in the Moment of Truth they said that we have the same IL-80 drones (if I’m mistaken) just in case
    1. kote119
      kote119 28 January 2016 08: 28
      we also have similar units - but they are also pilots
    2. Praetor
      Praetor 28 January 2016 08: 32
      0 - Момент истины от 21.12.2015
      1. Neo1982
        Neo1982 28 January 2016 08: 43
        why the link doesn’t work
  6. kote119
    kote119 28 January 2016 08: 27
    very interestingly written, and the photos are just super - the author is a solid five smile
    1. code54
      code54 29 January 2016 07: 47
      Good article, great photos! Oh, Americans love dear Ponte! ;))) Although reinsurance too much does not happen!
  7. SeregaBoss
    SeregaBoss 28 January 2016 08: 28
    Cool! Interesting sale will be when Schmax collapses?
  8. Magic archer
    Magic archer 28 January 2016 08: 33
    I would read with interest a similar article about our Ile. Theme is interesting.
    1. zyablik.olga
      zyablik.olga 28 January 2016 13: 15
      Quote: Magic Archer
      I would read with interest a similar article about our Ile. Theme is interesting.

      A couple of years ago, there was a publication on VO Air Command Posts. "Doomsday planes".
  9. FID
    FID 28 January 2016 08: 40
    Let one of the "urariots" write that this board is morally outdated, and look at the release date, or at the RESOURCES, our aircraft are MUCH more reliable, BUT ARE NOT ISSUED !!!!
    1. Mera joota
      Mera joota 28 January 2016 09: 52
      Quote: SSI
      Let one of the "urariots" write that this board is morally outdated, and look at the release date, or at the RESOURCES, our aircraft are MUCH more reliable, BUT ARE NOT ISSUED !!!!

      Well, then the production of the B-747 is gradually being phased out. The Americans have any question about the cancellation of the E-4, it's time to do it on the basis of the B-777, the 21st century overboard ...
      1. FID
        FID 28 January 2016 10: 20
        Yes, another 15-20 years will fly ... The landing resource is huge ... And the B-777 is small in volume ...
      2. WUA 518
        WUA 518 28 January 2016 11: 02
        Quote: Mera Joota
        write-off of E-4

        This applies to commercial Boeing, E-4 a year ago, were going to upgrade the communication systems.
      3. IMHO
        IMHO 28 January 2016 15: 25
        They are switching to 747-8, a new aircraft, in 2011 he just started flying. It’s too early to write off, a cool airplane, the opinion of our specialists who stratified it for Russia. According to them, this is the 21st century. Ours and did not stand next ... unfortunately.
      4. Falcon
        Falcon 29 January 2016 12: 17
        Quote: Mera Joota
        it's time to do on the basis of the B-777, 21 century overboard ...

        It’s not so simple with him. ETOPS 180 on all aircraft, only a few certified under ETOPS 330. This is very small for the first side and the Doomsday plane.

        Especially with the expected life of his years in 40 ETOPS will be very conditional.

        Two engines for aircraft with such tasks - this is still critical.

        Rather, 747-8 is suitable for these purposes.
  10. pilot_66
    pilot_66 28 January 2016 08: 50
    Our prettier
  11. FID
    FID 28 January 2016 09: 03
    Shine !!! we put cons, but no comments! But, with any appearance of information about our planes, a screeching about moral old age begins ... Has anyone of those who write on this site (over 45 years old, the rest are too young) did anything to increase the country's DEFENSE, or just - Russia ahead? ??? Or do they write here only under the influence of "Made in Russia"? When, finally, will there be meaningful comments ??? There is no need for every message to immediately print _ it's joyful, it's great, etc. I apologize for the harshness, it hurt ...
    1. Tilkus75
      Tilkus75 28 January 2016 11: 50
      Is that harshness ?! You are absolutely right!
      1. guzik007
        guzik007 28 January 2016 12: 22
        Sergei SSI seems to be an aircraft manufacturer, if I remember correctly? He said absolutely everything correctly. + And our IL is better, at least in terms of rigging, it is fully digitized, in contrast to the Boeing. I remember this from Karaulov's program. And we have an antenna "from 8 km and more": =) And in general, there was only a political strong-willed decision for a full-scale start of the serial production of domestic aircraft. But this is not the case, unfortunately. But there is demand even in the domestic market. You only have to make you buy your own. And so, only in words, import substitution.
        1. Cook
          Cook 28 January 2016 13: 07
          If there is demand, then why make buying? Somehow this is not very correct, it is necessary to create conditions that would be profitable to order and operate. And then why bother with the heap of military production, where the economic component of exploitation can be neglected, since we are talking about the country's defense and civilian production. After all, GA is still a business, and forced retraction is likely to lead to an increase in the ticket price, a decrease in demand for transportation, and so on. Or then do as in the USSR, that is, subsidize the activities of civil aviation and aircraft manufacturing. Only now it is much more difficult to do, the country is no longer so closed.
          1. guzik007
            guzik007 28 January 2016 13: 33
            Somehow this is not very correct, it is necessary to create conditions that would be profitable to order and operate
            In another way, this is called manufacturer’s swelling support. Do you think the interests of Boeing are not lobbying? Very much.
            And then, and who told you that the IL-80 is a military man? A very civilian version, tailored to the needs of the Moscow Region.
            1. Cook
              Cook 28 January 2016 15: 49
              I know that it is lobbying, but there are limits too. Google Airbus's lawsuit against Boeing regarding the state’s excessive support for the latter. Government support may affect lease payment rates, but this is not the most important thing. Airlines need a competitive aircraft, certainly, I emphasize, with a built-in after-sales service system. These include: maintenance and repair plus equipment and tools for this, staff training, simulators, uninterrupted supply of spare parts, quick resolution of technical issues, etc. They began to build such a system in the West in the 50s, but with us, this is not the case, to put it mildly. As for the basic civilian model for the IL-80, this is the IL-86, seriously speaking about the production of which, now hardly anyone will.
    2. aiw
      aiw 28 January 2016 19: 03
      Well, I probably did a little to increase defense capabilities ... but this is very difficult. Do you know what kind of RFPs for young specialists in the defense industry now, for example?

      "I'm not surprised that trams don't run, but I'm surprised that they still run" (c) MA Bulgakov.
    3. Alex_59
      Alex_59 29 January 2016 10: 08
      Quote: SSI
      at least did something to increase the DEFENSE capabilities of the country, or simply - Russia ahead ????

      Everyone should do their own thing, and not everyone works as designers at aircraft factories. Defense can be understood more broadly. For example, stop drinking, smoke, start playing sports, create a healthy family, give birth to children and bring them into people - this is also quite an increase in the country's defense potential, and this business is not so simple and easy (about yourself, your beloved).
  12. Cook
    Cook 28 January 2016 12: 04
    A very interesting report. The maximum amount of fuel is indicated a little inaccurately, in fact, 160 tons of kerosene fit into the "classic". If oil tanks of increased capacity are not installed on the engines, or the oil refueling system is not implemented, then it will not last a week in the air: oil consumption is low, but it is there. Judging by the fleeting glance at the flight engineer's console available from the video, the electrical system differs from the civilian version: two generators are installed on the engines, and not one each, and the air bleeding system from the engines: what is the difference, but the console is different. This is a special aircraft, so I think that when choosing a base model for a new air headquarters, they would rather choose 747-400 than 777. Since the number of engines is critical here, and on XNUMX there is still no such bias towards electronic systems as on axes, there is no fly by wire and a unified electronic system of data exchange between devices, which are difficult to protect from the effects of an electromagnetic pulse.
    And so, I cannot but admit that the 747 is an outstanding aircraft and even a masterpiece of the world aircraft industry. As for reliability and resources, I don’t know how things are with the IL-80, but the first Transaer 747-200 were decommissioned with a flying time of over 100 thousand hours, which unfortunately is unattainable for domestic aircraft.
  13. corporal
    corporal 28 January 2016 18: 59
    Interesting article.

    There are questions:
    1) theoretically, it can be in the air for up to seven days.-engines can withstand a continuous cycle of work? (We believe that there is enough fuel and lubrication)
    2)E-4B avionics is still those years, the cabin is analog,- maybe I'm wrong, but it seems there was a discussion on this site where someone argued that analog is more resistant to EM pulses than digital? Or I'm wrong?

    Specialists, in particular SSI, please explain. hi
    1. Cook
      Cook 28 January 2016 23: 04
      Engines can withstand a continuous cycle, the main thing would be oil. During tests at the bench and twist longer. As for avionics, within my knowledge, as for the aircraft itself, then analog will probably be more resistant to EMI. Although there, even in the civilian version, there were already full electronic computers. And here the main mission of the aircraft - the command post, has special communication systems. I won’t lie, I’m not strong at that.
    2. Cook
      Cook 28 January 2016 23: 28
      Now I read with amers that they did not specifically change the analog cabin, precisely because of their greater resistance to EMR.
    3. Dekabrev
      Dekabrev 29 January 2016 22: 42
      "Analog cockpit", as I understand it, means that not only electronic analog devices are located on the dashboard, but also, for the most part, purely mechanical ones, which, in general, cannot react to an electromagnetic pulse due to the complete absence of electricity in them ... The problem of protecting old electromechanical devices from an electromagnetic pulse, in my opinion, has also been solved long ago. Digital devices, in themselves, are very sensitive to this very impulse and require very serious protection. Although this problem also seems to have been resolved. But, it seems, they are reinsured in the most extreme and difficult case. Although if all the electronics on such an airplane burns out, then it will be absolutely useless. Analog mechanical and electromechanical devices are apparently needed to save the lives of the crew and the aircraft itself.
      1. Cook
        Cook 30 January 2016 17: 25
        Purely mechanical devices, at least in the 747-200, are no longer there. All analog information received from external sensors (height, total pressure, dynamic pressure, temperature) is converted into digital in two ADC (Air Data Computer) and then transmitted to the devices. Even instruments such as "Cab Height", "Cab Difference" and "Cab Variometer" are electromechanical.
  14. podgornovea
    podgornovea 28 January 2016 21: 12
    The article is a definite plus!

    Indeed, it is very interesting to find out how everything is organized and arranged inside, for the organization of a task force which, in an emergency mode, will have to manage the state and the army!

    Typically, information on such aircraft: Take-off weight, Range, Time spent in the air (well, 8 km antenna) :)

    It would be interesting to see our plane from the inside, but if this could damage the safety of our president (especially in the current conditions) then it is not necessary! Unfortunately, we have no other SUCH president!
  15. podgornovea
    podgornovea 28 January 2016 21: 33
    It would not be bad to make a transfer on this interesting E-4B apartment scheme (or separately).
    As some terms (or abbreviations: NCA AREA) are specialized.
    1. Cook
      Cook 28 January 2016 23: 25
      NCA AREA - National Command Authority Area - the zone of the commander in chief (president or defense minister), or as we say the main passenger. It includes a study, a sleeping place, a dressing room, a shower and a toilet.
  16. doework
    doework 29 January 2016 11: 24
    Informative and interesting!
    As for our "board number 1", then - the less is known about it, the calmer we all will be. It is enough to know what he is wink This aircraft is not for excursions and squatters.
    The main thing is to be reliable, like AK, and, preferably, never worked in real war conditions.
  17. Dekabrev
    Dekabrev 29 January 2016 22: 55
    A very accurate name for the apparatus "plane of the end of the world." A full-scale nuclear war, especially with the arsenals that the USSR and the United States possessed in the 70-80s, is more complete for the whole world.
  18. Kir1984
    Kir1984 17 February 2016 08: 03
    fine, at the end of the article the giggle was already taking me apart smile