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What do you call Air force one when the president isnt on it?
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What do you call Air force one when the president isnt on it?


It is called SAM (Special Air Mission) and then a modification of it's tail-number 28000 or 29000.

So in calls to ATC (Air-Traffic Control) it would be "SAM twenty-eight hundred".

A 747...

In all seriousness, it gets assigned an Air Force callsign by either the Andrew Operations Center or the Air Tasking Order if it's flying in a combat zone.

Andrew W
The aircraft itself is a VC-25, a highly-modified military version of a Boeing 747-200B. There are only two that actually exist, and their tail numbers are 28000 and 29000, respectively.

Like you said in your question, it only has the "Air Force One" designation when the President is aboard. Otherwise, it has its normal US Air Force designation of the tail number.

Its callsign, which is the numbers and letters found on the underside of the wing and the tail.

by the tail number

Rob G
Depends who you are talking about. Most still refer to it as airforce one, however the bird would go by it's alpha numeric designator.

Lou lou
no idea.

It always carries the designation of Air Force One since it has to be maintained in a super-secure area even when the president is not on board and always ready for flight. It's flight crews sit alert twenty-four seven and rotate that so that it can be ready to go in a very short time if needed. Usually it is known in advance to some extent when the president is going to be traveling and there are a whole host of things that take place and revolve around this and his movement. There are certain military entities that have the responsibility of overseeing, planning and coordinating this and I worked on a number of what they refer to as Banner missions that mean missions that the President moves on when he uses Air Force 1 or Air Force 2 or the Vice-president when they travel somewhere.

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