Did you know? It costs about $200,000 per hour to run the Air Force One!

I bet you knew little of the United States' Presidential Aircraft - the Air Force One. New facts have emerged that as per running costs, it requires about $200,000 an hour to operate Air Force One. Read below the reason why here's why it's so expensive.

According to Boeing, each aircraft carries a crew of 26 along with roughly 70 passengers including the president, government officials, Secret Service agents, and guests. The 4,000-square-foot space in the aircraft cabin allows the aircraft to function as a flying White House with the ability to run a country from 40,000 feet. In the same vein, the maintenance costs a lot with recent replacement of the old engines with new ones.

According to Tech Insider by Pulse NG, during the first month in office, President Donald Trump's travels cost more than $10 million.

Also read: Reasons why you cannot use your phone onboard a plane 

"In fact, President Donald Trump's travel itinerary cost US taxpayers more than $10 million during his first month in office" - The Washington Post.

Because it's the highest office in the country, each presidential trip would involve a highly complex logistical operation that would require hundreds of people, dozens of vehicles, and a fleet of aircraft. And as a result, you'd expect that the cost of one trip alone could fit the budget and foot the bills of a small country in a year.

The logistics and operations

Asides the main Air Force One jet, there are two smaller planes that fly alongside the AF1 as per security protocols. And they'd also require maintenance and fuel.

Air force one in flight

The presidential upgrades add to the cost too with the list below:

1. Midair-refueling capability

Mid air refueling of air force one

2. Missile-defense systems
3. Electronic countermeasure defense systems

An operating room.
4. The ability survive the electromagnetic pulse emitted from a nuclear detonation.
5. The communications capabilities to manage a wartime crisis from anywhere in the world.

On major trips, both VC-25As make the trip — one with the president aboard and the other acting as backup in case of an emergency.

According to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Judicial Watch, the VC-25A cost a whopping $206,000 an hour to operate during a 2014 trip to Los Angeles by President Barack Obama. According to the documents, this figure included fuel, flight consumables, and maintenance.

Compare the above statistics with a $20,000 - $25,000 running cost per hour of a regular commercial airline.

Tech Insider enumerates some other travel costs that include the presidential limousine with other limo convoy called the BEAST, which of course are heavy-duty and highly armoured by General Motors. They can withstand ballistic missile attacks and other bomb and terrorist-related crisis.

US presidential limousine the Beast

According to Autoweek, each one of Obama's 12 Beast limos cost $1.5 million. Trump will get a new version of the Beast. It's unclear how much the new model will cost.

The limos actually have to travel ahead of the president and his team to wait for him so once his Air Force One plane arrives, they'd immediately pick him up without delay. Note that the BEAST is the official car of the US president on foreign soils so it must always go with the president anywhere outside the US. The limos are transported in different aircrafts - a fleet of Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes. Now, that adds to the list of running cost.

And in instances in which the president is in a hurry, he has the option to bypass the Beast and go with Marine One, the call sign for the presidential helicopter. The helicopters — Sikorsky VH-3D Sea Kings or VH-60Ns or Boeing MV-22s — usually fly in a formation of three. These are operated by the Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) in Quantico, Virginia.

US presidential limousine the Beast

So, there you have it. Why is it so expensive for the president to fly? It's the custom jumbo jet, the staff and crew needed to operate the planes, the limos needed to transport the president to and from the plane, the cargo plane needed to transport the limos, and the helicopters in case the president wants to skip the car ride.

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