Did you know that the Iron Maiden band had their own Boeing 747 for a world tour in 2016? But where did this plane come from and where did it go?
Where does the 747 come from?
The story of the Iron Maiden Boeing 747 actually begins long before they take possession of the aircraft. Aircraft, a Boeing 747-400. Air France began its illustrious career as a F-Kit as a commercial aircraft for France in 2003.
By the end of its lifespan, the aircraft had built only two classes for 432 passengers. Business classes were located on the nose of the aircraft in a 2-2-2 framework, and did not have many of the features you would expect today, such as direct aisle access and privacy. The seats have no reclining position and can only be reclined, which is an unacceptable feature on today’s aircraft. The rest of the site under the aircraft has economic spaces in the 3-4-3 structure. Upstairs, there were several rows of economic seats in a 3-3 structure. The aircraft flew for Air France for over ten years and was finally stored and retired in 2015.
In 2016, the aircraft was privately leased to Air Atlanta Icelandic, an airline charter company. The Iron Maiden band was looking for a special plane to use on their tour (to carry their stage pieces, exhibits, as well as all of the band and band members). In general, a Boeing 737 would suffice, but as it was one of the largest shows in the world, they needed extra cargo capacity.
The Boeing 747 was selected in February 2016 and repainted with a special Iron Maiden distribution. The band’s logo was nicknamed ‘Ed Force One’ after Eddie. The seats are rearranged in black fabrics, which are finished with branded headrests. The contracting team also had Ed Force One ties to the aircraft.
Interestingly, the band’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson was a licensed Boeing 747 pilot. In that capacity, he flew most of the flights he performed at Ed Force One during his 17-month tour.
The aircraft was specially modified to carry the team’s 10,000 kg of equipment needed for their world tour. The combination of a famous rocker and queen of skies on the control stick guaranteed a huge crowd at the airports, landing every aircraft ever taken. The band has set up a special ‘Spotters page’ where fans can share photos of the flight.
The aircraft will fly around the world to New Zealand, Canada, Tokyo and Brazil.
In Chile, the plane collided with a tow truck on the tarmac and damaged two GE engines. Within 10 days of changing these, the plane flew back into the air. Overall, the aircraft flew the band on tour from March 2016 to June 2016.
What happened to the 747 after the tour?
After the tour, the Boeing 747 was shipped to Iceland for further fencing. It was leased to a number of smaller private charters, such as the 350 Icelandic football fan club for the Iceland-Hungary match. The aircraft was placed in its current distribution for this trip. After that, the aircraft was diverted and lost its iconic Iron Maiden ‘Ed Force One’ distribution.
It was later leased to Saudi Arabian Airlines in August 2016 for regular passenger use. As of today, the aircraft is still in circulation.