January 4th, 2009
03:39 PM ET
13 years ago

Transition to Power: Obama flying 'Air Force One' backup

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/04/art.getty.air.force.two.jpg caption="President-elect Barack Obama is now flying a U.S. military 757 like the one pictured above."]
CHICAGO (CNN) - In a sign of just how close he is to formally taking the reigns of power, President-elect Barack Obama is no longer flying commercial.

Reporters arriving at Midway Airport for Mr. Obama's afternoon flight to Washington were greeted by an Air Force 757 with a crew wearing jackets that say "Air Force One" in script on the front.

Obama aides say this is the first time as President-elect that he is flying a military jet that is in the rotation to be used as Air Force One, though it is technically never called "Air Force One" unless the current president is flying on it.

The transition team chartered a plane from United Airlines for the President-elect's recent holiday vacation to Hawaii, so Sunday's flight marks yet another sign of the transfer of power.

Layne Hoppman, an Air Force security official, said the plane Mr. Obama is flying Sunday is used as Air Force One when one of the two planes currently at President Bush's disposal is in service.

He noted that the plane, which was rolled out around 1998, is also occasionally used by the sitting Vice President, First Lady, Members of Congress or military officials using Andrews Air Force Base.

"It's the workhorse of Andrews," said Hoppman.

Now it has another distinction: carrying the President-elect for his official move to Washington just over two weeks before his historic swearing-in.

As for Mr. Obama, from here on out he doesn't have to worry about taking off his shoes at security lines or missing his connections - at least for the next four years.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Miro, MI

    To Richard!
    English is my second language, but, please, do you know how to spell "Grammar"?
    Shame on you, not knowing your language!

    January 4, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  2. Dan

    It is unbelievable that this inexperienced guy from Chicago can show off. Anyway his true colors will be seen very soon. Watch out. He got elected by criticizing George Bush's 8 years term. I wonder what he will do during his term. God save the motherland.

    January 4, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. SAGG

    Melissa January 4th, 2009 7:03 pm ET

    The hatred being shown on here is astounding me.

    This man is the man that is going to lead us for the next 4 years so you people need to just bloody well deal with it instead of constantly wallowing in your loathing.

    He's doing the right thing. As the first black President, never mind the Democrat President thats taken over after some of the worst 8 years in the last century, his life is a very large amount of danger. I'm glad he's taking care of it. I'm glad the gvt is paying attention.
    Yep. Makes one wonder if something terrible should happen to PE Obama (God forbid), some of them would actually cheer. People, he's going to the President. If I can accept Bush (and I did) as President, I would think any sensible person would accept Obama as President.

    January 4, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. Becky, Midwest


    January 4, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. amt

    let the countdown begin. change has come to America. 16 days to go.

    January 4, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. MK

    "wille brown" January 4th, 2009 6:38 pm ET

    Guess there a smoking section in the back by the bathroom for resident select Osama.

    Be careful bigot, your IGNORANCE is showing. Disgusting post.

    January 4, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. Dwayne

    Jan 20, 2009 can not come soon enough.
    Goodby George Worst-Ever Bush and good DAM RIDDANCE.

    January 4, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  8. crazy

    Obama is the man come Jan 20th and the haters can't do jack about it. Ha Ha Ha .

    January 4, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Karen in Indiana

    I am so proud of our election that showed intelligence in decision-making when we elected Obama. Indiana even went Blue! Yeah! There are a few of us who have graduate degrees and don't live in double-wides! May God Bless Obama and his family. As a single mother, I only wish that his mother and grandparents could have lived long enough to see the fruits of their labor. I have extra pride in his accomplishments on their behalf. I don't say this as a Democrat or Republican for I am an independent as a "true" Hoosier should be if one knew and understood the history of our state. I have scheduled my business dealings "off" for January 20th. As the Europeans boldly asked 4 years ago, "How can Millions Get It So Wrong" when Bush was elected, I look forward to celebrating that intelligence won out and we got it right!!! At least in any mistakes Obama may make will be "honest" mistakes instead of "contrived greediness" that we have had to endure. May Obama succeed in leading us to more fulfilling lives.

    January 4, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. EThorne

    I didn't support PE Obama, however I am hoping that he does a good job. I don't see him as the messiah but as good man trying to do a good job. With that sad I will be providing my support, it is a shame that some of you liberals couldn't have been as gracious when President Bush was in office. And, before you get all riled, I am now an independent previously a Republican but I find that the religious right has taken too strong a hold over the party. In some issues, primarily domestic, I am fairly center left; however, on foreign and international issues I am center right.

    In reading all the posts above, I am concerned by the comments of both sides. Liberals and Democrats, you are now in power, in the hot seat, if I were you I would be more concerned about getting your tail ends to work since you know everything. Conservatives and Republicans, you can continue to whine and help the Russian analyst's prediction that the US would disappear come true OR you can be part of the solution and work toward making sure we (the US) come out ahead. That means we (both parties) need to work together, and it isn't going to happen with all the name calling. Bottom line, all of you need to develop more respect for the person that is the President of the US. It is very easy to Monday morning quarter back, but not easy being in their shoes. Enough with the comments about either one...Mr. Bush is NOT incompetent or a war criminal (if that were the case then so were most of our Presidents, including some of your favorites), and Mr. Obama is the President Elect, lets help him get our country back to where it needs to be..and we start by showing him the respect necessary.

    January 4, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. Proud American

    Richard January 4th, 2009 7:18 pm ET

    Proud Americam—
    If you wrew working you'll be fired by NOW go back to school your grammer
    Wow, and I should go back to school? What a Idiot.

    January 4, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Proud American

    TCM = You could always share you SSI check with me. Idiot.

    January 4, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. Simon O'Rourke

    Judgment Day comes for America on Jan 20th. People bought the hype, the racism (voting for him because he is black is racist), the call for "change", and now it's almost time to see if Obama can walk the walk.

    Personally, and even as someone who would vote Democrat, I have an awful feeling the steak isn't going to be half as good as the sizzle. I hope I am wrong, but something about the way Obama portrays himself gives me a bad feeling.

    Just as an FYI to those who hate G.W.Bush (I am one, but choose to stick to fact): Bush has been very welcoming and accommodating to the president elect; stating otherwise is just naive.

    January 4, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. sandee in Portland

    Yea....it's almost over, Bush's reign that is. Hopefully, after the inauguration, the republicans won't hold things up that PE Obama wants to accomplish with their political posturing.

    January 4, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. sra

    yesssssssssss! Welcome to the White House, Mr. President!

    January 4, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Wisest one of All

    Has he had spinners put on the wheels yet?

    January 4, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. Wayne D. PA


    January 5, 2009 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
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