Boeing 747, E-4B, VC-25A & YAL-1

E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft 50125

The Boeing 747, acclaimed as an airline pioneer, has proven highly adaptable to military roles. Derivatives of the 747 serve as VIP transports for Governments, as Advanced Airborne National Command Post, and as dual-role cargo/tanker aircraft. Concieved as a military aircraft for the requirement which produced Lockheed C-5A Galaxy in the late 1960’s, the 747 was developed by Boeing as a commercial airliner for 400 passengers.

United States:

American owned 747 airliners are part of the Civil Reserve Aircraft Fleet which is impressed  into military service when needed to supplement USAF Air Mobility Command.

4 Boeing E-4B-BN USAF

The E-4 is configured as an AABNCP (Advanced Airborne National Command Post); its upper deck serves as a crew rest area; the main deck holds the President of the USA (as Commander-in-chief of US Forces) and his battle staff in five compartments; the flight crew section, the NCA (National Command Authority) work area, a conference room, battle staff, and C³I (command, control, communication and intelligence) area; the aircraft is shielded against EMP. One example is never far away whenever the President travels overseas. The first E-4 was delivered in late 1974, to the 1st ACCS/55th Wing at Offutt AFB, NE.

Boeing E-4B-BN serials: 73-1676, 73-1677, 74-0787, 75-0125

1st ACCS/55th Wing at Offutt AFB, NE.

2 Boeing VC-25A USAF

The Boeing VC-25A named Air Force One (only when the President is on board) is configured for long-range special air mission (SAM) transport for the President of the United States; the aircraft is shielded against EMP (electromagnetic pulse) and carries MCS (mission communications system) three operators, and provision for worldwide secure communication; normal accommodation is for up to 70 passengers and 23 crew members.

The VC-25A is the airborne equivalent of the White House’s Oval Office with:

– 85 telephones

– 19 television monitors

– 11 videocassette players

– secure voice and facsimile equipment

The VC-25A is powered by 4 General Electric F103-GE-180 turbofan engines.

The first operational mission of the VC-25A was made on September 6, 1990, taking President George Bush sr. to Topeka, Kansas and Tallahassee, Florida. The following day, the Air Force One made its first overseas trip, taking Bush sr. to Helsinki, Finland.

Boeing VC-25A serials: 82-8000, 92-9000

89th AW, Presidential Pilot’s office, Andrews AFB, MA.

1 Boeing YAL-1A USAF

One Airborne Laser Boeing YAL-1A was built by Boeing Wichita, KS.

The high-energy laser weapon system will shoot down theater ballistic missiles while they still are over the enemy’s own territory. The Airborne Laser (ABL) weapon system will operate at altitudes above the clouds where it can acquire and track missiles in boost flight, and then accurately point and fire the laser with such energy that the missile is destroyed before it can do any harm.

The YAL-1A made its maiden flight in July 18, 2002. It was repeatedly tested – first against the fiery plumes of F-16 afterburners, then a boosting Lance missile, and finally against a staging Minuteman II missile in a test over the Pacific Ocean in December 2002 – before YAL-1A was housed in a hangar at Edwards Air Force Base in California in preparation for the installation of the lasers and optical systems.

While YAL-1A is in the hangar at Edwards, tests will be conducted independently on the ABL optical system and the six laser modules that will make up the complete COIL system. Once those systems have been proven effective they will be installed on YAL-1A in preparation for a series of rigorous chain of ground and air tests of the entire ABL configuration. These tests will include a re-examination of BMC4I against a variety of targets. Initial tests will culminate with the shootdown of a ballistic missile over the Pacific.

A fleet of fully operational EMD systems is intended to satisfy Air Combat Command’s boost-phase Theater Air Defense requirements. If all goes as planned, a fleet of seven ABLs should be flying operational missions by 2008.

Boeing YAL-1A serial: 00-0001

412th TW, 452nd FLTS Edwards AFB, CA.


The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force has eight Boeing 747-131F and four 747-2J9F, some of them can be used as aerial tankers, and they have the same Flying Boom under the rear fuselage.

Boeing 747-131F serials: 5-8104, 5-8108 IRIAF, EP-NHD, EP-NHP, EP-NHT, EP-NHV Iran Air, EP-SHC, EP-SHD Saha Airlines

Boeing 747-2J9F serials:  EP-SHA, EP-SHB, EP-SHH Saha Airlines, EP-ICC Iran Air


2 Boeing 747-47C serials: 20-1101, 20-1102 Japan Air Self Defence Force

701 Hikotai, Chitose Air Base.


Developing nation: United States of America.
Manufacturer/designer:  Boeing Commercial Airplane Company.
Production line: Everett, WA.
Type aircraft: Long range high capacity widebody airliner.
First flight: – 747-100 February 9, 1969, N7470.
– 747-200B October 11, 1970, N611US.
– 747-200F November 30, 1971, N1794B.
– 747-200C March 23, 1973, N747WA.
– 747SP July 4, 1975, N747SP.
– 747-200M November 18, 1974, N8297V.
– 747-300/SR October 5, 1982 N6005C.
– 747-300M February 14, 1983, N4548M.
– 747-400 April 29, 1988,  N401PW.
– 747-400M June 30, 1989, N6038E.
– 747-400D March 18, 1991, N60668.
– 747-400F May 4, 1993, N6005C.
– 747-400ER July 31, 2002, N6018N.
– 747-400ERF September 30, 2002, N5017Q.
First delivery: – 747-100 December 13, 1969 to Pan Am.
– 747-200B January 15, 1971 to KLM.
– 747-200F March 10, 1972 to Lufthansa.
– 747-200C April 30, 1973 to World Airways.
– 747SP March 5, 1976 to Pan Am.
– 747-200M March 7, 1975 to Air Canada.
– 747-300/SR March 1, 1983 to UTA.
– 747-300M March 5 1983 to Swissair.
– 747-400 January 26, 1989 to Northwest Airlines.
– 747-400M September 1, 1989 to KLM.
– 747-400D October 10, 1991 to Japan Air Lines.
– 747-400F October 22, 1993 to Cargolux.
– 747-400ER October 31, 2002 to Qantas.
– 747-400ERF. October 17, 2002 to Air France.
Last delivery: – 747-100 July 1986 to Japan Air Lines.
– 747-200B December 1990 to USAF.
– 747-200F November 1991 to Nippon Cargo Airways.
– 747-200C September 1988 to Martinair.
– 747SP December 12, 1989 to Abu Dhabi Government (UAE).
– 747-200M December 12, 1989 to Abu Dhabi Government (UAE).
– 747-300/SR October 1988 to Japan Asia.
– 747-300M September 1990 to SABENA.
– 747-400M April 10, 2002 to KLM.
– 747-400D December 1995 to All Nippon Airways.

Boeing 747-100 military operator:

Iran Air Force. – 5 747-131SF
– 1 747-131F

Boeing 747SP military operators:

Royal Flight of Oman. – 2 747SP-27
Saudi Arabian Government. – 2 747SP-68
United Arab Emirates Government. – 1 747SP-31
– 1 747SP-Z5
Bahrain Amiri Flight. – 1 747SP-21
Qatar Amiri Flight. – 1 747SP-21
Yemen Government. – 1 747SP-27

Boeing 747-200 military operators:

United States Air Force. – 4 E-4B
– 2 VC-25A (747-2G4B)
NASA. – 1 747SR-46

Boeing 747-300 military operators:

Saudi Arabian Government. – 1 747-3G1

Boeing 747-400 military operators:

Dubai Air wing – Royal Flight. – 2 747-422
– 1 747-48E(M)
Japan Self Defence Force. – 2 747-47C
Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight. – 1 747-4F6
Bahrain Amiri Flight. – 1 747-4P8
Brunei Government. – 1 747-430
Kingdom Aircraft II. – 1 747-4J6
Royal Flight of Oman. – 1 747-430
United States Air Force. – 1 YAL-1A

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