The Vice President’s Boeing 757 – Inside Air Force Two

It is well known that the United States President travels around in a modified Boeing 747 dubbed as Air Force One. However, the Vice President’s Air Force Two often gets left out of the conversation. A variant of a Boeing 757 primarily serves the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the US government.

Air Force Two Boeing C-32
Air Force Two arriving at the G7 Summit in France last summer. Photo: Getty Images

A look at the specs

The Boeing C-32 was first delivered to the US Air Force in May 1998. Later that year, three other units of the type joined its fleet.

According to the, two Pratt & Whitney 2040 engines power the jet, helping it give a rang of 5,500 nautical miles. Moreover, it has a ceiling of 42,000 feet (12,727 meters) and a speed of 530 miles per hour (853 km). Altogether, 45 passengers and 16 crew members can fit in the C-32A.

Essentially, the plane is a 757-200, but it has been modified to serve some very important personnel. Along with the Vice President, the First Lady and the Secretary of State are often passengers on this plane. However, the aircraft is only referred to as Air Force Two when the VP is onboard.

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C-32 Interior
Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates with former president George H. W. Bush on board the C-32. Photo: Cherie A. Thurlby / PD-USGov-Military via Wikimedia Commons

Inside the cabin

Four sections divide the aircraft. There is a communications center, galley, and lavatory at the front segment. 10 business class seats also occupy this area.

Meanwhile, the VIP onboard can make use of the fully-enclosed stateroom in the second section. Here, the occupant has a changing area, private restroom, an exclusive IFE system, and two first-class swivel seats. There is even a sofa that can seat up to three people. This piece of furniture also folds out to a bed.

There are a further eight business class rates in the third compartment of the plane. Additionally, the conference and staff facility can be found here. General seating is located at the rear of the aircraft. However, all 32 seats are still business class, and these passengers can make use of the closets, two lavatories, and galley.

Boeing C-32
At times, even presidents have been transported in the Boeing C-32. Photo: The Official White House Photostream via Wikimedia Commons

Time for a change?

Equipment onboard includes modern phones, satellites, TV screens, fax machines, and copy machines. The jet may have advanced avionics technology, but, after over two decades of operations, the US Air Force recently requested $6 million from Congress to start plans to replace the aging aircraft.

These units will reach their end of service in 2023 after 25 years with the armed forces. The next generation is expected to have increased range, greater capacity, and improved communications. Therefore, the Vice President and its staff will have even more up to date resources at hand while hitting the skies.

Boeing C-32 Cockpit
Lt. Cols. Jeffrey Smitley and Mark Scheer landing a C-32. Photo: United States Air Force

The C-32 replaced the now-retired Boeing C-137 Stratoliner. Additionally, several other aircraft have served the Vice President over the years, such as the Boeing C-40 Clipper, Gulfstream III, Gulfstream V, and Gulfstream G550. It is also not surprising to see the VP hop on Air Force One. Nonetheless, the US Air Force has primarily entrusted the modified Boeing 757 to serve as Air Force Two in recent years.

What are your thoughts about Air Force Two? Do you think that the Boeing 757 is the right choice of aircraft to serve the US Vice President? Let us know what you think of the plane in the comment section.