Meet Iron Maiden's Ed Force One...Guess Who's Flying The Plane?
Many rock bands have their own planes but nothing like this. Heavy metal rock band Iron Maiden is about to launch their 2016 Book of Souls World Tour and they'll be flying on a 747-400 dubbed Ed Force One in honor of their mascot, an evil iconic skull character seen on all of their album covers.
In August 2015, Iron Maiden not only announced their World Tour schedule but also talked about their plans for the plane. In previous years the band had a 757 and with the 747-400 they can go twice as far and be far more practical carrying equipment and man power needed for their concerts. According to the Iron Maiden website, "The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet with concerts in six of the seven continents (Australasia, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Europe) with The Book of Souls World Tour 2016 expected to visit around 35 countries."
Lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson of the band will be the pilot of Ed Force One and was the current Captain of their previous 757. ATA member Ric Peterson did a story about Dickinson's emergency landing story earlier in August 2015. This singer/pilot is training to qualify as a pilot and Captain on a Boeing 747 at Cardiff Aviation in Wales. Dickinson comments, “When the opportunity arose from my friends at Air Atlanta Icelandic to lease a 747 for The Book of Souls World Tour, of course we jumped at the chance, who wouldn’t?
The first concert will be in Fort Lauderdale in Florida on February 24.