Will the Real AF1 Please Land?

Some commentators have noticed that since Biden supposedly took office that he has never boarded the 747 that acts as the Air Force One and that the plane he is on is never called “AF1”, suggesting that the military is at minimum dissing Biden to at most not recognizing him as president.


So, what did Biden travel on during this overseas trip to Europe?


Short answer: I don’t know because I wasn’t there.


There is a video of him and Mrs Biden disembarking the plane. First, there is a wide shot of the 747 but then it cuts to a tight shot of the door. As the two go down the steps and away from the plane, one can see the wing and two engines that are consistent to the 747 even if the focus is a bit weird. (I am not suggesting it is fake.) As the motorcade leaves, one sees what appears to be the Boeing C-32 that typically acts as the AF2. That may be normal as well due to the number of staff travelling.


According to the schedule, Biden left Europe on June 16 and should arrive around now.


And yet, there are two Boeing C-32s heading back to the US, one departed from England with callsign SAM18 and the other departed from Geneva with callsign SAM490.


So, where’s the 747 that typically acts as AF1?


There could be a security reason so maybe it is there but its transponder is off. But western Europe is hardly a hot zone. Also, why leave the transponder of what may be an accompanying C-32 on if there is a security issue? Or maybe SAM490 is the 747 but it is disguising itself. But then again, if security is a real issue, one can just turn off the transponder. Or maybe Biden’s plane, regardless of whether it is the 747 or the C-32, is still not called AF1. I could be just missing something but it is interesting…


Figure 1: June 17 approx. UTC 04:35 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 1: June 17 approx. UTC 04:35 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 2: June 17 approx. UTC 04:35 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 2: June 17 approx. UTC 04:35 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
 

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