Photos: Iron Maiden’s “Ed Force One” 747 rocks Seattle!
Bands customizing big transport jets for tours is nothing new. For instance, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Deep Purple, Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, and Peter Frampton all made use of The Starship (a Boeing 720) back in the 1970s. Legendary metal band Iron Maiden has turned the volume up to 11 with their custom-liveried “Ed Force One” — named after their evil mascot, Eddie.
What makes Iron Maiden’s tour planes even more unusual is that they’ve been piloted by lead singer Bruce Dickinson, who holds a transport pilot license. Iron Maiden’s last tour made use of a customized 757-200.
After the band’s April 11 show in Tacoma, Wash., they made the short hop up from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on April 12 for a VIP tour of their bird’s birthplace, the Boeing assembly plant, before leaving the same day for their next tour stop in Denver. Before they left Sea-Tac Airport, I was able to be there, on the ground, and get some up-close photos of the plane.
Interestingly, Iron Maiden’s 747-400 (TF-AAK) does not have a VIP interior; it’s filled with a standard three-class seating arrangement, as it’s being wet-leased from Iceland’s Air Atlanta Icelandic. The customized livery and some minor interior modifications were handled by Volga-Dnepr Gulf.
The full story, with lots more photos, can be found over at AirlineReporter.