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February 10, 2009

Scaling Up

Souza Obama AF1.jpg

The first slideshow on the White House website — perhaps colored by early resistance from the GOP — seems to address the need to sketch a larger Obama.

In this lead photo, WH photographer Pete Souza uses scale to maximum advantage, offering Obama ascending alone into the behemoth Air Force One. Besides highlighting the enormous seal on the underbelly, an idyllic sunset is expansively captured across the body.

Several images in the show are dedicated to the President holding court in the plane sporting his C.I.C. flight jacket, as well as being lauded and in command of House Democrats. (Also notice image #10 uses the ceiling lights and the “halo” trope to literally connote a presidential aura.)

If Obama’s identity as “a regular guy” has the tendency to make him seem common, get used to images like this as compensation.

First Flights (WH slideshow)

(image: Pete Souza/White House. caption: On Thursday, February 5, 2009, President Obama took his first flights aboard Marine One and Air Force One)

  • james warren

    A state-of-the-art power crane delivers its new merchandise into the hold of the U.S.S. Empire.

  • EvilPoet

    Ugh. Pics like this make me feel disconnected and small (not sure why) so I don’t spend a lot of time looking at them.

  • Ed

    Picture #5 – notice he got protective rubber soles on his shoes! I guess he got sick of them getting worn down! :)

  • yg

    i wouldn’t mind if obama scaled down somewhere. to reflect the spirit of sacrifice that he’s been calling for. carter sold off the white house yacht. what could obama do that was similar? if memory serves, they just refurbished this plane, but wouldn’t a smaller plane use less fuel? i don’t want to diminish his place in office afforded to every other president, but these are different times.

  • yg

    another thing, must we stick with this shade of blue?

  • martin

    747’s are old aircraft these days. Generally speaking forty years old. I would imagine that a US president boards a modified aircraft. bearing little relation to forefarthers. For my eyes; its a super shot. It has scale. The colours are tremulous.
    I might have almost missed the character on the right ascending.
    There is a touch of the Ad#be cut&paste about it:
    I was re-preminded of Sol from the Godfather trilogy.
    Could have been the coat; or the undertakers posture. either

  • cenoxo

    As Lincoln,


    or Jonah?

  • cenoxo

    January 9, 2009 — USAF starts public search for Air Force One replacement

    The US Air Force yesterday took the first public step in the search for a replacement of the Boeing VC-25 Air Force One, the presidential aircraft fleet.
    The USAF posted a request for information for market sources that can provide three widebody aircraft to replace two, 19-year-old VC-25s, which are converted Boeing 747-200s.
    An analysis of alternatives performed in 2007, which identified the Airbus A380 as a candidate, found that it would be more cost-effective to buy new aircraft rather than modernize the VC-25s, the acquisition document says.

    Course correction: January 28, 2009 — EADS waves off bid for Air Force One replacement:

    EADS North America (NA) will abstain from an opportunity to usurp Boeing as the next supplier for the US presidential aircraft fleet.
    The US-based subsidiary of the European conglomerate, which includes Airbus, confirmed the company will not respond to a US Air Force request for information.
    The RFI is the first step in the process to acquire a replacement after 2017 for the Boeing 747-200-based VC-25 fleet, also known as Air Force One (AF-1).
    Although the selection of, for instance, the Airbus A380 might have been politically explosive, EADS insists only business interests guided its decision.
    The USAF plans to buy only three aircraft. That order is too small for EADS NA to justify the investment of shifting final assembly and engineering work from Europe to the USA – two key tenets of its North American growth strategy.
    “After careful review, we’ve determined that participation in the AF-1 programme will not help us meet these business objectives,” an EADS NA spokesman says.

    Boeing is now the only likely platform supplier remaining for the AF-1 contract. The USAF is searching for a commercial widebody aircraft, leaving the 767, 777, 787 and 747-8 as available candidates.
    Boeing delivered both VC-25s currently in service in 1990. The first one is scheduled to be replaced in Fiscal 2017 and the second in FY19. A third aircraft is also planned to join the expanded fleet in FY21. Boeing has been the AF-1 supplier since 1962, when the 707-based VC-137 entered service.

    Whew, what a relief! For a moment there I thought big government might spend lots of taxpayer dollars on big executive jets.
    Rumor has it they’re also putting green hybrid engines on AF1 to save money on gas and reduce its carbon footprint.

  • james warren

    They may be stages, progresses of the pilgrim or a triad of Nightmares on Main Street. I cannot hope to guess….


    I like pic #8. For some reason, maybe his posture or his expression or his suit – I initially thought of Dick van Dyke as Rob Petrie when I saw it. He looks like a guy who is capable and a little abashed at the attention given to him for doing his job.
    On another note, do those windows below the cockpit extend around the front of the plane thereby allowing passengers to see what the pilots see? If so, COOL!!!

  • Keen eye

    Ghetto Force One? Can’t they at least paint the underbelly of Obama’s airplane? Jesus H. Christ.

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