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White House in Need of a New 'Air Force One'
WASHINGTON, D.C., (CNN) -- It's part White House, part War Room and part political icon. The new Air Force One will fill many roles.
On the surface the requirements are simple: it must be a wide body, four-engine, commercial aircraft, but after that, Robert Dorr, who wrote a book about the plane, says things gets complicated.
"I think the biggest misconception about air force one is the idea that it's some sort of plush, comfortable, luxury jet that only is used for executive travel, when in fact it has a military mission. It is the flying headquarters for the Commander-In-Chief," Dorr said.
Will it have an escape pod like in the movie "Air Force One"? No, that's fiction, but it does have defensive capabilities: shields against the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear attack, and anti-missile systems too.
The plane must be able to travel anywhere in the world, landing at big and small airports.
And of course, there are many secrets.
At the Reagan library, an earlier model of Air Force One is a major draw.
The display is modified Boeing 707
"we all want to know what's on this plane; it's such a mystique. it is America, it's our presidency, and i remember the first time i walked through it. you just get chills," said Melissa Giller, who works at the museum.
Air Force One has been in the middle of many extraordinary moments: when John Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon Johnson became the next Pnt on board.
Ronald Reagan took it to meet the Russians and practiced his putting in flight, too.
George W. Bush used today's version, a modified Boeing 747, to fly back to Washington on 9/11;
He was unable to do a TV address to the nation until he landed.
That was later fixed, and the new jet, is expected to have full "in flight" broadcast capabilities, along with sleeping quarters, a shower, an airborne oval office, and an emergency room.
Delivery is expected in seven years.