IRON MAIDEN’s new-and-improved branded private tour plane landed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport earlier this afternoon (Friday, February 19). Video footage of the jet’s arrival can be seen below.
The Boeing 747 jumbo is named Ed Force One after the band’s mascot, Eddie, who has appeared on all of their album covers, and graces the plane’s tail.
Ed Force One is being piloted on the band’s world tour by MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson.
Dickinson commented: “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 greatest benefit of travelling in a 747 is that because of its colossal size and freight capacity we can carry our stage production and all our stage equipment and desks in the cargo hold without having to make any of the immense structural modifications needed to do this on the previous 757, the extent of which fans will have noted on the ‘Flight 666’ DVD.
“Although in reality we cannot carry much more gear the savings in complexity, time and cost make using the 747 even more practical. All we will need to do is ‘paint’ it and move a few seats around, with the added advantage that there is much more room for band and crew — our crew can almost get a row of seats each to catch up on sleep on the flights! Furthermore, it is marginally faster 0.85 MACH and the range of around 7000NM (13,000 km) is much greater which means we will not have to make the refueling stops we needed to with the 757.”
The 747 is the world’s most recognizable airliner on account of its distinctive hump. With its impressive dimensions of 70.7m (232ft) length, 19.4m (63.6ft) height and a jaw-dropping wing span of 64.4m (211ft) this double-decker aircraft has a range of 13,450km (7,262nm).
IRON MAIDEN’s world tour, in support of the band’s latest album, “The Book Of Souls”, will kick off on February 24 in Florida.
Support on the trek will come from THE RAVEN AGE, the band led by IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris’s son George Harris.
MAIDEN’s sixteenth — and first-ever double — studio album, “The Book Of Souls”, was released worldwide on September 4, 2015 through Parlophone Records (BMG in the U.S.A). The CD was recorded in Paris, France with producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added last year.
IRON MAIDEN announced in May 2015 that touring plans to support the album wouldn’t happen until this year to allow Dickinson time to fully recuperate after his successful cancer treatment.