When you’re someone like Iron Maiden, you know you’re going to need a gigantic stage production, tons of gear and an entourage of a small battalion to tour everywhere in the world the way they do. Considering that Iron Maiden is very successful, frontman Bruce Dickinson is a legit pilot and he’s one of the big jefes at a luxury aviation company, it’s no surprise Maiden would have their own Boeing 747 to fly with style.
The new Ed Force One will be piloted by Dickinson himself for their next world tour supporting their newest album The Book of Souls, as the band said when discussing the new custom-branded plane:
“Ed Force One, our new 747 jumbo, is all branded-up, ready to go and Bruce has his shiny new 747 type rating so he can fly the plane.
“As we initially announced, we’ll be using Ed Force One right around the world as usual but also including the first few shows in Europe this time, making this the first time EF1 has visited Europe on tour.
“However, after the Swedish show at Gothenburg Ullvei Stadium on June 17, we’ll be reverting to our traditional truck and bus touring methods as logistically this makes much more sense considering the lesser distances involved and airport parameters.”
“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.”
You can check out a walkaround video flaunting the massive plane and some pictures of it below, including a comparison chart between the previous planes the band has used and this new beast: