It is the most celebrated aircraft on earth. Its mission: to transport and protect the president of the US. She stands as tall as a six-story building and almost as long as a football field. More than a plane, Air Force One is a monument to American know-how and pride. The presidential jet shares the airframe of a 747, but little else. From the wheels up, it has been re-engineered, with flight capabilities and top-secret onboard defenses that surpass any plane in her class. The United States Air Force has done amazing things with this aircraft to make sure the president is very well protected. In a time of crisis, the plane is outfitted to serve the commander-in-chief as an aerial bunker.
Sept. 11 was over. But for the men and women of the Presidential Airlift Group, there was work to do. Air Force One was about to face action in a dangerous new world. Report any suspicious activity, do not engage unless your life is threatened. Their next mission will test security to the max. Air Force One is headed for the most troubled region on Earth — the Middle East. From Israel to Saudi Arabia to Egypt, the president’s plane must be ready for anything. More than the shifting sands of a troubled region, the Middle East also harbors manmade threats. Air Force One is ready to defend against attack. Technicians climb overhead to check out one of the plane’s strictly off-limits areas. It’s the section of the airplane that is referred to as the attic — it runs almost the entire length of the airplane, and it runs over the top of all the passenger compartments. It’s pretty much the heart, the inner workings of the airplane. Beneath the skin and hidden from view, the plane carries an array of sensitive and secret features: radio and radar jamming, broad frequency antennas and sensors to track attacks from cyberspace or heat-seeking missiles.
If the president goes somewhere, he’s going on Air Force One. To guarantee that the president always has a plane ready to fly, the airlift group operates not one but two jumbo jets, identical in every detail — the primary and the backup. Wherever Air Force One flies, its twin is always on hand — and ready to take over. Failsafe operations start with engineering. The plane’s jet engines are unlike any others — not because of special technology, but thanks to meticulous care. For security, Marine One always flies with identical helicopters. Officially, Air Force One is not a plane but an air traffic call sign. Only after the president steps on board can this military jet assume the name “Air Force One.”
Fifty-two crewmembers will make the trip, twenty-six aboard each plane. There are flight crew, communications, engineering, cabin crew and, of course, security. Air Force One flies with four crewmen: pilot, co-pilot, engineer and navigator. Air Force One transports more than just the president. It carries a full White House team: political and diplomatic aides, military attaches and the press.
As Iran prepares to play diplomatic arch-rivals the US in the World Cup today, AFP looks at how geopolitics have spilled onto the pitch in previous World Cups: Mussolini’s ‘Blackshirts’: France v Italy, 1938 Just a year before World War II broke out, defending champions Italy arrived in France with politics taking center stage in their clash with the hosts. Championed by Italy’s then-leader, fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, the team were booed when they came onto the pitch at the stadium near Paris. Undeterred, the Italians gave the fascist salute to the crowd and played in black shirts,
California is set to build world’s largest wildlife crossing 不用再跟車子搶道！全球最大動物通道在加州 Ahighway project designed to benefit wild animals has begun construction in California. The overpass, which had its groundbreaking ceremony in April, stretches over a section of the 10-lane US 101 highway to the northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The introduction of a wildlife bridge is intended to save the lives of animals in the area, in particular the endangered mountain lion species. This part of Southern California is riddled with freeways, and over 25 mountain lions have been hit and killed here since 2002. There are now fewer than 13 mountain lions left in the area. With such a small population,
Archaeology under the sea 水下考古：「潛」進歷史 Archaeologists tend to be stereotyped as people who work on land, digging up ancient ruins that lie below the surface of the earth. However, in recent decades, an exciting new form of archaeology has taken shape. This new practice is called underwater archaeology. Put simply, instead of looking under the ground for ancient artifacts, archaeologists dive deep into the ocean to conduct their searches. Underwater archaeology, although not without logistical difficulties, has been responsible for a number of high-profile findings in recent years. The development of underwater archaeology owes much to concurrent technological progress. First and foremost, it was the invention
A: Hey, are you listening to Taylor Swift’s new songs? B: Yeah, she recently made history by claiming all top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time! A: After a wait of six years, another chart-topper — Rihanna — has also released a new song. B: Six years? What a long wait. A: 你在聽泰勒絲的新歌嗎？ B: 對啊，她最近在《告示牌》排行榜創下一項歷史紀錄，同時包辦百大單曲榜前十名！ A: 另一位排行榜霸主——蕾哈娜——最近也終於推出新歌了，我都已經等了六年啦。 B: 六年？讓歌迷等太久了吧。 （By Eddy Chang, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩）