An E-4B aircraft is towed out of its hangar June 17, 2009, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
Josh Plueger, US Air Force
* The E-4B, or “doomsday plane,” is a highly survivable flying fortress used to transport the secretary of Defense.
* Designed during the Cold War, the four planes are built to endure the immediate aftermath of a nuclear detonation.
* “The plane is basically a flying command center,” a Pentagon spokesman tells CNBC aboard the aircraft.
ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT — There is no aircraft quite like the U.S. Air Force’s E-4B.
Affectionately known as the “doomsday plane,” the modified Boeing 747 is used to transport the secretary of Defense and is born and bred for battle. It stands nearly six stories tall, is equipped with four colossal engines, and is capable of enduring the immediate aftermath of a nuclear detonation.
“It’s like a backup Pentagon,” a U.S. Air Force crew member told CNBC aboard one of the aircraft. “There’s always one plane on alert and ready to go 24 hours, seven days a week.”
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WNU Editor: I like the part that the systems on the plane are all analog.