I remember as a teenager when we graduated from a van and u-haul trailer to a tour bus, we really thought we had arrived: bunks with TV’s our own state room, refrigerator, and best of all, our own driver. We no longer had to risk our lives driving in the middle of the night after a 3 hour gig from one city to another.
Fast forward to the nineties, as a tour mgr we were flying around the globe, usually first class in commercial jets. Today there are more and more bands that now lease their own private jets, my son is the tour manager for Linkin Park who tours around the globe in 2 GULFSTREAM G650 jets.
Not to be out done by other bands, lead singer Bruce Dickinson landed Iron Maiden’s Boeing 747 in Fort Lauderdale a couple of weeks ago to kick off the band’s world tour “The Book of Souls”. The heavy metal band is being flown around the world by none other than its lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, at the controls of a the Boeing 747 loaded with the band, its crew and gear.
“The greatest benefit of traveling 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,” Dickinson said.
Named Ed Force One after the band’s mascot, Eddie, the 747 was leased from Air Atlanta Icelandic and branded with an unmistakable Iron Maiden paint scheme. Prior to commencing the tour, Dickinson trained in a 747 simulator based at his own aircraft company, Cardiff Aviation, in St. Athan, Wales, earning his captain’s rating in the jumbo jet.
The planned tour spans more than 55,000 miles around the globe, visiting 35 countries, including stops in China and El Salvador, where the band has never performed before.