Saying Goodbye to Iron Maiden’s Ed Force One

With its arrival in Gothenburg earlier today, Iron Maiden’s Ed Force One completed its part of The Book of Souls tour. Over the course of five months with the band, Ed Force One visited 45 cities on six continents and traveled over 123,000 kilometers.

Becoming Ed Force One

F-GITH, the former Air France 747-400 that would become TF-AAK and Ed Force One.

F-GITH, the former Air France 747-400 that would become TF-AAK and Ed Force One

Before it was TF-AAK, and before it was Ed Force One, the 13 yeard old 747-400 spent 12 years flying for Air France as F-GITH. On 21 October 2015, F-GITH completed its last commercial flight with Air France from Mexico City to Paris. And on 28 October, it was flown to Tarbes for storage.

F-GITH was purchased by Air Atlanta Icelandic about a month later and re-registered TF-AAK. The airframe sat in storage at Tarbes until 21 December 2015 when it was flown to Sharjah for rework and painting into Ed Force One colors. After a few months, the new Ed Force One made the journey from Sharjah to Cardiff to begin the Book of Souls world tour.

Book of Souls World Tour

Ed Force One arriving in Amsterdam.

Ed Force One arriving in Amsterdam.

From Cardiff, Ed Force One headed to the western hemisphere. Crossing the southern United States, Mexico, El Salvador, and Costa Rica, Ed Force One headed to South America.

Ed Force One’s journey through the western hemisphere.

Ed Force One’s journey through the western hemisphere.

Two New Engines

It was in Santiago that Ed Force One was severely damaged when it collided with the tug that was moving it to be refueled. The tug damaged two engines, which needed to be replaced. We’ve previously written about how Ed Force One was repaired so quickly on our blog.

A look at Ed Force One before and after replacing the port-side engines.

A look at Ed Force One before and after replacing the port-side engines.

After repairs in Santiago, Ed Force One rejoined the band to finish the South American portion of the tour and return to the United States and Canada. Along the way, Ed Force One stopped off in Seattle to see where it was “born”.

After a Los Angeles concert, Ed Force One departed for Tokyo on its longest flight of the tour, flying 11 hours, 24 minutes to Haneda Airport. After shows in Japan and China, another long flight—just over 11 hours—brought Ed Force One to New Zealand.

Touring Japan, China, New Zealand, and Australia

Touring Japan, China, New Zealand, and Australia

Two more long flights brought Ed Force One to and from South Africa. Once back in Europe, Ed Force One’s flights averaged under under an hour, with the last flight from Oslo to Gothenburg taking just 36 minutes.

South Africa and back to Europe

South Africa and back to Europe

Last Chance to See Ed Force One

TF-AAK will make a final round trip flight in Ed Force One livery when it brings 350 Icelandic football fans to Marseille for the Iceland—Hungary match to be played on 18 June.

Inside Ed Force One dressed for the Icelandic football charter to Marseille

Inside Ed Force One dressed for the Icelandic football charter to Marseille

Final Ed Force One Flight Schedule

DateFlight NumberFromSTDToSTA
17 JuneCC30KEF0900MRS1300
19 JuneCC31MRS1315KEF1715
19 JuneCC12PKEF2100SHJ0600

 

Featured Image by C. v. Grinsven