Military Factory logo

Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post

United States (1975)
Picture of Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post National Emergency Airborne Command Post Aircraft
Picture of Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post National Emergency Airborne Command Post Aircraft Picture of Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post National Emergency Airborne Command Post Aircraft
+ Images
This entry's gallery contains additional pictures. Click to View.

The Boeing E-4, covering four converted Boeing 747 aircraft, serves as an airborne government platform in the event of a national emergency.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post National Emergency Airborne Command Post Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 10/23/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Since introduction in 1974, the Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post has served the United States Air Force (USAF) in the flying Command and Control (C2) post. There were four total examples produced and these directly succeeded the aging line of EC-135J platforms. The E-4 was developed atop the framework of the Boeing 747-200 commercial airliner and serves with the 595th Command and Control Group out of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska under the banner of the 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron.

The fleet were born through a 1973 initiative which originally involved two airframes and these came to be known under the designation of "E-4A" (powered by 4 x Pratt & Whitney JT9D series engines). By the end of 1975, a third aircraft was added to the group and this entry was powered by 4 x General Electric GE F103 (CF6) engines. The E-4B variant was a "one-off" conversion aircraft with additional equipment (including a noticeable dorsal spine bulge) and this arrived in the fleet during December of 1979. In 1985, the original three aircraft were revised to the B-model standard and the CF6 engine powered them all. A modernization of the entire fleet was had in 2005 during the post-9/11 period.


Picture of the Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post National Emergency Airborne Command Post Aircraft
Picture of the Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post National Emergency Airborne Command Post Aircraft


Externally the aircraft closely resembles the Boeing 747 product complete with its two-story frontal section, four-engined layout, and single tail fin. A series of antenna protrude from the spine of the fuselage showcasing the many systems and sensors the aircraft carries. Internally, the aircraft is arranged as a series of compartments which are used to accomplish various tasks in the event of a national emergency. While the standard operating crew is four (including two pilots), the fuselage can situate over 100 personnel to cover critical functions during a national emergency. The aircraft is fully-equipped with advanced systems as well as countermeasures and other protective means (including EMP resistance and nuclear shielding). An in-flight refueling capability extends the range of the E-4 command post considerably over the previous EC-135J platforms they replaced.

At least one E-4 is held "on-call" at any given time and regularly deploys with the President of the United States when overseas trips are on the schedule. When the President is aboard an E-4, the aircraft uses the callsign of "Air Force One".

The Northrop Grumman E-10 MC2A, built upon the framework of the Boeing 767-400ER - was intended as the direct successor to the E-4 but the project was cancelled in 2007.




Cockpit picture from the Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post National Emergency Airborne Command Post Aircraft
Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post Cockpit Picture


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (603mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
4
4


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1975
Type: National Emergency Airborne Command Post Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Boeing - USA
Production: 4
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
4


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
231.30 ft


Meters
70.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
195.87 ft


Meters
59.7 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
63.32 ft


Meters
19.3 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
418,878 lb


Kilograms
190,000 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
826,403 lb


Kilograms
374,850 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
4 x General Electric CF6-50E2 turbofan engines developing 52,500 lb of thrust each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
603 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
970 kph


Knots
524 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
7,140 mi


Kilometers
11,490 km


Nautical Miles
6,204 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
45,932 ft


Meters
14,000 m


Miles
8.70 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• E-4A - Initial Production Models; three examples produced; later brought to E-4B standard.
• E-4B - Fitted with CF6-50E2 engines of 52,500lb thrust each; EMP protection; special shielding from thermal and nuclear sources; additional specialized equipment.