© Iron Maiden

Pioneers of the British heavy metal scene, Iron Maiden are the most successful band in their genre. Founded in 1975, Iron Maiden are a global phenomenon, having performed in over 60 countries around the world.

For three of their world tours, the band and crew have been touring in specially branded aircraft. Nicknamed “Ed Force One” after the band’s mascot Eddie, each aircraft sported a design of the album and corresponding world tour.

Pilot was none other than lead singer Bruce Dickinson himself, as he was also a commercial pilot with the charter airline Astraeus, the owner of the Boeing 757 aircraft used on their 2008 and 2011 tours.

For the Book of Souls World Tour that started in 2016 and took the band to six continents, Iron Maiden upgraded to the “Queen of the Skies”, a Boeing 747-400. Again piloted by frontman Bruce Dickinson, he had to train and receive type-rating to be able to fly the 180-ton jumbo jet.

© John McMurtrie

Compared to the Boeing 757s used on the two previous tours, the larger aircraft offered considerably more space for the band and crew, a longer range and also a much larger cargo hold to more quickly load and unload the stage equipmen.

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