To all fans of heavy metal legends Iron Maiden, it’s common knowledge that vocalist Bruce Dickinson is a commercial pilot and, as documented in the Flight 666 film from 2008, the band travels around the world in a customised Boeing 757 jet called Ed Force One, with the call sign of 666. They also used that plane in 2011 when touring their Final Frontier album. But when the band kicked off the world tour for their new double-album The Book of Souls in 2015, they announced that Ed was upgraded to the bigger and better Boeing 747, with much more cargo and passenger room than the 757 that they previously used. While the band have 20 shows left of their world tour, pilot Bruce Dickinson posted a video to YouTube today announcing that the current Ed Force One will be retired.
The band were getting ready to play in Gothenburg, Sweden, as the video was posted, with Dickinson saying that this would be his last flight on the 747 before the plane goes back to Iceland. But the Ed Force One has one more mission before it is put to rest: to take 350 potentially-pissed soccer fans to Marseilles to see the Iceland vs. Hungary soccer match.
The third incarnation of Ed Force One went through some wicked travels, which saw Maiden play in China for the first time, and return to Australia last month. The plane even survived a collision with the ground when arriving in Chile back in March. And while it’s sad that the band have to say goodbye to this jet, Iron Maiden look and sound like they’ve still got many years left in the tank, so another world tour and fourth incarnation of Ed would not be surprising to see. However, when that time does come, please don’t take Steve Harris’s son’s crappy band on the tour again.
Check out Bruce Dickinson saying goodbye to the Boeing 747 Ed Force One below, with footage of ‘Death or Glory’ from their current world tour.
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