For the third time, Iron Maiden will contract a jumbo jet for their world tour — and Bruce Dickinson, the band's vocalist, will probably be flying. I say "probably" only because Dickinson, a licensed pilot, is still learning to fly the Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet, the largest plane for a Maiden tour yet.
The four-engine jet is double the size of the 757 that Dickinson has previously piloted on Maiden tours, and triple the weight. The jet, dubbed Ed Force One after Maiden's skeleton mascot Eddie, will take the band to six continents. The idea of a world tour with Iron Maiden is too good to pass up. Put me on the plane. No, wait, hear me out: I'm a science journalist, so if you all wanted an excuse to make it an even seven continents and hit Antarctica, I bet we could figure it out. Plus I can dish all the dirt on GE's engine test facility.
I live my life where I want to and right now where I want to live it is Ed Force OneThe announcement comes in advance of the September 4th release date for Iron Maiden's newest album The Book of Souls. While tour dates aren't finalized yet, the tour will start in the US, before heading to — among other places — Mexico, Argentina, Japan, Australia, South Africa, and then at least part of an extensive Europe tour.
The band is leasing the plane from Air Atlanta Islandic — apparently a bunch of metalheads — and the band "jumped at the chance," Dickinson said in a statement. That's because the 747 has a much larger cargo capacity; previous planes have been much-modified in order to accommodate all of Maiden's gear. The extra room will give band and crew members a little more space to sleep, he said. The plane is faster, and has a greater range than their 757, which means fewer stops.
Now to be perfectly clear, this isn’t the Rihanna plane; no journalists have been invited for a ride-along. But if anyone in the Maiden camp is reading this: please, please, please put me on the plane. Tell me where to show up — or don't. If "Iron Maiden" is any indication, these guys can come get me wherever, wherever I am, no matter how far. And as I learned from "The Prisoner": I live my life where I want to, friends. Right now, where I want to live it is Ed Force One.