Iron Maiden have unveiled a new Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet that the band will use for their 2016 world tour in support of their latest album, “The Book Of Souls.”
Vocalist Bruce Dickinson is currently in training for his licence to fly the massive four engine jet, which is almost twice the size and over three times the weight of the Boeing 757 used on previous tours in 2008/9/11.
The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet with concerts in six of the seven continents (Australasia, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Europe) with The Book Of Souls World Tour 2016 expected to visit around 35 countries.
“When the opportunity arose from my friends at Air Atlanta Icelandic to lease a 747 for The Book Of Souls World Tour, of course we jumped at the chance, who wouldn’t?” says Dickinson. “The greatest benefit of travelling in a 747 is that because of its colossal size and freight capacity we can carry our stage production and all our stage equipment and desks in the cargo hold without having to make any of the immense structural modifications needed to do this on the previous 757, the extent of which fans will have noted on the Flight 666 DVD.
“Even though we have worked out the logistics of taking a plane of that immense size out on tour, I still have to learn to fly it before we can go anywhere! So, I’m currently doing my training to qualify as a pilot and Captain on a Boeing 747. I’m doing this at Cardiff Aviation, my aircraft maintenance facility in Wales, where we recently took possession of a rather splendid 747 simulator which I can’t wait to get practicing on!”
Details of the world tour are still being finalized and announcements regarding specific dates are expected in the next few weeks.
The Book Of Souls World Tour will open in the US in late February with Ed Force One flying in for three shows before, in early March, heading into Central America visiting Mexico, followed by a much anticipated first ever concert in El Salvador and a return to Costa Rica. South America concerts in Argentina, Chile and a number of shows in Brazil follow before a return Stateside at the end of March for ten more cities and a tour across Canada in the first two weeks of April.
Dates in Japan, China, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will follow before the band launches a European tour in late May.
Due September 4, “The Book Of Souls” was produced by Kevin Shirley and recorded in Paris in 2014.
The album is being previewed with the lead track “Speed Of Light.”
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