New Air Force One Tail Number

of 01

Subject: New Tail Number

Netlore Archive: In an emailed photo of Air Force One (the military plane used by President Barack Obama), the tail number appears to have been changed to a racist epithet, "NI66ER.". Image source: unknown, circulating via email

Description: Viral image / Racist joke
Circulating since: Feb. 2009
Status: Fake (see details below)

Text example:
Email contributed by Anna L., March 6, 2009:

Subject: New tail number
*I don't care who you are...... LOOK AT THE TAIL SECTION
Check the tail number on Air Force 1

Analysis: It appears one of the things Americans will have to put up with until the bigots among us get over the fact that we have an African-American President is the dissemination of racist jokes at Barack Obama's expense. For all the talk of the nation having entered a "post-racial" phase as of the landmark 2008 election, it's crystal clear that racial antagonisms still exist, and won't go away overnight.

Around the same time the above image began circulating (late February 2009), another example of blatant prejudice surfaced in the form of an Obama-themed book display in a Florida Barnes & Noble store containing a volume entitled Monkeys (for which the company apologized, saying it was a case of customer vandalism).

It is not the case, needless to say, that either of the two customized Boeing 747 aircraft officially designated Air Force One when used by the President bears the tail number "NI66ER" (call letters N-I-SIX-SIX-E-R). The actual tail numbers are 28000 and 29000.

See also:

Obama's Air Force One
Online postings claim President Obama replaced the American flag on the tail of Air Force One with his own campaign logo and slogan at a cost to taxpayers of $500,000.

Sources and further reading:

Air Force One About the White House

Last updated: 05/03/12