Obama Travels Around Albany in Limo 1 – Inside the Presidential Limousine
There is no doubt when the President of the United States travels, he does so in style. I had the opportunity to see President Bush land on Air Force One in South Bend, Indiana. Even from afar it’s quite an awe inspiring event. Once the President has landed, he’s whisked around town in a specially designed limousine.
President Obama visits Albany today and with him everywhere he goes will be the presidential limo. From Lite 98.7 alumni Rich Lawrence, here’s a look at the technology behind the vehicle known as The Beast.
The current Beast is a 2009 GMC Topkick-based Cadillac-badged limousine. It’s said to be fitted with military grade armor that is 5 inches thick, as well as bullet proof glass so thick, it limits the amount of natural light that can come through. Because of that, a fluorescent halo lighting system in the headliner is installed. It also has a puncture proof fuel tank, with run flat tires, that allows the limo to keep driving for while with punctured tires. This allows the highly trained Secret Service driver to do a maneuver called a J-turn, which turns the limo around 180 degrees in a matter of a couple of seconds to get the President out of the area when there is danger.
There is also a full communication system in the limo to interface with another vehicle in the motorcade, called theWHCA Roadrunner, which acts as the President’s secure command and control link with the White House Communication Agency. Along with that is of course storage areas and a pull out desk for the President to get some work done. The back cabin can seat 5 with the 2 back seats reserved for the President, and the three rear facing seats for staff or Secret Service protection. The lead agent for the President usually rides in the passenger seat up front.