Fans gathered at Cardiff Airport to watch Iron Maiden depart on The Book of Souls tour on ‘Ed Force One’, their custom-decorated Boeing 747, this afternoon (February 19).
The band’s world tour plane is captained by frontman Bruce Dickinson, who is a passionate and highly qualified pilot as well as fronting the metal legends. The band named ‘Ed Force One’ after their zombie mascot Eddie, who features on the plane’s tail design.
Iron Maiden live-tweeted the departure of the Boeing with both a Periscope video and a number of images posted to their social media account, as they left for Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
Here are a some of the tweets:
— Iron Maiden (@IronMaiden) February 19, 2016
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) February 19, 2016
— Cardiff Airport (@Cardiff_Airport) February 19, 2016
Dickinson spoke of the upgrade to a new, larger 747, saying: “The greatest benefit of traveling 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.”
Dickinson recovered from throat cancer last year, with bassist Steve Harris speaking about how the singer was on top form during the recording of ‘The Book of Souls’, despite having cancer during the recording:
Harris says “there was no inkling of it [the cancer]” while the band made ‘The Book Of Souls’. “He’d finished all his vocal bits completely anyway and there were some other bits and pieces we were doing. Really, we didn’t know anything – he didn’t show any signs at all.”
Dickinson plans to release a memoir in 2017, following the band’s return from the 35 date world tour, which will also bring them to headline Download Festival.
The first date of the world tour takes place in Florida on February 24, which will leave the frontman a few days to recover from his transatlantic flight before taking to the stage.