Iron Maiden will soon be touring in support of its forthcoming album The Book of Souls, and hoo boy, is it a good time to be in Iron Maiden. Yesterday (Aug. 25) the metal legends unveiled a new Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet that will be taking them around the world on said tour.
But that’s not all. Singer Bruce Dickinson — a pilot himself — could be the one flying the new incarnation of Ed Force One.
“Vocalist Bruce Dickinson is currently in training for his license 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,” Maiden’s official site reads.
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The site also dished some touring news. The Book of Souls Tour will open in the United States in late Feb. 2016 and then head to Central America, Mexico, and South America, starting in early March. Maiden will visit El Salvador, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, before returning to North America for 10 more dates in the U.S. and Canada, starting at the end of March. Specific dates will be announced in “a few weeks’ time.”
And back to that ballin’ plane: the graphic below compares the new rig to the planes they’ve toured in, dating back to 2008. Quick analysis: it’s a lot bigger.
Dickinson elaborated on his flying plans:
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 practising on!
The Book of Souls is Maiden’s first studio album since 2010’s The Final Frontier.