“WELCOME TO IRON MAIDEN AIRLINES, THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN BRUCE DICKINSON SPEAKING”
Iron Maiden have announced their most ambitious and extraordinary touring plans ever for their Somewhere Back In Time World Tour 2008. For the first leg of the tour, slated to start in February 2008, singer Bruce Dickinson who is a qualified airline captain flying for Astraeus Airlines, will be piloting the band, its 60-person crew, and 12 tons of equipment in a converted Boeing 757 decorated with Maiden and Eddie designs! Dickinson will log over 50,000 miles on the trek, which includes 20 dates on 5 continents, including shows in India, Japan, North America, Central and South America, and Australia (for the first time in 15 years).
After the Captain Bruce-piloted first leg, the tour continues with more concerts in North America in late May and June before finishing with a third leg in July and August encompassing major stadiums and festivals all over Europe.
Comments Bruce Dickinson, “We had the idea last year of converting a jumbo jet into effectively what would be a flying 113 ton ‘splitter bus’ for touring and we have been working seriously on it ever since. It’s pretty complex but in the end we were able, with a lot of help from Astraeus Airlines, to overcome all the technicalities of customizing the plane for our purposes. We are taking out the back 10 rows of seats to fit in a customized cargo hold that we can use again in the future if this jaunt works. This is in addition to all the standard storage holds. By taking band, personnel and equipment in one form of transport it makes all the touring so much easier and overcomes the logistical difficulty of people and equipment going in different planes. We can even work out exactly how big our carbon footprint is and take care of that responsibility! We will be packing as much of the show into the plane as we possibly can for this first leg and intend to give the fans something very special to remember. And it allows me to combine 2 of my greatest passions, music and flying!!”
This is purely awesome. It’s been common knowledge that Bruce is a licensed pilot and captains commercial flights when he’s not busy with the band. But can you imagine playing a 2 hour-long Iron Maiden show, running around like a maniac the way Bruce does, and then having to fly from one continent to the other? Absolutely amazing, this guy.