For their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour in 2008 and 2009, Iron Maiden commissioned an Astraeus Airlines Boeing 757 as transport. The aeroplane was converted into a combi configuration, which enabled it to carry the band, their crew and stage production, thereby allowing the group to perform in countries which were previously deemed unreachable logistically. It was also repainted with a special Iron Maiden livery, which the airline decided to retain after receiving positive feedback from customers.
The aircraft, named “Ed Force One” after a competition on the band’s website, was flown by Dickinson, as he was also a commercial airline pilot for Astraeus, and plays a major role in the award-winning documentary, Iron Maiden: Flight 666, which was released in cinemas in 42 countries in April 2009.
A different aeroplane (registered G-STRX) was used for The Final Frontier World Tour in 2011 with altered livery, adopting the artwork of The Final Frontier album, and features heavily in the 2012 documentary “Behind the Beast”. For The Book of Souls World Tour in 2016, the band upgraded to an ex-Air France Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet, supplied by Air Atlanta Icelandic (registered TF-AAK) and customised by Volga-Dnepr Gulf, which allows for more space without the aircraft having to undergo a significant conversion to carry their equipment.