From their music to their outgoing rock and roll lifestyle, the members of Iron Maiden have always rather go big then stay home in every aspect. For their massive 2016 world tour in support of the band’s first ever double album ‘The Book of Souls,’ Iron Maiden are stepping up the game with the most massive Ed Force One to date.
Frontman Bruce Dickinson, who came out on the winning side of his battle with cancer earlier this year, is currently training to pilot the new Boeing 747-400. The four engine jet is a far more powerful and larger vehicle then the vocalist has piloted to date, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to have anyone other than Bruce behind the controls of Iron Maiden’s new vessel.
Complete with artwork from ‘The Book of Souls,’ the new jet will accompany Iron Maiden on their extensive run of the globe in 2016. The tour is being planned to include stops throughout Australasia, Asia, South and North America, Africa and Europe.
The specifics for the upcoming ‘Book of Souls’ tour are still being finalized, however the tentative schedule for 2016 will have Iron Maiden begin their run in the United States in late February before heading to Mexico, which will include the band’s first ever performance in El Salvador.
Further Central and South American dates in Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile and Brazil are next, before a return to the US and Canada. April will see a trip to Japan followed by Maiden’s first ever shows in China, while May finds the band in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The tour will arrive in Europe in late May and continue until August.
Dickinson says: “When the opportunity arose from my friends at Air Atlanta Icelandic to lease a 747 for The Book of Souls World Tour, of course we jumped at the chance, who wouldn’t? 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.
“Although in reality we cannot carry much more gear the savings in complexity, time and cost make using the 747 even more practical. All we will need to do is “paint” it and move a few seats around, with the added advantage that there is much more room for band and crew – our Krew can almost get a row of seats each to catch up on sleep on the flights! Furthermore, it is marginally faster 0.85 MACH and the range of around 7000NM (13,000 km) is much greater which means we will not have to make the refueling stops we needed to with the 757.
“However, 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 practicing on!
“We’re all really excited at the thought of bringing our brand new tour to fans who have never seen us play live before, and of course re-visiting all our old friends again too. You can rest assured we are all working hard to put together a spectacular show for our fans.”
The complete list of tour dates will be announced by territory in the weeks ahead. We will continue to report the latest in Iron Maiden’s touring schedule as soon as information becomes available.