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Some facts and figures about the PM's plane

OTTAWA - Facts and figures about the aircraft used to transport the prime minister of Canada:

Aircraft model — Airbus A310, built in 1987-88.

Original owner — Wardair.

Fleet — Five A310s were purchased by National Defence.

Capacity — About 180 passengers or 32,000 kg of cargo, fewer on the prime minister's plane due to a cabin with sleeping bunk, "conference room" and shower.

Names — National Defence called the plane a Polaris C-155 upon purchase in 1992. For customs purposes it is RCAF 001. Former Liberal opposition leader Jean Chretien dubbed it "the flying Taj Mahal."

Retrofits — About $16 million in military retrofits were originally done on the aircraft, plus another $500,000 on the prime minister's quarters.

Avionics — Regularly updated to meet Transport Canada regulations, although "significant changes" being considered in coming years, particularly as they relate to increased polar flying.

Maintenance — 25 hours of maintenance for every hour of flying time.

Engines — In 2010, DND said the 12 engines rotated through the fleet had varying running hours from just over 11,000 hours to almost 31,000, a fraction of commercial aircraft of the same vintage.

Lifespan — Estimated to last until 2026, or longer with more retrofits.

Paint — Traditionally gun-metal grey for camouflage purposes, the Conservative government spent an extra $50,000 this year for a white, blue and red design, over the objections of military officials.

Issues — 315 air worthiness directives have been issued on the A310s over their life span. There has never been an accident or incident with any of the fleet attributed to mechanical failure or defects.

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